Statewide dove season now open; MDC offers many great hunting opportunities in the St. Louis region

News from the region
Saint Louis
Revised Date
Published Date

St. LOUIS, Mo.— (Previous release incorrectly stated Vonaventure Area offered dove hunting; clarification also added regarding Columbia Bottom.)

Statewide Dove Hunting Season opens Thursday, Sept. 1 in Missouri.  Among the first of the fall hunting seasons, it’s a welcome opportunity to get out into the fields as summer begins the transition into autumn.  Fortunately for St. Louis area dove hunters, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) maintains a number of dove hunting areas in its St. Louis region.

“With the weather seeming to cooperate this year, it looks like the sunflower fields and crop fields have done well around the region. This is a good sign that opening day of Dove Season could prove to be prosperous for the hunters,” said MDC Warren County Conservation Agent Ashton Crance.

MDC encourages hunters to enjoy the dove hunting opportunities the St. Louis region has to offer, both on MDC areas and in private fields.  Hunters should also be aware of and follow all regulations and make certain the area they are hunting is a legal area in which to hunt.

There are some MDC areas that are managed for dove hunting, where food plots and sunflowers are planted to attract the birds. Other areas are open to dove hunting, but not managed specifically for the activity. It may be a bit more challenging to bag birds in areas not managed for doves, but the opportunity is still available.

Crance reminds hunters that it is always a good idea to do some scouting and check the rules and regulations for a particular area before going there to hunt. Regulations can vary form one conservation area to the next. Specific information for a certain area can be found in the area’s pamphlet on MDC’s website at, or in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.  Dove hunters should also keep in mind that many MDC areas require the use of non-toxic steel shot. 

If there are any questions or clarifications needed, the conservation agent for the county can help with finding answers.

“This time of year has a lot of outdoor fun to offer, and dove season is a great way to get out there are enjoy Missouri’s wildlife. But, please, do so with a safety-oriented mindset to ensure maximum fun for everyone enjoying Missouri’s great outdoors,” Crance said.

The dove management areas where hunting is allowed in the St. Louis Region include:

St. Louis

  • Columbia Bottom Conservation Area (managed hunts only first seven days of the season)

St. Charles

  • Marais Temps Claire Conservation Area
  • August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area
  • Weldon Spring Conservation Area


  • William R. Logan Conservation Area
  • William G. and Erma Parke White Memorial Wildlife Area


  • Pacific Palisades Conservation Area

Complete details about the 2022 Missouri Dove Hunting Season are as follows:

Dates:  Sept. 1-Nov. 29, 2022

Required Permits:

  • Small Game Hunting Permit
  • Migratory Bird Hunting Permit

Permits can be bought on-line or in store or through the Mo Hunting Mobile App; permits must be purchased before going out to hunt and need to be on the hunter during the hunt.

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.


  • Mourning Doves, White-Winged Doves, and Eurasian Collared Doves count towards the daily and passion limits.
  • Daily bag limit is 15 doves in the aggregate.
  • Possession limit is 45 doves in the aggregate.

Allowable methods include:

  • 10 gauge shot gun or smaller and not capable of holding three (3) shells in the magazine and chamber combine.
  • Use of hunting dogs
  • Boats may be used if the motor has been shut off and/or sails have been furled, and the boat is no longer making any progress.
  • For more allowable methods see Chapter 7 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

More information about dove hunting can be found in the 2022-2023 Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest or on-line at