Dove Hunting Guide
California’s dove season opens Thursday
Sept. 1st marks the traditional start of California’s hunting season and typically brings together multiple generations of family and friends to participate in one of California’s most anticipated hunting seasons of the year.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has prepared crop fields at many of its most popular wildlife areas throughout the state to attract doves and provide productive dove hunting opportunities for the public.
All of CDFW’S most popular wildlife areas for dove hunting will be open to the public during the first half of the dove season, which extends from Sept. 1 through 15, 2022. The season will be closed from Sept. 16 through Nov. 11, and then open again from Nov. 12 through Dec. 26.
Food plots planted for dove typically consist of wheat, safflower or sunflower. The food and habitat benefit a variety of different bird and wildlife species throughout the year beyond dove. Drought conditions may have impacted crop production in fields that weren’t irrigated. Preseason scouting is strongly encouraged where allowed.
CDFW areas planted with crops and open to public dove hunting Sept. 1 in Imperial Valley wildlife areas, and the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve.
Southern California’s Imperial Valley offers some of the best dove hunting found anywhere in the nation. Imperial County provides additional public hunting opportunities on various fields planted with agricultural crops to attract doves.
CDFW also offers a number of special dove hunts throughout the first and second dove seasons on public and private land through a lottery on its Online License Sales and Services website. Descriptions of these hunts are available at CDFW’S Upland
Game Wild Bird Hunts and SHARE Program pages on their website.
Due to safeguards and limitations necessitated by COVID-19, CDFW asks all hunters to please respect physical distancing from other hunters and adhere to all site-specific rules and regulations.
Hunters who encounter a banded bird are asked to report it to the U.S.
Geological Survey Bird Banding
Lab (reportband.gov). Banded birds are part of important biological monitoring and reporting of bands completes the process. After reporting, hunters will receive a certificate of appreciation identifying the general capture location, estimated age of the bird and other information.
For more information, call the local CDFW offices at (760) 3590577