Each year, WRD works hard to plant public dove fields for Georgia hunters. The big question this year is how has all the rain affected these fields. In some cases the water has slowed cutting and burning. However, other fields are right on schedule and should have plenty of feed in the fields.
The following is a list of free public dove fields. Many of the fields listed are quota only, and the application to apply for these hunts has already passed. Some shoots are adult/child only, and some of those are quota only.
However, a good number of these fields will be open to the public on opening-day afternoon. Plus, some of the opening-day quota areas will be open after Sept. 7.
IMPORTANT! Before you hunt any public-land dove field, check the hunting regulations to confirm that the field is open to hunting.
Region 1, (706) 295-6041
Rain has affected some of the northwest WMAs, but others seem to be in great shape.
Berry College WMA: 30 acres in wheat and sunflower. Outlook is fair.
Crockford Pigeon Mountain WMA: 100 acres in corn and sunflower. Outlook is fair.
J.L. Lester WMA: 16 acres in corn and millet. Outlook is fair. Adult/child.
McGraw Ford WMA: 9 acres in millet and sunflower. WRD Biologist Adam Hammond said, “The field is in poor condition, especially after all the rain, which flooded the field and laid down much of the vegetation.”
Pine Log Mtn. WMA: 50 acres in sunflower. Adam reports, “I’ve heard great things about the outlook on this dove field this year.”
Region 2, (770) 535-5700
WRD Biologist Kevin Lowrey said all the rain has been a blessing and a curse. “It has hindered getting equipment into some fields, which resulted in late planting,” said Kevin. “Once planted, the rain has certainly helped grow some great crops. Now that it is time to manipulate fields, the rain is a again making that process difficult.”
Dawson Forest WMA: 12 acres in millet, corn, buckwheat and sorghum. Outlook is good. This field was planted a little earlier than the rest of the region. WRD technicians are seeing good numbers of dove in the area.
Hart County WMA: 10 acres in millet. Planted late due to the rain. WRD was hoping it would mature by the season opener. Outlook is poor.
Wilson Shoals WMA: 17 acres in millet. Planted late due to the rain. WRD was hoping it would mature by the season opener. Outlook is poor. Adult/child. Quota.
Region 3, (706) 595-4222
WRD Wildlife Biologist I.B. Parnell reports, “Up to this point, our personnel have been able to stay on schedule as far as field management is concerned. Our next step will be to do some mowing and burning between now and opening day. The fields have been sprayed, and most of our firebreaks are cut, so now we need enough sunshine to allow us to get into the fields for mowing and burning in final prep for opening day.”
Alexander WMA: 45 acres in wheat and sunflower. Outlook is good. Quota.
Clark Hill WMA: 22 acres in wheat. Outlook is fair. Quota.
Di-Lane WMA Dove Field 1: 65 acres in wheat and sunflower. Outlook is good. Quota.
Di-Lane WMA Dove Field 2: 65 acres in wheat, sunflower. Outlook is good. Adult/child. Quota.
Lower Broad River WMA: 14 acres in wheat. Outlook is fair. Quota.
McDuffie PFA: 10 acres in wheat. Outlook is fair.
Oconee WMA: 20 acres in wheat. Outlook is fair. Quota.
Redlands WMA: 55 acres in sunflower, wheat and millet. Outlook is fair. Adult/child. Quota.
Walton Public Dove Field: 40 acres in sunflower, millet and wheat. Outlook is good. Adult/child. Quota.
Region 4, (478) 825-6354
Region Supervisor Kevin Kramer said dove-field manipulations are under way, even with the rainy conditions. “Most fields have been or are in the process this week (Aug. 19) of beginning mowing and/or burning treatments. This year should be a better year than last year based upon observations of the number of dove currently using the dove fields,” said Kevin.
“Our wildlife technicians have prepared a new field for hunting this year, Standing Boy, and expanded the planting of sunflowers on most fields. The results of their efforts will be evident to everyone.
