The 2014 dove season opened Monday with high activity including a hunting accident, baiting cases, and successful hunts across east Tennessee.
Just like doves, hunters flocked to fields around the region to enjoy the long-standing Labor Day tradition. On dove fields leased by TWRA, 1,020 hunters harvested 3,385 doves averaging 3.3 birds per hunter. Fields in Loudon County produced the best hunting where hunters averaged about 6 birds apiece. On Wildlife Management Area fields, 557 hunters harvested 2,270 birds averaging 4.1 birds per hunter. The Forks of the River WMA in Knox County drew 236 hunters who harvested 1,004 doves. The highest averages however came from Kyles Ford WMA in Hancock Co. where hunters averaged 4.8 birds apiece.
The 10-year-old boy that was involved in the hunting accident on Buffalo Springs WMA yesterday was treated and released by UT Medical Center for a toe injury from an accidental shotgun discharge. The accident remains under investigation by the TWRA.
In Sevier County, TWRA Officer Gene Parker charged a landowner who was hosting a dove hunt on a field illegally baited with cracked corn and sunflower seeds off of Jeff Rd. in Kodak. His 12-gauge shotgun was seized and he was cited to Sevier Co. General Sessions Court.
In Jefferson County, TWRA Sgt. Nathan Ripley issued a citation for illegal baiting of a dove field off of Buck Hollow Rd. in New Market.