Dove hunting is a popular sport across the country, and the story is no different in California. These migratory birds have wide ranges and are the most popular game in the U.S. At Conservative Game Management, we offer guided dove hunting during both the early season and the regular dove season.
While the state and certain counties plant and maintain dove fields, bird hunting can be tricky for a new dove hunter or hunters more familiar with big game hunting. One of our CGM guides can take you out into our 110,000 acres in the Diablo Mountains to offer a guaranteed shot at this quick game bird.
At Conservative Game Management, our experienced guides know the top dove hunting tips, dove hunting gear, and preserve locations to hunt doves. Our dove hunting package includes a full day of seeking out dove roosts and flyways. Our dove-hunting package includes:
Dove hunting season in California splits into an early season and a later season. The early season runs from September 1 to 15 each year. The later season begins in mid-November and goes until around Christmas but can vary from year to year, so be sure to review the season before booking.
Most doves follow a predictable feeding and watering pattern throughout the day. They leave the roost between first light and daybreak, usually seeking a water source first. After watering, the doves will look for fields rich in grain and grass seeds. As the day warms, the doves return to roost during the hottest midday hours during the early season.
During the later season, it’s less likely that the doves will roost during the day. If they do, it’s likely to be for a much shorter period. At Conservative Game Management, our guides know the local dove flight patterns for your scheduled hunt. We end the day at 5:00 p.m. according to regulations from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
If you want to schedule a multi-day dove hunt, we offer meal and lodging accommodation as an add-on service. Available lodging accommodations include a bunkhouse, a three-bedroom ranch house, or a four-bedroom ranch house. Amenities include:
Doves can cover a wide area in a single day, moving between food and water sources along flyways. For a successful hunt, a dove hunter can set up a position along a flyway and use a shotgun with non-lead pellets for pass-shooting. If the birds seem to stick closer to the ground, your CGM guide can help you flush the doves out into the open.
Before going dove hunting, you should learn about the different types of doves and any regulatory limits. California allows the hunting of mourning doves, white-winged doves, spotted doves, and ringed turtle doves during both seasons. However, there is a daily limit of 15 mourning doves or white-winged doves, and only up to ten may be white-winged doves. There is no limit for spotted and ringed turtle doves.
Mourning doves and white-winged doves also have a bag limit of triple the daily limit (45 total doves, up to 30 white-winged doves). The Eurasian collared dove is an invasive species and has no closed season and no bag limit.
At CGM, we carefully manage our game land to preserve our game species for the enjoyment of future generations of hunters. We host over 300 hunters annually who take between 300 and 500 specimens of birds, large game, and pest species each year. We strive for sustainable land management practices over our 110,000 acres in California and our 1.2 million acres on the Baja California peninsula in Mexico.
For answers to questions about dove hunting in California, check out our FAQ below or call us at (805) 800-8182 to speak with an experienced CGM guide.
Your guide can instruct you on the two most common methods of dove hunting, pass-shooting or flushing (jump shooting). The best method will depend on the doves’ behavior that day and if they’re flying or sticking close to the ground.
Doves all have the same season, with different take and bag limits between different types of doves. There are limits for mourning doves and white-winged doves. The exception is the Eurasian collared dove, which is an invasive species, has no season or limit.