Many people consider it the true start of fall and all of the activities the season brings; the start of dove hunting season in Missouri. In fact, many consider it the “unofficial” start of the fall hunting season as dove season opens September 1st in Missouri. John Schulz, a research scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, says taking aim at the fleet-winged birds is the perfect hunt for the novice or veteran hunter. Schulz says surveys indicate there should be pretty good numbers of doves migrating through Missouri this year, except there could be one problem: the cooler weather this summer might have made many birds already push through ahead of the opening day. But Schulz says the cooler weather has brought better production of food sources for the doves and that could keep them in those areas longer. And he says the cooler weather has also slowed down the growth of a microscopic protozoa that kills many birds every summer.