SPANISH LAKE, Mo.—Due to significant flooding and resulting flood damage on Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will need to enact changes to the normal dove hunting procedures on the area for the 2019 season. Dove season opens statewide Sept. 1.
Columbia Bottom has sustained substantial periods of flooding since March of this year. The entire area has been under water and is expected to continue to be on the area for the next several weeks. Because of this, MDC staff have been unable to perform normal dove management on Columbia Bottom this year. This includes no sunflower field plantings or other dove-field preparations.
Depending on the severity of flood damage, there is a chance the area may not be open in time for the opening of dove season. If flood waters recede and flood damage repairs can be made in a timely manner, some portions of the area may be open for dove hunting during the 2019 season.
If dove hunting on the area is open this year, there will be no pre-season registration for the managed dove hunt drawing. In addition, there will be no youth dove hunt/clinic or disabled-accessible dove fields this year. All dove hunting will be by self-check-in methods only. Daily Dove Hunting Tags will be available outside of the area visitor center. Hunters will pick up a card each day, fill out the top portion and drop it in the drop box. Hunters will need to carry the bottom portion during their hunt and drop it in the drop box at the end of the hunt.
Hunters must possess required hunting permits and a Daily Dove Hunting Tag to hunt doves on the area during any portion of the season.
Hunting may occur anywhere on the area except in the “No Hunting Zones” or the “No Shooting Zone” posted on the area and indicated on the area map. All firearms hunters must be at least 100 yards from trails and roads open to vehicular traffic.
It is important to keep in mind the following dove hunting regulations on Columbia Bottom which will remain in place for the 2019 season:
As usual, non-toxic shot is required on area, and other statewide dove hunting regulations apply.
Flooding on Columbia Bottom will also prevent sunflowers from being planted for viewing opportunities this year.
For current information regarding the status of Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, consult https://tinyurl.com/y2u8cusr.