Monday, August 26, 2013

Kentucky dove hunt season opener may be abnormally ... norma

If the weather forecasters are on target, the upcoming week should be hot and dry across most of Kentucky. That means conditions leading up to the Sept. 1 dove season opener will be close to normal — unlike most of this summer.

The strange summer weather — very wet and surprisingly cool — probably won’t have any measurable effect on the doves or the 55,000 or so Kentuckians who chase them each year.

“The weather has made some of the crops late, but most of our (public dove) fields are in good shape, especially in the west,” state migratory bird specialist Rocky Pritchert said. “I’ve had reports from Ballard (Wildlife Management Area) that some of those fields were holding up to 200 birds.”

Doves are migratory birds that are fairly weather-sensitive. A field can be loaded with them one day and seemingly empty the next.

Or vice versa.

“It’s true that it is hard to predict about doves, but I guess you could say that about ducks or geese or any other wild critter, too,” Pritchert said. “But the forecast is for hot and dry weather all this week, so I think we should have some good bird numbers.”

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