HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Mourning dove hunting season began Monday.
Last year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission changed regulations to allow manipulating crops to attract doves to hunting spots, and the first few managed dove fields were established on state game lands as a result.
This year, game commission habitat crews have worked to provide nearly 400 acres of managed dove fields on 26 game lands throughout the commonwealth.
The game commission says managed dove fields are common throughout the nation. Most often, these fields are planted with crops doves prefer, such as sunflower, millet, sorghum, wheat or other small grains.
While food is the main attraction, the fields meet other needs for doves, as well. Bare dirt makes it easy for doves to collect seeds and small pieces of “grit” to help them digest food. Many fields are located near water and have daytime roosting cover, such as standing dead trees or utility wires, in close proximity, the game commission said.
You can learn the locations of these fields by visiting the Mourning Dove page at www.pgc.pa.gov and using an interactive map, which plots the fields and provides details about what’s planted in each, as well as other important information.