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CERRO GORDO COUNTY, Iowa – It may be quiet out here in this public plot in Cerro Gordo County, but later in the evening this plot will have a dozen or so hunters staked out.
Including Zach Scott.
“Just being outdoors, it’s a lot of fun especially for duck hunters or other pheasants. It kind of gets the itch off people who like hunting, its one of the first seasons that open,” said Scott.
This will be Scott’s second year of dove hunting, but he says he comes back because of the simple things.
“It’s early in the fall so it’s not cold, more of a laid back type of hunting, plus they’re really good to eat,” said Scott.
And Matt Washburn, with the Iowa DNR couldn’t agree more.
“The hunt itself isn’t necessarily that hard but however doves are small and fast target so there is typically a lot of shooting opportunities because there is a lot of doves in the area typically,” said Washburn.
But there is some controversy with the sport.
According to the Humane Society of the United States the bird is not over populated.
The DNR says it does no harm to keep the population at manageable levels.
And in this third year of having a season in Iowa, it’s clearly taking hold with hunters.
“We’ve had pretty good success across the state with the dove season. If you can find those areas that have real good food sources there’s been a lot of doves,” said Washburn.
And Washburn says the sport is meant for people of all ages.
“It’s a very enjoyable sport. It’s a great opportunity for first time hunters to get involved. It doesn’t take much equipment and typically success rates are pretty high,” said Washburn.
“Seems like lately a lot of hunters like to get out such as pheasants they hear that the numbers are down so they don’t get out but the very fact of being outdoors is what gets me out,” said Scott.
The limit for doves in both Iowa and Minnesota is 15 per person per day.
The season runs until November 9th.