Dove Hunting Guide

2019 yuma area dove hunting season events

- By Jean Wilson

With the endless variety of fun-to-do dove events going on in Yuma during the early dove season in addition to the great hunting opportunit­ies, we don’t need to wonder what to do once we’ve harvested our limit of doves for the day, have gotten back home or wherever we’re hanging out at, have cleaned the doves and have them cool and ready for the cooking, the trick will be in keeping track of our non-hunt events to include as much of everything that is going on without leaving anything undone. Following are some reminders of the fun stuff going on this dove season:

13th Annual Mike Mitchell Memorial Dove Hunter’s Barbecue

4:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31

at the Yuma Civic Center

This great event hosted by the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club/Southwest Wildlife Foundation being held at the Yuma Civic Center, 1440 Desert Hills Dr. will open doors at 4:30 p.m. that Saturday followed by the delicious dinner starting at 6 p.m. Bring your whole family for a great evening of good food, fun times and try your hand to win Guns ‘N Gear ‘N More. There will be a live auction, silent auction, games and raffles going throughout the evening with all proceeds benefiting youth and wildlife conservati­on efforts. Meal tickets are $25 with youngsters (12 & under) $10. If you have enough people for tables ― for 8 meals plus $200 in raffle tickets, 1 2019 membership and 1 red ticket, the cost is $600; for 8 meals with $400 in raffle tickets, 1 2019 family membership and 3-red tickets $800.

Annual Pre-Season Shoot

7 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Adair Park Trap & Skeet Range Get your last-minute practice for your hunt in at the Trap Matches being held by the Yuma Trap and Skeet Club at the Adair Park range beginning at 7 a.m. and continuing as long as there are enough shooters for a squad. Entry fee is $5 each match, however the winner of each squad will receive $15 cash. The range is located north east of Yuma approximat­ely 15 miles north east of Yuma, the first range on the right at the Adair Park shooting facility. Not only will you get in that much needed practice in safely but also all proceeds will benefit the Youth Scholastic Clay Target Program that is very active always with the club and with assistance from experience­d Arizona Game and Fish Shooting Instructor­s.

31st Annual Big Dove Breast Contest at Sprague’s Sports Shop

Sunday, Sept. 1 - Sunday, Sept. 15

345 W. 32nd St. next to Lowe’s

If you need a hunt license and bird stamp along with something to sit on while waiting in the early morning for the doves to fly and an ice chest to keep the harvested doves cool while in the field, my bet is Sprague’s will have it. Even if you have everything on your list, it will be worth your while to take a run to Sprague’s for the “Big Dove Breast Contest” going on along with some great raffles and giveaways the first couple of days of the early season. You don’t need to sign in prior to the hunt. Sign in and weigh your biggest dove breast for the contest (leaving one wing attached) after the hunt ― who knows, you could be a winner of a nice prize. Richard does his best to be very generous with hunters who come visit the store, so be sure to plan a stop there.

6th Annual Clint Curry Memorial Youth Dove Hunt

5 a.m., Monday, Sept. 2 at the Mellon Farm in Dome Valley This great event is offered free to all youngsters ages 10-16 who can safely handle a shotgun. All youth must be accompanie­d by a parent or responsibl­e adult. Mentors will be on site to assist new hunters. The Arizona Game and Fish personnel will also be on site with $5 youth licenses available for purchase if needed. Sign up begins at 4:30 a.m. prior to the hunt that will end at 10 a.m. with a great lunch after the hunt put together for everyone present. Directions to the farm from east Interstate 8, after Telegraph Pass, take the Ligurta Exit west to Avenue 21E and turn left to County 8th Street. Turn left again to Avenue.

19E where you’ll turn right to County 6th Street (about 1 mile). The "Tractor on Stick" will be on the southwest corner. Turn left to Mellon Farms. Sign up at the bright light.

Annual Jim Breck memorial Dove Derby for members of YVRGC

8 a.m., Monday, Sept. 2 at Smucker Park - Ramada 15 Everything is about the same as other years ― still at Smucker Park at Ramada #15. You’ll still have to get back with your limit by 9 a.m. no later than Monday to get in on all the raffles and prizes plus the great lunch. It’s all free as long as you are a Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club member but you must sign up no later than noon on Aug. 31 if you haven’t done so already (you can do that at Sprague's, too) or call Bill Roosma at 503-6392 for all the details.

Dove Cook-Off Contest and Pint Night

7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 at The Pint House Bar & Grill

It will all begin at 7 p.m. that evening at the Pint House in downtown Yuma (265 S. Main St.) this year hosted by Arizona Back Country Hunters and Anglers.

org. If you are interested in getting into the Cook-off Contest contact them now at arizona@backcountr­yhuntersan­danglers. org for informatio­n and to sign up for a $1,200 prize package from Traeger including a Pro573 Grill if you should turn out to be a winner. As I mentioned in my Yuma Outdoors Sunday column (sports section) I’ve run across too much misinforma­tion this year (old news) in Yuma about this dove cook-off but it definitely will be at the Pint House. I’m told it will be held at their back patio, in downtown Yuma on Sept. 7. Should be a really fun evening for everyone.

Play in the River

While you are here in Yuma you might enjoy taking a swim to cool off and play in the water. Our beautiful Gateway Park at the Colorado River ― take 1st Street east from downtown and follow the signs to take advantage of all that Yuma has accomplish­ed at the river bank that includes plenty of grass and beach areas with shaded cabanas and cooking grills and even a playground for the youngsters. You can even take a swim at the river below Pivit Point hotel on Madison Ave. turning north from 1st Street as you head west from downtown to the river. Park in the parking lot at the east side of Pivot Point and walk down the steps to the park to head for the water. It has taken years for Yuma to undertake everything they’ve accomplish­ed at the riverbank so take advantage of some R&R at our riverfront ― you’ll enjoy it.

Go Fishing

If your plan is to do something different while you’re here, be aware that there are several species of fish ― largemouth bass, stripers, channel and flathead catfish as well as bluegill and sunfish at all the various water areas along the Colorado River from the north and east on down to Yuma. Check in at The Hideaway on east 16th Street for anything you might need for that fishing fun ― they can even direct you to where a good location would be to toss in your line. In addition to all the fishing goodies at The Hideaway, there is also an abundant supply of fishing supplies at all the WalMart stores in Yuma and Sportsmen’s Warehouse in the Palms Plaza off east 16th Street. and Pacific Avenue to find what you might need to hook a fish. Good places to drop a line in town are at East and West Wetlands ponds ― you’ll find East Wetlands just east of Gateway Park downtown, with West Wetlands located off west 1st Street just past Avenue A (turn right at the West Wetlands sign. If you want to drive east out of Yuma to Avenue 7E you’ll turn left and drive a ways watching for the Fortuna Pond sign to your right. Drive east on the levee road to the pond. Or by continuing on 7E you’ll get to Mittry Lake once you leave the paved road and travel on the dirt road. Mittry Lake has a series of jetties to fish off as well as a great boat dock to either fish from or to launch a boat. We also have Martinez Lake by traveling past Yuma Proving Ground on Highway 95 to the Martinez Lake turn off. You’ll find a great boat launch and Fisher’s Landing at Martinez Lake as well as the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Recreation Area (if you’re military) that is equipped with cabins and boating areas, all well worth investigat­ing.

Whatever you choose to do in Yuma, we’re glad you came to visit. Hope you enjoyed your stay. Hope we’ll see you next year when we ‘do it again.’

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