An abundant migratory bird found in a variety of habitats throughout Illinois, the mourning dove is the most harvested game bird in North America with estimated U.S. harvests of over 19 million annually on average from 2005-2009. In Illinois, hunters bagged an estimated 873,182 doves in 2009. Because of the mourning doves’ widespread distribution, hunting opportunities for the species can be found statewide on both public and private lands. Due to the small amount of equipment needed and fast action, dove hunting can be a great first hunting activity to participate in for young people. Several public hunting areas offer youth dove hunting opportunities and chances are you can find a site near you. Please take the time this fall to introduce a young person to the sport of dove hunting.