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The National Dove Hunter Survey, a cooperative effort by the state fish and wildlife agencies, all four flyway councils, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will ask dove hunters from across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting. Topics will include learning about hunter characteristics, time spent hunting, their perceived constraints to hunting, and thoughts about the relative importance of dove hunting as a recreational activity.
This survey was originally scheduled to be mailed last year, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, was delayed. The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin in June 2013, and will be compiled by the end of the 2013.
“Nationally, there are more than one million dove hunters in the United States. This survey will encompass all regions of the country and will give us an excellent picture of hunter opinions and needs.” 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 and take hunter opinions and preferences into account whenever possible.”
Dove hunting is hugely popular in South Carolina, ranking second behind deer hunting in total number of hunters, according to S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Assistant Chief of Wildlife Billy Dukes. “Dove hunters who receive a survey are strongly encouraged to take the time to complete and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided,” Dukes added. “Their answers are very important to the future of mourning dove management, and we appreciate their efforts to tell us what they think.”
For information on the National Dove Hunter Survey, contact Billy Dukes, DNR Assistant Chief of Wildlife, at (803) 734-3609.