Attraction of Mourning Doves to Spinning-wing Decoys in Tennessee

Some indices indicate nationwide declines in mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) populations, making harvest data important for management. Our goal was assessment of attraction of mourning doves to spinning-wing decoys (SWDs). We simulated dove hunting scenarios in Putnam County, Tennessee, during October 2005 using battery-operated SWDs with traditional decoy setups. We measured and compared number of doves approaching within 40 and 200 m with SWD active and inactive. A greater number of doves approached within 40 m and 200 m with SWD active than with SWD inactive. Mourning doves clearly were attracted to SWD, which may increase dove harvest opportunity. Further research is needed to validate this result under a broader set of conditions and examine extent to which this attraction may translate into increased dove harvest.

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