FRANKFORT – Registration for mentor-youth dove hunts sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will begin Monday, Aug.10.
These hunts include specially set-aside fields for adults wishing to take up to two youths (ages 15 and younger) dove hunting. The number of hunters in each field is limited, with spaces reserved by calling Kentucky Fish and Wildlife to register. Slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hunts will occur on Saturday, Sept. 5. The state’s five designated mentor-youth fields will not be open to hunting prior to that day. Dove season otherwise opens statewide in Kentucky on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Hunters interested in reserving a space for these hunts must register by calling Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. Hunting reservations will not be accepted prior to Aug. 10. The department limits the number of participants in each field to avoid overcrowding.
Registration will remain open through Aug. 21, or whenever all slots are filled.
Each adult may take up to two youths, but only two shotguns are allowed for each group. Participating youths are not required to hunt. Hunter education and licensing requirements apply to those participating in these hunts
Those hunters ages 12-15 must have a hunting license. Youths under the age of 12 do not need a hunting license. Adults 16 and older must have a hunting license and a migratory game bird-waterfowl permit, or a sportsman’s license, or a senior/disabled license.
Hours for the mentor-youth dove hunts run from 2 to 7 p.m., local time on Sept. 5. Clark’s River National Wildlife Refuge will offer an additional mentor-youth hunt Sept. 6. Hunters must be out of the field by 7:30 p.m. Hunt groups must check in prior to hunting and check out with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife staff members before leaving the field.
Mentor-youth fields located on private land and those fields located on wildlife management areas (WMAs) both open to public hunting Sept. 6 through Oct. 24. Clark’s River National Wildlife Refuge will reopen for general hunting Sept. 7.
This year’s mentor-youth dove fields include:
Union County, Higginson-Henry WMA: Directions – Located off KY 56, about 7 miles southeast of Morganfield.
Grant County, Curtis Gates Lloyd WMA: Directions – Take Crittenden exit off I-75 and follow U.S. 25 south to KY 491, turn left across railroad tracks, then right on Wildlife Road.
Green County: From Greensburg, take U.S. 68 south for 7.3 miles to a right onto KY 218 for 2.1 miles, then left onto Roy Bagby Road to a field at the end of road on the right.
McCracken County, Clark’s River National Wildlife Refuge: Mentor-Youth Hunts Sept. 5 and 6; opens to public hunting on Sept. 7. Directions – From Symsonia, take KY 131 north for a little over 2 miles to fields on left marked by signs. Note: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved non-toxic shot is required for all dove hunting on this area.
Mercer County: From Bluegrass Parkway exit 59 near the Anderson/Mercer county line, take U.S. 127 south to Lower Clay Lick Rd. for 0.5 mile. Follow signs to parking area.
Information regarding dove hunting and publicly-accessible fields is contained within the 2015-2016 Kentucky Hunting Guide for Dove, Wood Duck, Teal, Woodcock, Snipe and Crow. This guide is available online at fw.ky.gov. Printed copies of the guide will be available later this month.
Dove hunters must fill out the HIP Migratory Bird Survey before going hunting. This brief, 5-minute survey is available online at fw.ky.gov. Click the “My Profile” tab to begin.