2020 Dove Season
There have been many questions from hunters wondering if we will have a dove season this year. While it’s hard to predict what may come in the days leading to up dove season, we still plan to open the season on September 1, 2020. Many of the festive events that typically surround dove season, like the World Championship Dove Cook Off in Yuma, have been cancelled this year. The youth camps and hunts scheduled for opening weekend are tentatively still on. To avoid crowded indoor situations, we strongly encourage hunters to purchase their licenses and stamps online. As we get closer and if changes do occur, the best way to stay up to date is by connecting with us on social media and signing up for e-news.
Stay up to date on Yuma specific information by visiting: http://www.yumadovehunting.com/
The great news is we are expecting another exceptional early season! The longer wet winter this year delayed some early nesting, but pushed more dove nesting into the prime breeding season in the deserts of Arizona. This means lots of birds should be around for the opener, especially since the summer monsoons have been relatively weak so far this year.
The essentials: What you need to know
- Hunters age 18 and older need a valid Arizona Hunting License (or Hunt/Fish Combination License) and Migratory Bird Stamp.
- Hunters age 10-17 only need the Youth Combination License because it already includes the Stamp privileges.
- Persons under the age of 10 can hunt dove without a license if accompanied by a licensed adult age 18 or older. No more than two unlicensed children may accompany any single license holder.
- The bag limit is 15 mourning doves per day (or a mix with white-winged doves with not more than 10 being white-winged doves).
- There is a 45-bird possession limit after opening day.
- Eurasian collared doves have an unlimited bag and unlimited possession limit.
Tips for Dove Hunting in the Era of Covid-19
If you’re traveling from out of state, or even within the state to hunt doves, here are a few helpful tips to make it the best experience it can be this year:
- Reduce Exposure: Purchase Your Arizona Hunting License and Migratory Bird Stamps Online – The need for safety and reducing your exposure to the Covid-19 virus is high. You have the option to avoid crowded lines by purchasing you license and required stamp from our website instead of visiting one of our offices or 300+ license vendors in person.
- Practice Physical Distancing – When dove hunting, give the folks next to you some space! It will give all hunters involved one less thing to worry about. Arizona is the 6th largest state in the country and with 60% public lands, trust us, there is room to spread out. And doves are everywhere! So while you stay socially connected and share fun hunting experiences, stay physically distant from other groups or hunters not in your same party or household.
- Wash Your Hands – You’ll harvest some of the finest and cleanest migratory meat available. Keep it that way by keeping your hands and the meat clean while you prepare it for storage or a meal.
The Top 10 Do’s and Do Not’s of Dove Hunting in Arizona
Our Game Wardens want you to have a safe, fun, and violation free time dove hunting! These are the Top 10 things they write tickets for every season.
- DO NOT shoot within ¼ mile (440 yards) of an occupied structure while hunting unless you have permission.
- DO NOT shoot from, across or into roads or railways.
- DO NOT leave shotgun shells or other litter on the ground when you leave.
- DO NOT hunt over waters all day. (Allow time for livestock to access waters)
- DO NOT consume drugs or alcohol while hunting or handling firearms.
- DO leave one fully feathered wing attached to the bird for identification until you reach your permanent residence or where the dove will be consumed.
- DO keep individual limits of birds separate from others while in the field, in the cooler and in transit.
- DO respect postings on private land and leave gates as you found them.
- DO make a reasonable effort to retrieve all downed birds.
- DO report violations to Operation Game Thief @ 1-800-352-0700.
Paloma Guisada: This is the 1 pot Tex-Mex style meal that can be made on the tailgate right after you finish your limit.
- 15 dove breasts – filleted off breast bone and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 15oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes (with green chiles, optional)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup water
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven. Add the dove meat and stir until meat just starts to brown on all sides (approximately 5-7 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, pepper, and garlic while stirring and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir often and allow to cook until the meat is tender, around 30 minutes. Serve over rice or in a tortilla.
About Hunting and Conservation
Did you know, mourning doves are the most numerous, widespread game bird in North America? They are prolific breeders with an average life span of 1-2 years. Dove hunting seasons are regulated and maintain doves as a sustainable wildlife resource. Dove hunters are a valuable conservation tool. There is an excise tax on firearms and ammunition that is contributed to the federal Pitman-Robertson Fund, which in turn is apportioned to state wildlife agencies for the management of wildlife, which benefits all citizens.
Additionally, hunters provide hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy, by purchasing ammunition, gas, food and lodging while engaging in this American tradition.