“All dove fields have restricted access on Sept. 7. No one may enter the dove field or place any blinds or equipment in a field before 10 a.m. on that day. There are no restrictions on subsequent hunt dates in the season that begin 30 minutes before sunrise.”
Blanton Creek WMA: 33 acres in wheat. Outlook is good. Quota.
Cedar Creek WMA: 45 acres in millet, wheat and sunflower. Outlook is fair.
Clybel WMA: 91 acres in millet and sunflower. Outlook is excellent. Quota.
Perry Dove Field: 62 acres in sunflower and millet. Outlook is good.
Joe Kurz WMA: 120 acres in sorghum, millet and sunflowers. Outlook is fair.
Rum Creek WMA: 37 acres in millet, sunflower and sorghum. Outlook is good. Quota.
Standing Boy Creek Tract: 25 acres in millet. Outlook is fair.
West Point WMA: 20 acres in wheat and millet. Outlook is good.
Region 5, (229) 430-4254
Region Supervisor John Denton reports, “The rain has seriously delayed our dove-field manipulations, but as soon as we get a chance, we are going to get after it. If we had done this early in the month, the seed would have sprouted, and the availability of seed for the dove shoots would be much worse. I feel that it will be good for the hunts that we have held off until this point.”
Albany Nursery WMA: 29 acres in wheat. Outlook is excellent. Quota.
Chickasawhatchee WMA: 33 acres in millet. Outlook is good. Quota.
Elmodel WMA: 123 acres in sorghum, millet, sunflower and corn. Outlook is fair.
Flint River WMA: 15 acres in sorghum. Outlook is poor.
Hannahatchee WMA: 17 acres in millet. Outlook is fair.
River Creek WMA: 30 acres in millet and sunflower. Outlook is fair. Adult/child. Quota.
Region 6, (229) 426-5267
Region Supervisor Chris Baumann said, “I can’t stress enough appreciation to the farm staff and commissioner of the Department of Corrections for our new partnership in offering dove-hunting opportunity on prison farm lands in Toombs and Tattnall counties. It is a great step toward increasing hunting opportunity in south Georgia, particularly for dove hunting, which is a great way to introduce youth to hunting.”
Maps to these new fields will be available at www.gohuntgeorgia.com.
Appling County Dove Field: 92 acres in corn and millet. Outlook is fair. Rain has impacted the farmer’s ability to plant millet. The corn is cut, but much of it is sprouting along with weeds due to the heavy amount of rain. It will be difficult to get back into the field to manipulate it at this point.
Dixon Memorial WMA: 40 acres in millet, corn and sorghum. Outlook is fair.
Indian Ford Farm: 100 acres in corn. Outlook is good. Adult/child. Quota. Very wet, and having difficulty accessing corn to harvest due to heavy rains and mud. The birds are around and should be a good hunt by the second Saturday of the season.
Paradise PFA: 50 acres in corn and peanuts. Outlook is good. Adult/child.
River Bend WMA: 16 acres in millet and sunflower. Outlook is good. Have a good number of birds now, but fields are relatively small.
Rogers State Prison Farm: 729 acres in corn. Outlook is fair. “There is a tremendous amount of opportunity here,” said Chris. “The sheer size of the fields makes them difficult to hunt without a large number of hunters. Last year the fields were lightly utilized, so it is a great place to go hunting and bring some friends. Like everywhere else, rain is hampering their ability to harvest the corn, but with this many acres, there shouldn’t be a problem finding a place to hunt. Keep in mind this is a working farm, so there are not cover strips, etc., for hunters to hide in.”
Region 7, (912) 262-3173
Region Supervisor David Mixon said, “Both of our dove-field areas are in a similar condition. The overabundance of rain caused us not to be able to get back into the fields while at the same time leached out what fertilizer we had put initially. The results are lower seed production and fields that may be difficult to manipulate until they dry out.”
Altamaha WMA: 15 acres in sunflowers, sorghum and millet. Outlook is fair.
Penholoway WMA: 20 acres in sorghum and millet. Outlook is fair.