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FOOD PLOTS FOR
Doves have large and extensive ranges since they are
migratory and landing sites are important to attract them to the food source. Many dove
sites are planted in strips and are then mown or pushed down to get the seeds on the
ground after maturity and give the birds landing spots along the food plots.
Dove Food Plot sites are best located next to woods, vacant
fields, and natural habitats. Some of the crops that attract dove are millets, chufas,
corn, peanuts, sesame herbage, sesbana, vetch, partridge peas, buckwheat, and tartary
DOVE FOOD PLOTS:
Wildlifeseeds.com - All About Planting Food
Mourning Dove Characteristics
The Mourning Dove is perhaps the most
abundant game bird in the United States. The population of these birds often reach well
into the hundreds of millions in the late fall and early winter. The Mourning dove is also
an acrobatic flyer whose unpredictable flight patterns make them difficult to shoot and
are widely prized by hunters across the U.S.
The Mourning Dove is a rather small
bird averaging somewhere between 11 and 12 inches in length with a symmetrically
lengthened wingspan. The average weight of the Mourning Dove ranges from 4 to 6 ounces.
The birds coloration consist of mottled gray feathers with white wing tips and possible a
few black splotches. The dove is also aerodynamically designed for high speed turns to
escape such predators as hawks and eagles.
Mourning Doves are commonly found on the edge of the
forest because of the fact that the dove's food sources have become closely tied with
agriculture farming sties. Therefore the large portion of the dove population will be
found near farmlands especially where crops such as grasses, corn, wheat, clovers and
sorghums, weed seeds are growing. The Mourning Dove is found through all of the 48 lower
states and also in the regions of Mexico and Canada. Migratory birds follow the same
patterns from year to year spending half the time in the northern United States and Canada
and the other portion of the time in the southern United States and Mexico. States
bordering the gulf are particularly favorable for dove populations.
Planting Food plots For Dove
Doves are essentially known as ground feeders
and their diet consist almost entirely of seeds. Some of these foods in a dove's
diet are corn, wheat, grains, grasses and sunflowers. Plants that provide high quality
oil seeds are preferred over others. Doves spend large amounts of energy in migration and
need well developed feeds to maintain the energy levels for long flights. Other wild
plants such as ragweed and native plants also offer an abundant supply of food for the
Doves also tend to herd or gather where large fields of tilled
corn, millet or wheat are found and it is almost guaranteed that you will find a large
population of dove where these fields are present. Doves also need water for drinking and
bathing and prefer small ponds to running streams. Doves usually drink twice a day; at
least once in the morning and after feeding in the evening. Doves will also travel long
distances to obtain these ideal watering holes and they can also survive without water for
up to 5 days if necessary.
Ideally dove food plots should be located in areas near water sources, close to
woods and nearby brush for protection from predators and nesting sites. Short rows of of
corn can be sided with broadcast spots of millets, wheat, sorghums and the favorite
sunflowers. Dividing the plots into several smaller areas give the dove
landing and gathering areas. When the plants mature, fully develop seeds, the stalks
will dry out. This is the time to chop, mow or knock the stands to the ground for easier
access to seeds and better sighting conditions for the hunter. Since dove are migratory
birds planting in the same general area from year to year will condition the flocks seek
out the same areas each year. There are few perennials that are planted for doves. Grasses
and weed seeds would be the most adapted perennials. The millets, wheat, sunflowers and
grains are usually annuals and will have to be planted each season.
German and Brown top Millet, Black Sunflower plus Penngrain
DR Grain Sorghum - Contains seeds that shatter easily and have a high oil protein
|60% - German
& Brown Top Millet
20% - Japanese Millet
10% - Black Sunflower (Peredovik)
10% - Penngrain DR Sorghum
Dove Mixture (right) - Actual
% subject to change due to crop production.
Dove food plot mix should be planted after danger of frost no more than 1 inch
deep on a harrowed non-weedy seedbed by broadcasting. Lightly drag with
post or log to cover seeds. When seeds are mature mow or knock the growth
to the ground to shatter seeds from the dried stalks and encourage dove to land.
This mix responds well to additions of fertilizer in the planting stage and
afterwards for higher productions. This dove mix matures in approximately
60 - 70 days after germination with good weather.SEED RATE:
Plant dove mix at the rate or 25-50 lb. per acre in smaller divided plots in open
areas so the dove will land. Mixes are broadcast more often than drilled for ease in
planting the different size seeds..
Suggested Acreage rate: 40 lbs.
Broadcast rates are higher than drilled
Excellent in Wildlife food plots for: Dove - Quail - Duck
SEEDS FOR DOVE
40# BAG OF
An annual grass - Inter-seeds well with Warm Season
Used as a cover crop until grass establishes- Also used for conservation and erosion
control or in food plots for an early food source. Brown top forms heads that are heavily
seeded and are a natural attraction to wildfowl of all species.
Plant by preparing soil areas by harrowing / tilling
and then broadcast seeds. Cover seeds with soil lightly and firmly but no more than
1" deep. Fertilize for best results.
Recommended 1-2 lb. per 1000 sq. ft.
45-90 lb. per acre
50 lb. average rate per acre
Early spring plantings - matures in 55-60 days - seed coverage 1 inch
Wildlifeseeds.com - Advice on Dove Hunting & Food Plots