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.
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.