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Hunting, Research, and Management

There are at least seven species of doves in Louisiana, four of which—mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared, and ringed-turtle doves—may be legally hunted.

Lottery Hunts

LDWF’s wildlife management areas offer lottery hunts for youth hunters, physically challenged hunters, disabled veterans, and the general public to hunt alligator, deer, dove, turkey, and waterfowl. There are also lottery hunts at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

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Mandatory Harvest Information Program

If you are required to be licensed to hunt migratory birds (ducks, coots, geese, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, or gallinules), you must get a Harvest Information Program certification and carry proof of your HIP certification with you whenever you’re hunting migratory birds.  If you are 17 and under you do not need a HIP certification unless you are participating in a WMA youth waterfowl lottery.  You must get HIP certified in every state you hunt migratory birds.

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Dove Fields

To provide ample hunting opportunity for Louisiana residents, LDWF manages dove fields on state-owned wildlife management areas and leases private lands from farmers for dove hunting. Managers plant and manipulate crops and manage commercial agricultural fields to attract large numbers of doves to shooting areas during the hunting season. LDWF also offers free assistance to private landowners interested in managing their property for wildlife, including doves.

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Dove Call Count Surveys

The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) is one of the most abundant bird species in urban and rural areas of North America. There are approximately 243 million doves in the United States; their numbers appear to be stable throughout their range. In Louisiana, dove numbers have been increasing over both the short-term (last 10 years) and long-term (last 52 years).

To determine population trends of mourning doves in Louisiana, biologists conduct call count surveys. Trained biologists have listening stations spaced at 1-mile intervals along secondary roads. At each station, biologists record the number of individual doves they hear calling and the number of doves they see. They then analyze these numbers to determine dove population trends.

doves of louisiana - identification and status

— Did You Know? —

LDWF offers free assistance to private landowners interested in managing their property for wildlife, including doves.

Migratory Bird Preservation Facilities

A Migratory Bird Preservation Facility is any person, taxidermist, cold storage facility, locker plant, or hunting club which receives, possesses, or is in custody of any migratory game birds belonging to another person for purposes of picking, cleaning, freezing, processing, storage, or shipment. To operate as a Migratory Bird Preservation Facility, the facility must:

  1. Ensure incoming birds are properly tagged
  2. Keep an accurate record of both incoming and outgoing transactions
  3. Allow the premises to be inspected.

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