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Outdoor roundup: Pheasant and dove season open tomorrow

November 09, 2001|By AL KALIN, Special to this newspaper

Dove season starts Saturday at sunrise and pheasant season opens a few hours later at 8 a.m.

Dove continued to move into the area last week as cold weather in the northern part of the state pushed the birds south. The dove are concentrating in pockets throughout the Valley. Be sure to check the brushy areas along the Alamo and New rivers as well as the desert edges. Dove like to key on sunflowers and any wheat stubble left from last season.

Be sure you leave a fully feathered wing on your doves for identification purposes and remember the limit is 10 per day and 20 in possession.

Ground doves are illegal to shoot. They are half the size of mourning dove and fly close to the ground. The undersides of their wings are orange and visible as orange flashes when in flight. They have short tail feathers.


One of the ground dove species, the Inca dove, is quite common this time of the year. The reason I mention this is because Mr. Inca dove sports longer tail feathers than the other species of ground dove and looks similar to an immature mourning dove. It will cost you $282 if you shoot one by mistake.

Although common throughout the Valley, the highest concentrations of pheasants are in the south end of our valley. Few fields are open to the public, though, and a fee must be paid to the farmer for permission to hunt.

My friend Keith wanted me to remind you that only two cock pheasant can be taken the first two days of the season and then three per day thereafter. Be sure to leave the head attached to satisfy the game warden.

Not much is going on as far as waterfowl is concerned. Hunters at Wister last week averaged .6 birds per hunter on Saturday and a dismal .2 birds for Sunday. So far only 200 white geese have arrived at the Wister Unit where nearly 600 acres of wheat, rye grass and clover have been planted to feed the geese during the winter.

At Unit One on Vendell Road west of Westmorland, more than 3,000 white geese have arrived and are starting to feed on fields of nut grass, sand burrs, malva, goose foot, pig wee and water grass badly infested with wheat, barley, rye grass and clover.

Duck clubs surrounding Unit One reported taking more snow and Ross geese than ducks last week.

Deer season opened Saturday. Large numbers of deer are present and there is little hunting pressure. That's the good news. The bad news is there is so much food available from the generous summer rains, the deer are spread out and hard to find.

According to state Fish & Game Warden Lt. Joe Brana, the alfalfa fields along the desert edge near Palo Verde were heavily hunted and accounted for four bucks taken last week. One buck was taken near Ogilby and one near Mammoth Wash. No deer have been reported taken from the Cargo Muchacho Mountains.

The largest mule deer reported so far was a three by three point buck with a 17-inch spread.

Leon Lesicka, founder of Desert Wildlife Unlimited, returned from a scouting trip in the desert east of the Valley on Tuesday afternoon and reported seeing 15 deer, of which six were bucks.

Corvina have been scarcer than mule deer.

>> If you would like to report your catch, Al Kalin can be reached on the Internet at

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