Illinois hunters are encouraged to participate in an upcoming survey that will ask dove hunters from across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting. Topics will include time spent hunting, demographics, constraints to hunting, and thoughts about potential effects of spent lead from hunting ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.
The National Dove Hunter Survey is a cooperative effort by state fish and wildlife agencies including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, all four flyway councils, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). “We are conducting this survey because hunter opinions and preferences are important and should be taken into account whenever possible,” says Dr. Ken Richkus of the Service’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. “The Service and the states want to make sure we use the best science-based information for the management and conservation of our migratory bird resources.”
There are more than one million dove hunters nationally, with dove seasons in 40 states. “We’re surveying dove hunters in every state that has a dove season so they can give us their opinions on a variety of topics,” Richkus says. “This approach will give us an excellent picture of mourning dove hunter thoughts and needs by state, region, and nationwide.”
The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin in late June 2012, and will be completed by the end of the year. “We really hope each dove hunter who receives a survey takes the time to complete and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided,” Richkus added. “Their answers are very important, and we appreciate their efforts to tell us what they think.”
Be on the lookout for this survey. Please respond as the results will benefit all hunters.