The Start of Dove Season Always Keeps Oklahoma Game Wardens Busy

Dove season in Oklahoma starts on September 1, and every year people call their sheriff’s office, game warden, or local police department to find out what all the shooting is about according to Robert Fleenor, the law enforcement head for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The hunting gets so hot and heavy that some people think a war has started.

Without fail, the start of dove season is one of the busiest days for Oklahoma’s game wardens. They will be very busy traveling hundreds of miles to check out dove fields loaded with hunters. These LEOs will be checking for common violations such as hunters who don’t have their shotguns plugged at all or don’t have them plugged properly to only hold three shells. Another common violation is shooting across a road. Most hunters don’t mean to do this, but get excited as they chase a dove.

Fleenor stresses that hunters need to get a valid hunting license and to carry Harvest Information Program permits. The exception is on September 5 and 6 which are free hunting days in Oklahoma. While dove season continues for two months in Oklahoma, most hunters are eager to move up to bigger game after their first day, and the intensity of the hunting decreases.

Wildlife experts predict that it will be a good season, since there are plenty of doves around clearings and plowed fields. In particular, the Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area draws a few hundred dove hunters on opening day, because it offers the best dove shoot in the state.

Hunters can shoot as many Eurasian collared doves as they like providing they keep the head and one fully feathered wing attached to the carcass. If they hunt a combination of whitewinged, mourning, and Eurasian collared doves, the daily limit is 15.