Few if any studies have examined the influence of a recently implemented hunting season on harvest characteristics of mourning doves (Zenaida macroura). We conducted a reward banding study in Ohio, USA, during 1996–1998 to compare harvest rates in urban and rural areas and to estimate overall harvest rate and band-reporting rate. Estimates from band-recovery models provided strong evidence for site- and year-specific variation in harvest rates of doves captured at urban and rural sites. Annual harvest-rate estimates ranged from 0.006 (95% CI: 0.001 to 0.011) to 0.011 (95% CI: 0.005 to 0.018) for birds captured at urban sites, and from 0.034 (95% CI: 0.022 to 0.045) to 0.054 (95% CI: 0.039 to 0.069) for birds captured at rural sites. The estimated reporting rate of 0.208 (95% CI: 0.142 to 0.274) was less than previously published estimates, probably because of a lack of familiarity of hunters with dove bands. In our study, >80% of the harvest of banded birds occurred in Ohio, suggesting that hunting pressure on this population is largely determined by Ohio hunters. Increased understanding of the role of urban landscapes as potential refuges from hunting pressure will improve our ability to manage dove harvests. Large-scale banding studies are needed to obtain contemporary estimates of harvest parameters, which are necessary for more informed harvest management of mourning doves.
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Vol. 68 • No. 3