There may never be a better opportunity than this coming weekend of Sept. 1-2 to introduce someone new to hunting in Oklahoma.

Several things will come together to create a perfect scenario allowing current hunters to pass along one of America’s greatest outdoor traditions and to help ensure the future of hunting for everyone.

First, this coming weekend will mark the opening days of Oklahoma’s dove hunting season. Traditionally the first hunting season after a long, hot summer, this highly anticipated event welcomes hunters back to the fields to pursue wild game and enhances the appetite for more hunting seasons coming soon.

“I’m pretty optimistic for the Sept. 1 dove opener. We are seeing a lot of doves around, and everything is shaping up to look pretty good,” said Josh Richardson, migratory bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The recent rainfall wasn’t timed to really mess things up. Dove fields that weren’t worked up could dry out in a couple of days, get shredded, disced or burned, and be pulling birds in and ready for opener, no problem.”

Second, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 are also Free Hunting Days in Oklahoma. State residents are not required to have a state hunting license or a Harvest Information Permit while in the field either of those days.

“Free Hunting Days are a great time to take someone out who hasn’t been hunting before,” said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “It’s a great time to take a kid hunting, and it’s also a great time to introduce grown-ups to our sporting heritage.”

Not only is dove season open for Free Hunting Days, which can expose new hunters to the often fast and furious sport of wingshooting, but so

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