Hunter Help Requested

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Bob Wise, Governor
Ed Hamrick, Director

News Release
For release: August 2, 2004



Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380 hmurphy@dnr.state.wv.us

Contact: Curtis Taylor , Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771 wildlife@dnr.state.wv.us



Hunter Help Requested for Migratory Game Bird Study


West Virginia , along with 25 other states, is again participating in a nationwide mourning dove banding study. This is the second year of a 3-year study. The objectives of the study are to determine mourning dove harvest rates, estimate annual survival, provide information on the geographical distribution of the harvest and develop and refine techniques for a future dove banding program.



Mourning doves are some of the most widely distributed and abundant birds in North America . Mourning doves are also a popular game bird hunted in 39 of the lower 48 states, and more are harvested than all other migratory bird species combined.



Due to the importance of the mourning dove as a migratory game bird, wildlife managers need more information to guide harvest management decisions. Information on dove survival and harvest rates is the key to understanding the effects of annual hunting regulations on mourning dove populations. Banding is one of the most important tools used to obtain this information. Birds are marked with metal leg bands containing a unique number and a toll free telephone number that hunters can use to report the band. In return, wildlife managers receive important information on the location and date of harvest, which can be used to estimate survival rates, harvest rates, and distribution of harvest.



More than 85,000 doves will be banded during the 3-year study in these 26 states. Mourning doves are captured in wire ground traps baited with grain or sunflower seeds. Doves frequent agricultural fields, bare earth, or gravel areas to obtain food and grit. These locations make excellent areas to capture doves. Doves are removed from the traps and their age and sex determined based upon color and patterns of feather replacement and wear.



The hunter is a critical link in this mourning dove banding study. By reporting your banded doves you help manage this important migratory bird resource. If you harvest a banded mourning dove, please call 1-800-327-BAND (2263) to report it. Banded birds may also be reported online at www.pwrc.usgs.gov . Select “Bird Banding Lab.” Hunters can keep the bands and will be provided a certificate identifying the age, sex, date and location the bird was banded.
 

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