CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces a Discover Nature Youth Dove Wingshooting Clinic and Hunt in Cape Girardeau County Aug. 30 and Sept. 1. On Saturday, Aug. 30, MDC will lead a wing shooting clinic at Apple Creek Conservation Area Shooting Range to prepare youth for a hunt at Maintz Wildlife Preserve on the opening morning of dove season, Monday, Sept. 1.
"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 the season," said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Dee Dee Dockins.
This free clinic is offered to the first 20 applicants that meet requirements, so pre-registration is required. To register, call the MDC's Southeast Regional Office at (573)290-5730.
A $25 refundable deposit holds reservations for the clinic and will be refunded at the conclusion of the dove hunt. To be accepted, applicants must be 11 to 15 years old and hunter education certified by Sept. 1. 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.
Participants are not required to have a shotgun but should bring a shotgun that fits them comfortably and bring choke tubes if they have them. 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.
"Dove hunting is a wonderful family activity that gets the children unplugged," said MDC Wildlife Regional Supervisor Matt Bowyer. "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 2014 Migratory Bird Digest online at mdc.mo.gov.