Missouri dove hunters face crowded fields due to drought

Friday, August 24, 2012 | 7:08 a.m. CDT; updated 11:33 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 24, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri conservation officials are warning dove hunters to be especially cautious this year in part because drought conditions have led to fewer dove fields.

Officials at the Missouri Department of Conservation said the drought has reduced the birds' food and water supplies, meaning doves will be concentrated where those resources are available.

Adding to potential problems is that dove season opens on Sept. 1, a Saturday. Hunter turnout is higher when opening day falls on a weekend.

Conservation officials are urging hunters to review safety measures because having lots of hunters in one place increases the chance of mishaps. Large numbers of hunters can use a single field safely if they're careful not to crowd each other, officials say.

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