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A morning dove sits in the snow just outside of the Remington Nature Center in December of 2015.

The Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail & Pheasants Forever and the Missouri Prairie Foundation will offer a mentored dove hunt near Chillicothe, Missouri, this summer.

John Burk, district wildlife biologist for NWTF, said the primary goal of the event is to offer a migratory bird hunting opportunity for first-time hunters.

“The primary objective is to create an opportunity for folks of any age who have never been hunting before or have never been migratory bird hunting before,” Burk said. “We want to increase the number of people that hunt. The third priority would be for any youth ages 11 to 15 to participate whether they have been hunting before or not.”

He said the free dove hunt will be held on a field on private property.

The Shortgrass Chapter of Quail Forever in Chillicothe helps manage the land for the hunt. The event will provide mentors on the field for anyone who doesn’t have one. Participants ages 11 to 15 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Burk said attendees will learn from instructors about wildlife identification, wildlife habits and habitats, regulations, hunting strategies, necessary equipment and game care. He said the class is designed to increase hunter success in the field.

“We want to provide an opportunity for there to be both a safe and enjoyable high-quality hunting experience,” Burk said. “This initiative is to try to attract new hunters and to be engaged in hunting.”

Burk said a mandatory pre-hunt workshop will provide basic hunter safety. The dove hunt in Livingston County will be held the first week of September during the opening week of dove season. The dates will be determined as participants pre-register.

He said hunters participating in the event are required to purchase the appropriate permits. Those age 16 or older will need a migratory bird permit and a small game permit.

In addition, if needed, a firearm will be provided for first-time hunters but they will be required to purchase the ammunition.

“I tell folks that you don’t need an entire wardrobe of high dollar camouflage to participate successfully in this experience,” Burk said. “We want this hunt to serve first-time hunters.”

For more information on the mentored hunt, contact Burk by phone at 573-676-5994 or by email at jburk@nwtf.net. Andrew White can also be contacted by phone at 660-619-1719.

Applications are available online here or at www.monwtf.org.