Alabama dove hunters are among those across the United States who will be surveyed this summer on their experiences and opinions about dove hunting. Survey topics will include time spent hunting, demographics, constraints to hunting, and other topics related to dove hunting. The survey is a cooperative effort by the state fish and wildlife agencies, all four flyway councils, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).
Alabama dove hunters selected to participate will receive the survey in the mail along with a postage-paid envelope for returning it. “The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries encourages hunters who receive the survey to fill it out and return it as soon as possible,” said Wildlife Section Chief Gary Moody. “It is very important for Alabama hunters to participate so researchers are able to develop an accurate report that represents hunters from every geographical region.”
“We are conducting this survey because hunter opinions and preferences are important and should be taken into account whenever possible,” says Dr. Ken Richkus of the Service’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. “The Service and the states want to make sure we use the best science-based information for the management and conservation of our migratory bird resources.”
There are more than 1 million dove hunters nationally, with seasons in 40 states. “We’re surveying dove hunters in every state that has a dove season so they can give us their opinions on a variety of topics,” Richkus said. “This approach will give us an excellent picture of mourning dove hunter thoughts and needs by state, region, and nationwide.”
The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin in late June 2012, and will be completed by the end of the year. Hunters will be randomly selected from the Harvest Information Program database, in which all migratory bird hunters are registered.
“We really hope each dove hunter who receives a survey takes the time to complete and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided,” Richkus added. “Their answers are very important, and we appreciate their efforts to tell us what they think.”