Dove and forest grouse seasons open one week from today

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Hunting season is nearing, with some early seasons open already. The mourning dove season opening on Sept. 1 and continuing through Oct. 30. The limit is 15 birds per day and a possession limit of 45. It wasn’t long ago when we had a 15-day season and a limit of 10 birds.

The forest grouse season opens on Sept. 1 also, with a limit of four of any species per day, but not more than three of each species.

Remember Eurasian Collared doves are an invasive species and do not count as part of the daily limit. These doves spread across the United States from Florida, taking several years to invade the Columbia Basin.

They are larger than a mourning dove: The mourning dove is about 12 inches long, while the collared dove is about 13 inches long. The mourning dove weighs between 4.0 and 6.0 ounces, while the collared dove weighs between 4.4 and 8.5 ounces, according to Internet sources.

Several have taken up residence in the trees around my house and they can be seen throughout the Basin. This should be considered a hunting opportunity, as a dove hunter is able to hunt all day long, as long as she is shooting the collared dove.

So here is a scenario for ya: On Sept. 1 two friends are dove hunting. They shoot every dove they see and in late morning find they have eight mourning doves and five collared doves each.

They are allowed two more mourning doves each to fill their limit and as many collared doves as they can shoot. These hunters easily shoot two more mourning doves, but slow the shooting after the last mourning dove hits the ground.

They can continue to hunt the collared doves, but must be selective and not make a mistake. Perhaps it is time to end this hunt and come back tomorrow.

Also, consider hunting the local rock doves. These birds are also known as a rock pigeon or just pigeon. Most people think of them as dirty city pigeons, but think about this a minute.

There are rock doves or pigeons at many farms. They eat the same thing as the mourning and collared doves, such as wheat from the nearby field. Why not consider them as a target to eat? Plus, the adult rock dove can weigh as much as 13 ounces.

If a hunter or two can find a farmer who wants to get rid of a few rock doves and collared doves, perhaps these hunters will also be allowed shoot a few mourning doves. Opportunities are out there, ya just gotta seek them out.

National Park passes increase $70 next Monday

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