The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) provides several youth dove hunt opportunities throughout the state each …
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) provides several youth dove hunt opportunities throughout the state each fall. A simple hunting setup combined with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere makes WFF's youth dove hunts an ideal way to introduce young people to the outdoors.
Registration for this year's hunts will open at 8 a.m. on Aug. 15. Although the hunts are free, online registration is required. The first youth dove hunts of the season begin on Sept. 3. For more information including a complete hunt schedule, visit outdooralabama.com/youth-hunting/youth-dove-hunts.
Jennifer McKemie's father, Bill Mason, recently retired as manager of the M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area (FWFTA) that is used for the WFF youth dove hunts in Hale County. Her family has participated in the annual event since 2014.
A hunter herself since early childhood, McKemie is also actively involved in four bird dog field trial events at the FWFTA.
"I've been outdoors all my life," she said. The McKemie family participates in a variety of hunting throughout the year, from deer and turkey to dove and duck. McKemie's husband, Jamie, did not grow up hunting but has joined the family tradition and especially enjoys turkey season. Their son, Dosson, now 15-years-old, began hunting when he was 6.
"Dosson enjoys being outdoors, having fun and spending time with friends," McKemie said. "But when he goes hunting, he wants to put meat on the table. And he is an excellent shot!"
For those who have never attended a youth dove hunt, McKemie advises to just do it.
"So many kids don't have the opportunity to go hunting," she said. "There's always someone willing to help, and they're so much fun."
To participate in the hunts, youth hunters must be age 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old (or a parent) who has a valid state hunting license, a Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp and a Conservation ID number. Alabama's youth dove hunt events are held in open fields and staffed by WFF personnel, which encourages a safe, secure environment for both parents and participants. Before each hunt, a short welcome session with reminders on hunting safety is conducted. All hunters are encouraged to wear eye and ear protection.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit outdooralabama.com.