Facts about Dove Hunting & Doves in Iowa. Would you hunt doves in Iowa The mourning dove is listed as a game species in the Code of Iowa, 481A.1 (21e). USFWS allows states 2 possible season frameworks, a 70 day season with a 12 bird bag and 24 bird possession limit or a 60 day season with a 15/30 bird bag/possession limit. States are allowed to establish split seasons or zone hunting. 1 (441pg) &amp;Acirc;&amp;middot; Federal regulations do NOT allow dove hunting before 1 Sept. or after 15 Jan. Shooting hours are 1/2 before sunrise until 1/2 after sunset. States can be more restrictive with seasons and limits. 1 (442pg),7 Is the mourning dove a gamebird or a songbird The mourning dove is a gamebird. The mourning dove belongs to the family of birds called Columbidae (pigeons and/or doves). The Columbidae are listed as gamebirds under Chapter 481A.1 21 (e) of the Iowa Code. The Columbidae are also listed as a gamebird under the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The Act is an international agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico governing the harvest of migratory gamebirds. Birds of the family Columbidae (including the mourning dove) are distinctly different from songbirds because the adults feed their young a milky substance they produce in their throats. How would a dove season be set in Iowa Because the dove is a migratory bird governed by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, season frameworks are established annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in Washington D.C. Under the international law doves may only be hunted between the dates of 1 Sept. through 15 January. States are allowed a choice of a 60-day season with a 15-bird bag limit or 70 day season with a 12-bird bag limit. Shooting is allowed hour before sunrise to sunset. Individual states can be more restrictive with their season and harvest regulations, but not more liberal. Does Iowa have a stable dove population Yes. Iowa uses two surveys to monitor dove populations, the Fish and Wildlife Service Call-Count Survey and the Breeding Bird Survey. Both surveys are run in early spring and measure the prebreeding population. The call-count survey is conducted by state and federal wildlife agencies and counts only doves, while the breeding bird survey is conducted by birders and Audubon members and records information on all birds heard and seen. Data from both surveys indicate Iowa dove populations have remained stable over the last 4 decades. How many Iowans would hunt doves if Iowa had a season That is difficult to answer. In states where there is little opportunity to harvest upland gamebirds like Missouri and Illinois, 40-50% of small game hunters pursue doves. In other states like South Dakota and Nebraska where abundant upland game (pheasants) exist participation is lower 10-20%. Using the numbers from states that surround Iowa, we would likely expect to have about 20,000 dove hunters and harvest 350,000 birds per year. Trip expenditures by hunters would total about $1 million annually in the Iowa economy. Wont a hunting season reduce dove numbers No. Over 30 years of research has proven that dove hunting does not have detrimental effects on dove numbers. Doves have a high annual mortality rate. Each year 6 out of every 10 doves will die. Hunting accounts for only 1 of these 10 deaths. Disease, weather, and predators kill the other 5. Doves offset this high death rate with a high birth rate. On average a single pair of doves can produce 5 young in a single summer nesting season. Season and bag limits are set so that hunting does not have a detrimental effect on the species.