Fall River Wildlife Area News
Dove Hunting Opportunities at Fall River and Toronto Wildlife Area
Four fields of sunflowers totaling 60 acres have been planted this year at Fall River Wildlife Area and 2 fields totaling approximately 21 acres have been planted at Toronto WA. These fields will be managed through timely mowing to attract doves. Fields at Fall River and Toronto WA are in excellent condition this year and good hunting opportunities are expected. Last year, 473 hunter trips during the first three days of dove season resulted in a total harvest of 2487 doves. This represents a 39% increase in the total dove harvest and a 26% increase in hunter trips when compared to the 2012 harvest data. Dove Harvest in 2013 was the highest since harvest data collection was initiated in 2008. The second high harvest year was 2009 with a harvest of 1855 doves taken. Accurate collection of this data is very important to help KDWP staff to evaluate the effectiveness of dove field location and management strategies that will help maximize opportunities for the dove hunters that choose to hunt at Fall River Wildlife Area.
This year hunters will be required to use only non-toxic shot in managed dove fields at Fall River and Toronto Wildlife Area. Managed dove fields are considered to be any field in which data collection by harvest survey cards is required and will usually be fields that have been planted to sunflowers.
Hunters should be aware that doves may be banded as part of a nationwide dove banding study. Hunters can help this effort by inspecting all harvested doves for the presence of leg bands. The more bands that are reported by hunters the better understanding wildlife biologists will have about the habits of these challenging game birds. The phone number to call to report band information is 1-800-327-(BAND)2263. This number is also printed on the bands.
Again this year, two sunflower fields are being reserved until the evening of Saturday, September 6th for the special Youth Dove Hunt. This special event will be hosted at the Fall River Wildlife Area office near Climax. The Youth Dove Hunt is for young hunter’s ages 10 to 15 who will be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adults will not be allowed to hunt. KDWP will provide at least two boxes of shells for each hunter using either a 12 or 20 gauge shotguns. Non-toxic shot for gauges other than 20 or 12 gauge may not be available. There is usually no shortage of shot opportunities so young hunters are encouraged to bring a couple boxes of shells with them to ensure the action doesn’t have to stop before the hunt concludes. All ammunition provided for the youth hunt will be steel shot, so hunters will need to be sure to bring a shotgun that is compatible with steel shot shells. A brief review of hunter safety will be given prior to the hunt. Space may be limited so early registration is encouraged, and all young hunters must be pre-registered by September 5th to hunt.
For more information or to register a youth for the Youth Dove Hunt at Fall River Wildlife Area contact theKansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parksat: (620)-583-6783.