Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recent Rains May Affect Kansas Dove Hunting Season

WEST MINERAL, KS.--- This summer's heavy rainfall could have an impact on the number of doves harvested in Southeast Kansas. Doves eat sunflower seeds, and usually hunters have four sunflower fields to choose from in Cherokee County. But, rain forced field managers with the Kansas Department of Wildlife to only plant two, cutting in half the number of fields and the opportunities for hunters.

"We usually plant the fields in mid April, and due to having a fairly wet April, we weren't able to get them in," said David Shanholtzer, Kansas Department of Wildlife Field Manager.

In fact, planting was delayed until May, meaning fewer flowers and and a tougher time attracting doves.

"We may speed up the process by spraying the field to cause them to lose their leaves faster," said Shanholtzer. 

That way the sunflower seeds fall to the ground, attracting more doves. That's an uphill battle, because there are fewer flowers, there are more weeds covering the bare spots. One more challenge in what's become a trend. 2012 was also a tough year for the doves.

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