July 31,2003 - Posted at 7:17 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --Dove season's first segment this year opens Sept. 6, and runs through Sept. 28. The second and third segments are Nov. 22-30 and Dec. 20-Jan. 15. The daily bag limit for mourning dove is 15, with a possession limit of 30.
There is no limit on the Eurasian collared dove. Shotguns must be plugged to hold no more than three shells. It's easy to distinguish between the two birds. The mourning dove has a small, trim body with a long tail that tapers to a point. Black spots are visible on the upper wing, with brown above the wing and a pinkish wash below. Its wings produce a fluttering whistle as the bird takes flight. The call is a mournful ``oowoo-woo-woo-woo.''
The Eurasian collared dove has a larger body than a mourning dove. As its name implies, the collared dove has a dark gray/black band on the back of its neck. The tail is squared off. It is a lighter color, gray-brown, with a purplish buff throat. Its call is three syllables, ``kuk-koooo-kook.''
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, along with 25 other state agencies, is participating in a nationwide mourning dove banding study. The three-year study will determine mourning dove harvest rates, estimate annual survival, provide information about geographical distribution and refine techniques for a future dove-banding program. State and federal migratory waterfowl hunting stamps (duck stamps) are not required, but registration in the federal Harvest Information Program is a must for dove hunters in all states.