Dove Hunting


Hunt-Talk-Radio

Hunt Talk Radio
EP 039: 3:10 to Yuma

Randy and Jonathan O'Dell talk about small game hunting as a gateway drug to a lifetime addiction we call hunting, squirrel cook-offs, best squirrel meat, dove taxonomy, dove recipes, Hank Shaw as our small game cooking mentor, history of small game hunting, best hunting options for the urban hunter, Yuma AZ as dove Capitol of America, and why Randy is craving more dove tacos.

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2016-2017 Dove Hunting Season

The 2016-2017 Dove Hunting Season kicks off on Thursday September 1st at 1/2 hour before sunrise and runs through Thursday September 15th at sunset. 2016-2017 legal season dates:

  • Sept 1st through Sept. 15th - Any Mourning or White-winged Dove
  • Nov. 25th through Jan. 8th, 2017 - Any Mourning Dove
  • Year round - Eurasion Collared Dove (unlimited bag limit)

1
The Island Unit

  • 8 square mile area that lies on the California side of the Colorado River Northeast of Downtown Yuma.
  • Three of the 8 miles are Quechan Indian Tribal Land and requires a tribal hunting permit.
  • Typically accessed via the Colorado River Levee heading East, directly south of Paradise Casino.

2
Gila Valley

  • Huntable portions of the Gila Valley are located in the large Valley north of the Yuma area, lying East of the Colorado River, North of Interstate 8, West of Highway 95 and South of Mittry Lake and the Laguna Mountains.
  • Primary access points include:
    • From the South - Highway 95 and the Gila Gravity Canal (just west of the traffic light at Highway 95 and Fortuna Road) OR From Foothills Blvd (Exit 11 off I-8). Travel North on Foothills Blvd. It will turn into a dirt road called "Hank's Highway" by locals providing access to Fortuna Wash.
    • From the East - Highway 95 turn West along the Wellton-Mohwak canal (just south of the Gila River and Highway 95) OR From Highway 95 west along a dirt road just on the south side of the Gila River
    • From the West - There are a variety of dirt/farm roads accessing the Gila Valley along 7E north of Highway 95. The primary road being the big levee road that runs east and west along an irrigation canal. Look for a brown sign with white letters directing you to Fortuna Pond. This sign marks the "big levee road". Another access point would be along County 6th, look for a brown sign with white letters pointing to Redondo Pond. If you pass the pond and continue east, you will intersect the Gila Gravity Canal that runs through the heart of the Gila Valley. Access can also be obtained by turning east County 5th Street and continuing past the landfill to the intersection of the Gila Gravity Canal.
    • From the North - From Imperial Dam Road just east of Hidden Shores there is a dirt road running south along the west side of the Gila Gravity Canal. This road is marked by a brown sign with white letters directing you towards Mittry Lake. This road will eventually intersect the Laguna Dam Road south of Mittry Lake and will then turn into 7E.

3
South County/Mesa

  • The Mesa and South Mesa areas South of Yuma are the land lying between County 5E to the East, Ave A to the West, County 12th Street to the North, and County 22nd to the South.

4
Yuma Valley

  • A broad area West and Southwest of Yuma and lies in the Colorado River floodplain.
  • Primarily comprised of agricultural fields used for growing produce such as lettuce and other leafy greens.
  • 95 percent of the land is private yet access is generally accepted as long as postings are observed and hunters don't intrude into the fields themselves.
  • Extensive canal systems can provide good water sources that can draw birds.
  • Additionally there is a ‘Drain' system that moves water away from the fields that is heavily grown with brush that provides food, water, and cover for migratory birds.

5
East County

  • The County extends east along interstate 8 to exit 78, Spot Rd., offering many dove hunting areas.
  • Exit 78 head south, several farms are surrounded by BLM and State land. Immediately south of the Double Diamond Ranch is the Barry M. Goldwater Range and access into this area is restricted.
  • At exit 73, Aztec, you'll see a dairy operation that attracts many doves. There are shooting opportunities north and south of Interstate 8. Explore for flyways from surrounding washes on BLM lands. If traveling north, turn east along the frontage road to explore for flyways coming from the drainages and don't shoot towards the highway.
  • Exit 67, Dateland, travel south to the Gila River bottom. In addition, you can travel south to the Hyder Rd. (Plamosa- Antelope Rd.) about 14 miles and turn east for about 4 miles and turn north on the BLM 25 Rd. You can find flyways leading into the Whitewing Farm.
  • Exit 54, Mohawk Mountain Pass, travel north on 52E Ave to the Gila River levee rd. (BLM 4277 Rd.) about 5.5 miles and turn east and along the Gila River bottom. Note: north of the levee rd. primarily comprises of agricultural fields used for growing produce such as lettuce and other leafy greens. Access is generally accepted as long as postings are observed and hunters don't intrude into the fields themselves. If you turn west along BLM 4277 Rd. you can find many dove roosts and flyways along the way back to Yuma.
  • Texas Hill, on County 1st St and 55E Ave, the area provides food, water, and cover for migratory birds. Many different farms operate in the area; observe posted areas. There is an abundance of public lands surrounding the farms.
  • Exit 42, Tacna, travel north about 2.5-3 miles and turn west into the Quigley Wildlife Area (see below for more information). If you past County 5th St, you have gone too far.
  • North frontage rd. (Old Hwy 80) west about 3 miles and you'll see a citrus orchard between 39E Ave and 38E Ave. Scout the surrounding area for homes and do not shoot within a 1/4 mile of homes or into the orchard. That orange may be the one you eat down the road someday.
  • South on 38E Ave over the Mohawk Canal and past the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation Drainage District's overflow drainage has good flyways coming in from the desert. Avoid hunting the overflow drainage; there are several homes and businesses immediately south.
  • Exit 30, Wellton, travel north to BLM 4253 Rd. turn east or west. Many desert drainages (BLM) provide excellent opportunities to find flyways leading to the southern farm fields. If you travel east or west along the Gila River levee road, observe farm postings and homes.

6
Dome Valley

  • From Interstate 8, Exit 21 (Ligurta) and travel east about 1.5 miles to 20E Ave and turn north about a mile. At the Wellton-Mohawk Canal levee road or just past that the Gila River levee road, turn east or west to find dove flyways leading to the surrounding farms.
  • From SR.95, travel about 8 miles north from the Fortuna Rd. junction turn east on County 3rd St. You'll see the Muggins Mountain range (primarily BLM) immediate east of Dome Valley. This range provides cover for dove in the drainages leading into the valley. You pick up the BLM 4253 Rd. also known as County 8 1/2 St. heading east at 22 E Ave and County 8th St.
  • From the Fortuna Rd. junction, travel north about 6.5 miles to the Wellton-Mohawk Canal north or south levee rd. and travel east. This route will parallel the Gila River to the 20E Avenue junction.

7
Quigley Wildlife Area

  • The Quigley Wildlife Area is a 612-acre property managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Dept. and located within the Gila River floodplain approximately 40 miles east of Yuma (north of I-8 exiting at Ave 40E). In 2015 parts of the typically idle farmland on the property were planted with grain crops which could provide an excellent opportunity for dove hunters if they're willing to travel the short distance from Yuma.

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