Jul 15, 2021 - News

Iowa's new dove-hunting clinic

A mourning dove perches on a branch.

Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Iowa's Department of Natural Resources this week announced it's offering its first in-person workshop on how to hunt, dress and cook mourning doves.

Why it matters: This year marks the 10th anniversary of when Iowa reversed a 1918 law that outlawed the sport.

  • Let's just say some people's feathers are still ruffled.

Flashback: Former Gov. Terry Branstad signed the law and later issued an executive order that rescinded a DNR action prohibiting the use of lead shot to hunt doves.

  • Lead can be toxic, but some hunters argued alternative ammunition was more costly and less effective.
  • Groups such as the Sierra Club said the hunts were senseless, with some warning it could decimate bird populations.
  • Efforts to reinstate the ban have been highly opposed by groups like the Sportsmen's Alliance.

Details: The workshops will be held Aug. 14 at the Butch Olofson Shooting Range in Polk City.

  • Cost: $15-$45.

Of note: Mourning doves are the most abundant game bird in the nation and their populations are stable, according to information from the Iowa DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • The Loess Hills and southern part of Iowa have the largest populations.

Plan ahead: Iowa's next dove season is Sept. 1-Nov. 29.


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