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Storms dampen some Arkansas dove fields for opening day

LITTLE ROCK — With as much as a few inches of rain falling in some areas of the state within the last few days, dove hunters looking for options on opening day this Sunday are encouraged to scout ahead to ensure recent storms didn’t saturate their chances at a good dove hunt. A couple of fields prepared by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission saw substantial precipitation, preventing them from being prepared before opening day. Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms and Ed Gordon Point Remove WMAs will not be available.

“We’ve really been geared up to get some doves out there for opening day on many of our public lands this year but this last round of rain hurt a handful of fields,” said AGFC Assistant Chief of Wildlife Management Garrick Dugger. “Fields that may have been topsown with wheat seed may see some of the seed sprouting early, and disked, prepared fields that were still to be seeded may now be too wet to access with the tractors and equipment needed. We also typically burn fields with some standing cover crops on them to expose the seeds, and the wet conditions will hamper that effort.”

Dugger says many fields will be ready, but it’s always a good idea to scout ahead to get the best idea of opening morning conditions and where to set up for the most success.

“It’s just smart to go out in the morning or evening to some of these fields and see where the doves are flying anyway,” Dugger said. “If you go in cold, you may set up on the opposite end of the area from where the doves want to be.”

An updated list of fields and conditions is available at https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/migratory-birds/dove/public-dove-fields.