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Mourning dove hunting

Attention: Now available, new upland gamebird hunting tool mapping application! Please visit Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool and explore its features and mapping information!

Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool (FFLIGHT): This application provides an interactive mapping tool that allows hunters to locate and view suitable locations for ruffed grouse and woodcock, managed dove fields and properties stocked with pheasants. Here ruffed grouse hunters can explore the young aspen and lowland alder stands that provide excellent cover for ruffed grouse and woodcock.

FFLIGHT also allows hunters to use aerial maps, topography and measuring tools to easily navigate and identify areas of interest and make their trips more productive and enjoyable.

Doves use a wide range of habitats, but fields with an abundance of weed seeds or grain, open gravel areas, and water sources are all good locations to find doves. Successful hunting is usually a product of good scouting. If you are looking for a way to introduce a new hunter to bird hunting, then dove hunting is a good opportunity.

Hunters who harvest a banded dove are asked to report them to the Bird Banding Lab online [exit DNR] .

Season information

Remember: Non-toxic shot required for hunting mourning doves on department managed lands.

Mourning dove management

Wisconsin is participating in a national plan to monitor mourning dove populations for harvest management. Biologists set a goal of capturing and banding 850 doves at several locations throughout the state with a small aluminum U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leg band. This year, additional locations are being added in some northern areas of the state as well. Hunters who harvest a banded dove are asked to report them to the Bird Banding Lab online [exit DNR].

In recent years, the continental population of mourning doves was estimated at about 350 million birds, making it one of the most abundant birds in North America. The 10-year composite population trend for the Eastern Management Unit (states east of the Mississippi) has held stable, showing a 0.6% increase. Hunters should expect to see numbers of doves similar to the last several years.

Doves use a wide range of habitats but fields with an abundance of weed seeds or grain, open gravel areas, and water sources are all good locations to find doves.