Weather brings cloud of uncertainty over Dove season opening

Weather brings cloud of uncertainty over Dove season opening

On Saturday, the dove season will open, and spring and summer rains have made the opening weekend doubtful. Quite like the first Saturday of college football, the first day of dove season is called the start of hunting season.

According to Randy Zellers from Arkansas Game and Fish, a wet spring, and wet August have thrown a variable into the hunting viewpoint.

Zellers said, “Unfortunately, this year we had a very wet spring. If you'll remember all the floods that we had during spring that caused a lot of farmers to be delayed”.

Zellers added that meaning crops aren’t all set to harvest or be mowed down. He said that all of this depends on the food availability at the time when the doves come through. He said that when there isn’t any food, they fly on.

Wildlife management regions are normally planted with sunflowers, the ‘candy’ to lure doves. The apt example is Holla Bend Wildlife Area outside Morrilton. The area with hundreds of acres of cut feed fields to lure the birds offer some of the best public hunting statewide. However, the weather this year has changed that terrain.

In 2016, farmers didn’t get a chance to plant them well in time because of the floods. Now, it seems like, dove hunters must explore and get ready to move on opening day to get birds. The places that are generally hunted by them won’t be ready this year.

Hunters looking ahead could detect a hidden gem with food in abundance to attract doves.

Zellers recommended everybody to avoid getting locked into one place. He said that driving and observing power lines is a way to know the number of doves staying in a particular area. As per Zellers, it could be a slow opener.