Dove hunting season begins soon and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has some reminders for hunters, as well as recommendations for areas to hunt.
Doves may be hunted statewide from Sept. 1 to Oct. 30, with daily bag and possession limits for mourning, white-winged and Eurasian collared-doves in aggregate. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
Nebraska residents 16 years and older and all nonresidents are required to have a valid Nebraska small game hunting permit, habitat stamp and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. Get the free HIP number at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hip or at any Game and Parks office.
Dove hunters who find a leg band on a dove should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at ReportBand.gov. In addition, randomly selected hunters will be asked to save one wing from each dove during the first week of the season and mail the wings postage-free to the USFWS.
Sunflower, millet and wheat, which generally provide good dove-hunting opportunities, have been planted at several wildlife management areas statewide. Game and Parks recommends hunters scout areas before they hunt.
To view a list of planted areas, see the 2017 Dove Hunting Fact Sheet here. Other WMAs throughout the state can provide good dove hunting opportunities, depending on local conditions. Open Fields and Waters sites and other public lands also are open to hunting. The Public Access Atlas lists more than 300 publicly owned areas open to hunting. Click here for public hunting access opportunities.
It is unlawful to hunt on state recreation areas (SRA) until Sept. 5. Regulations prohibit any hunting on SRAs until the Tuesday following Labor Day.
Eurasian collared-doves also may be harvested between Oct. 31 and Aug. 31, 2018, with bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively.
Science event at Indian Cave
The BioBlitz event at Indian Cave State Park will allow people to participate in a citizen science opportunity by pairing with an expert to find and identify as many species as possible in a specific area.
BioBlitz, held on Sept. 9 and 10, is an opportunity to contribute to a scientific census of Indian Cave’s wildlife and plant life and to learn about each of the species counted. This free event for all ages will include birds, reptiles and amphibians, plants and trees, mammals, insects, bats, geology, as well as guided tours and stories about the park’s petroglyphs and ghost town. In addition, there will be a presentation Sept. 9 on weather and safety measures to take while outdoors.
A park entry permit is required. Contact Adam Jones at email@example.com for more information or call the park at 402-883-2575.
Bobwhite population on the rise
Northern bobwhite abundance increased compared to 2016, indicating that populations in Nebraska continue to rebound from the severe winters of 2009-10 and the severe drought of 2012-13, according to a whistle count and July rural mail carrier surveys.
Results of the whistle count survey show statewide, within the quail’s range, the mean number of males heard calling in 2017 was higher than in 2016.
In addition, the 2017 July rural mail carrier survey shows that relative abundance of quail was higher compared to last year. The relative abundance of pheasant, wild turkey, cottontail and jackrabbit was slightly lower, but was comparable to 2016 estimates. The survey showed abundances of pheasant, quail and jackrabbit were above the five-year average.
The mail carrier survey, conducted July 5-8 as 340 rural mail carriers observed species while traveling rural roads in 79 of Nebraska’s 93 counties, does not provide information on population size or density, but it is an index of relative abundance.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop will give women the opportunity to learn outdoor skills in a comfortable environment.
The weekend getaway for women 18 years and older is scheduled for Oct. 6-8 at Nebraska State 4-H Camp at Halsey. Registration is still open.
Outdoor novices get preference, but experienced outdoorswomen are invited, too. Participants choose from a variety of activities, including hiking, canoeing, kayaking, firearm safety, fishing, camping, rifle marksmanship, deer and turkey hunting, photography, bird identification and more.
» The Great American Solar Eclipse, Rock Creek Station SRA, Fairbury
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» Solar Eclipse Viewing, Windmill SRA, Gibbon; Indian Cave SP, Shubert; Niobrara SP, Niobrara; Lake Minatare SRA, Minatare
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» Look Up, Look Around, Citizen Science Encounter, Mormon Island SRA, Grand Island
» Locking Horns: The Story of the Bison Skull Evolution, Fort Robinson SP, Crawford
» Start of Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island
» Dog Tails on Lake Trails, Lake Ogallala SRA, Ogallala