For more than a decade sportsmen in Iowa have been working tirelessly to establish a dove hunting season. Last week, those efforts finally became a reality as Senate File 464, introduced by the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee was signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad. The bill authorizes the state’s Natural Resources Commission to establish an open season for hunting mourning doves.
“Iowa sportsmen should be congratulated for their unrelenting hard work to bring a dove hunting season to the state,” said Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president for government affairs. “Although it may have taken years to get to this point, science and not anti-hunting rhetoric came out on top.”
The decision is now in the hands of the Natural Resources Commission.
Despite the best efforts of local, state and national groups including USSA over the last 10 years a dove hunting season has long eluded Iowa sportsmen. In 2001, a bill spearhead by USSA and a coalition of many other sportsmen’s and conservation groups passed through both the House and the Senate but was ultimately vetoed by then Governor Tom Vilsack. Members of that coalition stayed with it, however, forming the Iowa Conservation Coalition to make sure sportsmen had an active voice in the capitol. Member groups include Iowa chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, Iowa Chapter of Safari Club, Iowa Trappers Association, Ruffed Grouse and the Iowa Bowhunters Association.