Doves banded for research project

Mourning doves are a common sight during the warm summer months, and you can even hear them calling. But have you ever wondered how many doves there are? Biologists with the Nevada Department of Wildlife have joined researchers across the country to gather data they hope will answer that question.

For decades, biologists have tried a variety of methods for collecting data on dove populations. But perhaps the best tool for determining the dove’s status is the use of banding, said Craig Mortimore, an NDOW biologist.

In 2008, NDOW joined a nationwide dove banding initiative, in which data was collected on each captured bird that was then released back into the wild.

This year, volunteers provided a hand. In Southern Nevada, the dove capture was completed by volunteers in Boulder City, Henderson and Pahrump.

“The goal of this banding project is to collect data that will help managers understand the status of doves,” said Matt Jeffress, an NDOW game biologist.

Hunters who harvest a dove fitted with a leg band are asked to report the band number to the U.S. Geological Service’s Bird Banding Lab using the Web site or phone number stamped on the band.


Free Range Day scheduled for Aug. 29

Las Vegas area hunters who need to sight-in their rifles before the fall hunting season should mark Aug. 29 on their calendars. That is the day the Nevada Department of Wildlife will offer a Free Range Day at the Desert Sportsman’s Rifle and Pistol Club, 12201 W. Charleston Blvd.

“We started this annual event several years ago so hunters could have a place where they can safely and legally sight-in their firearms. Through the years, it has proven to be a popular event among hunters and other recreational shooters,” said Doug Nielsen, Conservation Education Supervisor for NDOW.

As co-host for the event, the Desert Sportsman’s Rifle and Pistol Club has reserved its 300-yard range for the day. Shooters will sight their firearms in first at 25 yards and then at 100 yards. Interested sportsmen must reserve a shooting time by contacting Martin Olson, NDOW hunter education coordinator. He can be reached at 486-5127, ext. 3501.

Range officers and NDOW hunter education instructors will be on hand to ensure safety procedures are followed and to provide assistance to those who need it. Range time and targets are provided free of charge. Shooting will begin at 8 a.m. and run through 5 p.m. There will be a maximum of 20 shooters per hour, and each shooter will be able to reserve at least one hour of range time.


Fall turkey hunt applications available

Hunters interested in bagging a wild turkey this fall can apply for a hunting tag online at Huntnevada.com. The application went live Monday.

An open-quota, 21-day season will run Oct. 5-25 in Lyon County, but will not include the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area. The season will be open to both resident and nonresident hunters.

Meanwhile, there will be three 10-day seasons on the Mason Valley WMA. They will run Oct. 5-14, Oct.15-24, and Oct. 25-Nov. 3. Ten resident tags and one nonresident tag will be available for each of these seasons.

Two 10-day seasons — Oct. 5-14 and Oct. 15-24 — also will take place at the Overton Wildlife Management Area, with five resident tags available each season.

Applications must be submitted online or via a postal service no later than 5 p.m. Sept. 4. Results will be posted by Sept. 18.

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