MDC to host youth shooting clinic, dove hunt in southeast Missouri

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a youth dove wing shooting clinic and hunt on Aug. 31 and Sep. 1. On Saturday evening, Aug. 31, MDC staff will lead a wing shooting skills clinic at Apple Creek Conservation Area. On the morning of Sunday, Sep. 1, participants will hunt on a specially designated field at the Maintz Wildlife Preserve.

“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 Matt Bowyer, MDC wildlife management biologist and coordinator of the youth event.

This free clinic is offered to the first 20 applicants that meet requirements, so pre-registration is required by calling the MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at (573)290-5730. A $25 refundable deposit holds reservations for the clinic.

To be accepted, applicants must be 11 to 15 years old and hunter-education certified. Participants must attend both sessions. An adult sponsor with a valid hunting permit and migratory bird permit must accompany each participant during both the clinic portion and the hunt. Bowyer said sponsors will not be allowed to carry a firearm during the hunt.

Participants should bring a shotgun that fits them comfortably and bring choke tubes. A limited number of shotguns will be available for use. 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.

“Hunting is a great activity that gets our youth outdoors and unplugged,” Bowyer said. “It’s a foundational tool in helping the next generation to discover nature, which leads to an understanding of the value of our forests and wildlife.”

Dove season begins Sept. 1 and lasts until Nov. 9 with a bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 45.

For complete regulations on Missouri’s dove season, check out the 2013 Migratory Bird Hunting Digest at Apple Creek CA is located north of Cape Girardeau. From the Fruitland exit off I-55, the area is seven miles north on Highway 61, then six miles east on Route CC. Maintz Wildlife Preserve is located off on CR 472 off of Hwy B just south of Daisy.