FAST `N' FURIOUS WEATHER'S IDEAL AS DOVE HUNTERS PREPARE FOR OPENING OF SEASON.
Byline: Keith Lair Staff Writer
Monrovia's Tom Loy and thousands of fellow dove hunting enthusiasts know the numbers: eight days and counting, 34 percent more birds have been forecast from the previous year and 48 percent more than the average for the past 10 years.
Now, all California shooters need is more cooperation from the weather.
``The shooting is fast and furious,'' said Loy, who will make his traditional trip to the Imperial Valley next week. ``There's nothing like this.''
The state-wide season, which is the traditional bird-hunting opener, begins Friday, Sept. 1 and will continue until Sept. 15. A second 45-day season begins Nov. 11. The bag limit is 10 doves per day in the aggregate, including mourning and white-winged dove white-winged dove
A large gray American dove (Zenaida asiatica) having a patch of white on each wing. , with a total possession limit of 20 birds following two or more days of hunting. Spotted and ringed turtle doves turtle doves
adoring couple, building their nest. [O.T.: Song of Songs 2:12]
See : Lovers, Famous
“voice of the turtle is heard.” [O.T.: Song of Songs 2:12]
See : Spring are also allowed, but common ground, ruddy ground and Inca dove (Zool.) a small dove (Scardafella inca), native of Arizona, Lower California, and Mexico.
See also: Inca are prohibited.
The weather, Department of Fish and Game biologists in Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino San Bernardino, city, United States
San Bernardino (săn bûr'nədē`nō), city (1990 pop. 164,164), seat of San Bernardino co., S Calif., at the foot of the San Bernardino Mts.; inc. 1854. counties say, has been nearly ideal. There have been no monsoons, a weather condition with a lot of lightning, high winds and sideways rain, and Imperial County biologist Nancy Andrews says the southeastern corner of the state has had only a few windstorms, but doves have remained in the area.
``We're expecting a good opener,'' Andrews said. ``In some spots, you might get 200 people standing around a field, but there should be plenty of opportunities. It should be the best we've had in a couple of years.''
The biologists credit excellent spring conditions for the upturn in doves. This year's numbers are the best in the past 10 years.
``We had one of our best spring dove counts,'' Andrews said. ``We had quite a few white-wings.''
Doves feed primarily on seeds and grain. They roost in trees or shrub thickets and feed in open scrub areas, usually in the morning and the evening. They are a game bird that needs water every day, too. But when the temperature goes below 70 degrees they usually flee to warmer climes in Mexico or Arizona.
And with the lack of rain and monsoons, dove will likely be found only in irrigated areas this year.
``Good luck looking in the desert,'' Andrews said. ``There's nothing to eat. There's no quail, either. It will be tough.''
Scouting for dove generally can only be done a day or two before the start of the season, Riverside County biologist Gerald Mulcahy says.
``The farmers are pretty cooperative, but you won't know where to hunt until those who do not want hunters post no hunting signs a day or two before the season,'' he said.
Hunters are losing places to shoot, he says, because of the failure to pick up their shells.
``They need to pick up their holes,'' he said. ``If they don't, the farmer's balers pick them up, the farmers sell the bales for feed and the cows eat it and become diseased.''
Here's where biologists expect hunters to have their best shots in Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, :
Andrews expects the best spots to be in the Valley, where there is wheat fields and its stubble. She says areas along the All American, East Highline and Coachella canals are all excellent. So is the east side of the Salton Sea Salton Sea (sôl`tən), saline lake, 370 sq mi (958 sq km), northern part of the Imperial Valley, SE Calif.; 232 ft (71 m) below sea level. , especially in the Imperial Wildlife Area.
``At this point, anywhere with seeds is excellent,'' she said. ``You just have to find fields with not too many hunters.''
The area is large and has a lot of farming fields. The All American Canal The American Canal is an irrigation canal in the Upper Rio Grande Valley near El Paso, Texas. The canal acquires water from the Rio Grande from the American Diversion Dam at the Texas-New Mexico-Mexico border, 2 miles northwest of El Paso. runs from the Colorado River Colorado River
River, south-central Argentina. Its major headstreams, the Grande and Barrancas rivers, flow southward from the Andes Mountains and meet to form the Colorado near the Chilean border. It flows southeastward across northern Patagonia and the southern Pampas. near Winterhaven 60 miles to the west in El Centro El Centro (ĕl sĕn`trō), city (1990 pop. 31,384), seat of Imperial co., SE Calif., near the Mexican border; inc. 1908. It is a processing and shipping center for a heavily irrigated agricultural region (vegetables, grain, cotton, . The East Highline Canal shoots off the All American Canal northeast of Calapatria, and brush zones along the East Mesa, which runs parallel to th canal, about a 50 mile distance.
``We go there every year,'' Loy said. ``There is always a good influx of doves in that area.''
There are generally two hot dove areas, Palo Verdes, just south of Blythe, and the Coachella Valley Coachella Valley (kō'əchĕl`ə), arid region, SE Calif., N of the Salton Sea. Water is brought into the region by artesian wells and by the Coachella Canal (123 mi/198 km long), a branch of the All-American Canal built between 1938 and , between Indio and the Salton Sea.
The melon and wheat fields that have been plowed under are where doves currently are, Mulcahy says.
``Overall, the farmers have been cooperative, but some do post their fields,'' he said. ``But there are still a lot of areas.''
Mulcahy said hunters new to the area will have to scout fields on the Wednesday or Thursday before the opener, and not to expect a hotel room; everything's been booked for nearly a year.
To the west, Andrews says the fields of the Coachella Valley between Indio and Mecca are also very good. Areas between Desert Hot Springs and Indio; the Orocopia Mountains The Orocopia Mountains are located in Riverside County in southern California, USA, north of the Salton Sea. The range lies in an east-west direction, and is approximately 18 miles long. ; Dillon Road in the Coachella Valley; Dawson Canyon, south of Lake Mathews Lake Mathews is a large reservoir in Riverside County, California, located in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. It is the western terminus for the Colorado River Aqueduct that provides much of the water used by the cities and water districts of the Metropolitan Water ; French Valley, south of Winchester; San Jacinto San Jacinto, river, c.130 mi (210 km) long, rising in SE Texas as the West Fork and flowing S to Galveston Bay. Its chief tributary is Buffalo Bayou, and both the bayou and the lower river are used for the Houston ship channel. Valley; and the Hemet area, have all yielded dove in the past, DFG DFG Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council)
DFG Department of Fish and Game
DFG District Factor Group
DFG Data Flow Graph
DFG Difference Frequency Generation
DFG Diode Function Generator
DFG Dog Faced Gremlin biologists say.
San Bernardino County
Dove are not as plentiful as in the other counties, but they're still there, says DFG biologist Andy Pauli.
``Its not the hot spots hot spots
acute moist dermatitis. like down south, but there are good numbers,'' he said.
The best spot may be along the Mojave River, just north of Victorville, but Pauli says most of the fields have posted no hunting signs. Otherwise, Pauli suggests hunters try the fields near Yermo, which is just east of Barstow.
``You might see a lot of doves, but they're just hard to get at,'' he says.
Opens: Sept. 1
Ends: Sept. 15
Limit: 10 doves per day, total of 20 over two or more days
Second Season: Nov. 11 (for 45 days)
Notable: There is a forecast of 34 percent more birds from last year and a 48 percent increase over the past 10 years.
2 photos, box
Photo: (1) After completion of the hunting season, a dove huddles safely into the rough on a golf course in Yuma.
Charles Whitehouse/Associated Press
(2) A marksman takes aim at a dove during the opening day of the hunting season.
Daily News Photo