Dove hunters in the Kansas City and St. Louis regions have reason to rejoice, if population figures released by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation are any indication. Dove season will open Sept. 1 and run through Nov. 9.
Missouri officials track the state's dove population through two surveys each summer. One counts the number of doves heard calling along predetermined survey routes. The other counts doves actually seen.
Statewide, the number of doves observed in roadside counts increased 29 percent compared to last year and 54 percent compared to the average of the past 10 years.
The Kansas City Region (Jackson, Cass, Bates, Vernon, Lafayette, Johnson, Henry, St. Clair, Pettis and Benton counties) showed an 88.3 percent increase from last year. The St. Louis Region was a close second with an 82 percent gain.