CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a Discover Nature Youth Dove Wing Shooting Clinic and Hunt in Cape Girardeau County Aug. 31 and Sep. 1. The clinic will begin Friday, Aug. 31, with a wing shooting clinic at Apple Creek Conservation Area Shooting Range. Youth will prepare for a hunt at Maintz Wildlife Preserve on opening day of dove season, Saturday, Sep. 1.
“This is a unique chance for youth to learn dove hunting techniques and the skill of wing shooting before putting their skills to the test on the first day of dove hunting season,” said Dee Dee Dockins, a MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist.
This free clinic is offered to the first seven applicants that meet requirements, so participants may register at www.mdc.mo.gov/events. To be eligible, applicants must be 11 to 15 years old and hunter education certified by September 1. Participants must attend both sessions. An adult sponsor must accompany each participant during both the clinic portion and the hunt.
Participants are not required to have a shotgun but can bring a shotgun that fits them comfortably and bring choke tubes if they have them. Participants must also have camouflage clothing, including a hat, a dove hunting bag or vest and a stool. Ammunition, water and eye/ear protection will be provided.
“Dove hunting is a great activity that gets our youth outdoors and unplugged,” said Ryan Dirnberger, a MDC Wildlife Management Biologist. “It’s a foundational tool in helping the next generation to discover nature, which leads to a long term understanding of the value of our forests and wildlife.”
Dove season begins Sep. 1 and lasts until Nov. 29 with a bag limit of 15 doves and possession limit of 45.
For complete regulations on Missouri’s dove season, check out the Migratory Bird Digest at www.mdc.mo.gov.