National Survey Will Explore Dove Hunter Opinions
The National Dove Hunter Survey, a cooperative effort by the state fish and wildlife agencies, all four flyway councils, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will ask dove hunters from across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting. The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin this month, and will be compiled by the end of 2013. Randomly selected hunters can expect to receive questionnaires in the mail beginning this week. Survey questions will focus on hunter characteristics, time spent hunting, perceived constraints to hunting, and hunter’s thoughts about potential effects of spent lead from hunting ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife. “There are more than one million dove hunters in the United States. This survey will encompass all regions of the country and will give us an excellent picture of hunter opinions and needs.” says Dr. Ken Richkus of the Service’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. “The Service and the states want to make sure we use the best science-based information for the management and conservation of our migratory bird resources and take hunter opinions and preferences into account whenever possible.” Texas Parks and Wildlife Department supports these survey efforts and request that all selected hunters please return their responses so the agency may better address questions regarding dove hunting in the future. Approximately 250,000 mourning dove hunters harvest 5 million mourning doves on an annual basis in Texas – making Texas the leader in both the number of hunters and harvest in the United States.—courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.