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An upcoming survey will ask dove hunters in Indiana and across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting. 

Topics will include time spent hunting, demographics, constraints to hunting, and thoughts about potential effects of lead from spent ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.

The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin in late June and be completed by the end of the year. The survey will be mailed to a random sample of dove hunters.

"We really hope each dove hunter who receives a survey takes the time to complete and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided," said Ken Richkus of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. "Their answers are very important, and we appreciate their efforts to tell us what they think."

The National Dove Hunter Survey will give the USFWS an excellent picture of mourning dove hunter thoughts and needs by state, region and nationwide, Richkus said.

Hoosier hunters harvest more doves than any other species in Indiana, typically around 200,000 annually. The birds are hunted in Indiana by more than 10,000 hunters.

"Dove hunting is enjoyed by many hunters here in Indiana, and I am glad they will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about this very important game bird," said Budd Veverka, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife's farmland game research biologist.

DNR Fish & Wildlife also works with the USFWS to conduct a statewide mourning dove calling survey each spring to determine population trends and a mourning dove banding program for a long-term harvest management strategy. 

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