It's always the same. As the Summer fun of lake days and fireworks fades into August, there's an itch that starts developing deep within every outdoorsman in Oklahoma. August 1st signifies the official countdown to opening day of the hunting season in this state. Thirty-one days to plan, research, pick, scout, prepare, and eventually hunt when the sun rises on September 1st.

The first animal of a hunters obsession is one of the most challenging in the state, the humble dove. Famous for its wildly changing flight, it's a tough creature to harvest, especially in the early days of the season. It's been practically a year since they've taken a shot at these questionably-edible birds, so it usually takes a weekend or two to get back into the groove.

So what do you need to hunt dove in Oklahoma?

Odds are, you'll need the basics every hunter needs in Oklahoma. If you're between the ages of 10 and 30, you'll need a Hunter Education Certificate. While there are in person classes for this, I'd highly recommend you explore the online certification process from the comfort of your own couch. It's geared towards kids, so it's really rough having to sit through the classroom style course.

Next thing is an Oklahoma Hunting License plus the HIP migratory bird federal permit. With your Hunter Education card, it's an easy process to apply and print one out on the ODWC website. They cost a minimum $25 for residents, and the HIP permit is free through the ODWC website.

Next, you need a place to hunt. While most people know a guy that has a place...... this is the real challenge for the average Oklahoma hunter. Most lease land is unavailable at this point unless you're willing to pay a steep premium, but there are public lands available to all. The only downside is having to share it with all. There are a handful of places within a reasonable driving distance to Lawton where you can hunt dove on public dove managed fields, but immediately around Lawton, there's no resources through the wildlife department. Before you hop off into the Oklahoma Land Access Program website, the land available to us in SWOK is much better suited for quail, deer, and turkey.

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