Missouri Department of Conservation holding youth dove hunt

Missouri Department of Conservation will host a managed dove hunt for youth 11 to 15 years old at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area Sept. 1. Residents can apply online now through July 31. Participants must also attend the virtual Dove Hunting 101 clinic Monday, Aug. 23.

Pursuing doves is an excellent way for beginning hunters to discover Missouri’s hunting heritage. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation is providing the ideal opportunity for first-time hunters by putting on a managed youth dove hunt and accompanying dove hunting clinic. 

The managed dove hunt will take place at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake, starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, and goes until sunset.  The statewide opening of dove season is Sept. 1  in Missouri, with the hunt open to youths ages 11-15. 

To join the hunt, participants must also attend the virtual Dove Hunting 101 dove hunting clinic from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23. Participating in the hunt is free, but the deadline for managed hunt registrations is July 31. To register for the youth dove hunt, go to https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZHv.

The online clinic will delve into dove hunting specifics such as dove biology, preparing for the hunt, regulations and required permits, finding a place to dove hunt, hunting safety, and even how to clean and cook doves. 

The last portion of the program will cover the specifics of the youth dove hunt at Columbia Bottom. 

The virtual Dove Hunting 101 clinic is also free, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZVA.  

A virtual link will be sent by 11 a.m. on the day of the program by email. This clinic is open to anyone interested in learning about dove hunting. It is required for those drawn for the Youth Dove Hunt at Columbia Bottom.

After attending the mandatory clinic, participants can join the Sept. 1 Columbia Bottom youth managed dove hunt.

Up to 15 youths will be selected depending on field conditions.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will give preference to first-time applicants.  All youth hunters need to be Hunter Education certified by the day of the hunt.

To learn more about hunter education, go online to http://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z45.

On the day of the hunt, department of conservation staff and volunteers will be on hand to check participants in and be available to answer questions. 

Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult mentor for the hunt and plan on bringing a shotgun, safety glasses and hearing protection both days.

There will be a limited number of loaner firearms available on a first-come, first-serve basis for participants who do not have their own.

As this is an in-person activity, Missouri Department of Conservation asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines. 

Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate. 

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located by taking the Riverview Drive exit off Interstate 270 and traveling north approximately three miles.