CAPE GIRARDEAU Mo -- Hunters need to be aware of regulation changes on the Maintz Wildlife Preserve for the upcoming dove season. The Maintz Wildlife Preserve is an 804-acre area of rolling hills located in northwestern Cape Girardeau County.
“Last year at Maintz we had a very successful dove season,” said Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Wildlife Biologist Matt Bowyer.
Bowyer, Maintz’s area manager, said he believes the following changes will build on last year’s success. More sunflowers have been added to the area to help attract the doves and allow the hunters more room to spread out. Also, hunting hours are changing this year on the area to give the doves some break and to keep a high quality hunt for a longer period of time, he said.
“We have some safety concerns on the area that we are hoping the regulation changes will help to reduce,” Bowyer said.
“Last year, on Maintz we harvested over 1,000 doves in the first couple days of the season including more than 800 doves on opening day,” he said.
Last year there were too many hunters for the amount of dove fields provided, according to Bowyer.
To fix the problem, area staff have increased the hunting area to 30 acres of sunflowers.
Also, from Sept. 1-12, dove hunting will only be allowed on the area from 1 p.m. to sunset. After Sept. 12, hunting hours will resume back to match the statewide regulations.
Hunters are also reminded that before hunting doves or any small game on Maintz Wildlife Preserve they must fill out an “Area Daily Hunting Permit” that can be found at any of the area’s parking lots.
Dove season begins Sept. 1 and lasts until Nov. 9 with a bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 30.
For complete regulations on Missouri’s Dove season, check out the Migratory Bird Digest. Maintz Wildlife Preserve is northwest of Jackson. Take Rte B north, then CR 472 west 1.5 miles to the area. Maps of the sunflower fields at Maintz and other MDC lands can be found on the MDC web page at http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/filteredadvancedsearch.aspx?txtActivity=Hunting-Dove.