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Applications for dove quota hunts open Aug. 7-18

New hunts offered at Big Rivers and Kentucky River WMAs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2023) – Four new dove quota hunts are being offered this season by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in addition to the traditional mentor/youth quota dove hunts and open dove hunts.

Sign-ups for all dove quota hunts open at 8 a.m. (Eastern) Aug. 7 and conclude at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 18. Applications are available online at fw.ky.gov.

In addition to the quota hunts, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will continue offering public dove fields open to any legal hunter.

This season, the department will set aside two fields to conduct quota hunts to limit hunting pressure on these fields. Until after the quota hunt dates, these fields will be closed to dove hunting except for hunters selected through the quota drawing. The special quota hunt fields will open to all hunters starting Sept. 10.

The new dove quota hunts are being held at Big Rivers WMA in Crittenden County and at the Welch Tract of Kentucky River WMA in Henry County. A hunt will be held at each location on Sept. 1, the traditional opening day of dove season, and again on Sept. 9. These fields will be closed in between these dates.

“You can only apply for one of these four quota hunts each year,” said Wes Little, migratory bird biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Application for these hunts is available online during the designated time period. Those selected are drawn randomly by computer. This ensures equal opportunity for all applicants.”

Those wanting to participate in the drawing must be linked on My Profile on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov. Applications for quota dove hunts may be found at Dove Quota Hunt.

The quota dove hunts at Big Rivers WMA run from noon (Central) to 5 p.m. The quota dove hunts on Kentucky River WMA is from 1 p.m. (Eastern) to 6 p.m. Hunters must be off the field by closing time.

“These hours allow the field to have some rest,” Little said. “Doves can feed and rest before and then again after the hunt.”

Drawn hunters are allowed one guest. The drawn hunter and guest must carry a copy of their selection page. The drawn hunter must be in the field with the guest.

All hunters must check in before the hunt and check out after the hunt. Each hunter is allowed 50 shotshells (two boxes). There will be 30 hunter slots for each quota hunt on Kentucky River WMA and 25 slots for each quota hunt on Big Rivers WMA. Quota dove hunters on Kentucky River WMA must only use non-toxic shot.

Mentor/Youth dove hunts to include three fields

In addition to the new dove quota hunts, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will hold three Mentor/Youth dove hunts Sept. 2: one at Higginson-Henry WMA in Union County, another at the Gilbert Tract of Kentucky River WMA in Owen County and a third hunt at a private land cooperator field in Green County.

The rules for the Mentor/Youth dove hunts remain unchanged from last year and may be found online at fw.ky.gov. The online application period for these hunts is Aug. 7 through Aug. 18. Applications for Mentor/Youth dove hunts may be found at Mentor/Youth Dove Hunt.

The links provided for applying for these hunts will not be operational until Aug. 7. For more information, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov.

As a reminder to all prospective hunters, a state-approved Hunter Education certification is required for all Kentucky hunters age 12 or older who were born in 1975 or later. A one-year Hunter Education Exemption Permit is available free to hunters who can’t obtain their certification before going afield, but the permittee must be accompanied in the field by an adult who is Hunter Education-certified. Details about Hunter Education courses and the temporary exemption permit are available at Hunter Education.



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