Migratory bird hunters, especially duck hunters, are keenly aware that their prey may carry an extra bit of jewelry on their legs. Now, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is asking dove hunters to check for bands on harvested birds.
The AGFC has joined 25 agencies in other states in a nationwide, three-year mourning dove-banding study, according to Mike Checkett, former AGFC migratory bird biologist.
"The dove-banding program started this year and over 25,000 have been banded nationwide, with 1,300 banded in Arkansas alone," Checkett said. "This study is important to the state because it will help us determine annual harvest rates and annual survival estimations."
"This is a management effort that relies on the hunters," Checkett said. "Hunter participation is a must for this study to work. We encourage all hunters to report recovered bands by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263)." Operators will be on duty 24 hours a day during hunting season. Banded birds may be reported on-line at www.pwrc.usgs.gov.
Dove seasons this year are Sept. 6-28, Nov. 22-30 and Dec. 20-Jan. 15. For more information on regulations and baiting laws call the AGFC at (501) 223-6384 or go on-line to http://www.agfc.com/rules_regs/hunting_r.....