Hunters scrambling to apply for inaugural dove hunt at Middle Creek

Written by John Buffone/The York Daily Record | Aug 12, 2018 1:47 PM
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.JPG

he avian population appears to be out in force at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on Thursday, April 30. (Michael K. Dakota/Lebanon Daily News)

For the first time ever, Middle Creek Wildlife Management in northern Lancaster County is offering a controlled dove hunt on their lands.

But if you want to be a part of it, you better move fast.

A random drawing at 1 p.m. on Aug. 15 will provide 39 hunters a permit to hunt doves on a selected Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday from noon until one half hour after sunset from Sept. 1-29.

"It's a new hunt opportunity for us," said Middle Creek manager Lauren Ferreri. "It's targeted at an entirely differnt group of hunters and it comes at a time when we don't have any other controlled hunts going on."

The reasoning behind the small application window is because the Game Commission didn't approve managed dove fields until their meeting in late July. A managed dove field consists of any field yielding crops that a person can mow or disc over in order to hunt on. The managing of controlled dove field can occur until Sept. 15.

"Usually for our controlled hunts, we put it out months in advance, but we were just reacting to what the situation was," Ferreri said. "Hopefully next year, there will be a more time."

Despite the shortened timeframe, Ferreri said Middle Creek has already gotten over 230 applications for the limited number of permits being awarded.

"Middle Creek, for some people, is an enigma. So, by giving another hunt, it gives people a chance to come back," she said. "And by offering a dove hunt, we have an opportunity to bring people here that have never hunted here before."

Because of the time crunch, the application process must be done over the phone (717-733-1512) or through an email sent to

During the application, you must provide your name, complete mailing address, telephone number and hunting license CID number. The deadline to apply is the day before the drawing, Aug. 14.

If a hunter is selected in the drawing, he/she must attend one of two pre-hunt meetings at Middle Creek on either Sunday, Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. or Wednesday Aug. 29 at 6 p.m.

Any selected hunter can bring up to three guests on their assigned hunting day.

"There's no shortage of doves but sometimes finding a place to hunt is an issue. So, if you're picked you can bring up to three friends."

Middle Creek Wildlife Management is located along Hopeland Road, 2 miles south of Kleinfeltersville.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record.

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