Hunters say turtle dove hunt take was 33% of spring migration harvest

FKNK self-reported survey says 66% of turtle dove ‘available for harvest’ were not taken

A self-reported survey by the Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK) has claimed that over 66% of turtle doves that could have been shot, were not taken by hunters.

The FKNK claimed the results of the exercises in April 2022 and 2023 produced a strong sustainable index for the hunting of turtle doves in spring 2022 of 0.703, meaning that over 70% of turtle doves available for harvest for hunters were not taken, and of 0.76 in spring 2023, or that over 76% of turtle doves available for harvest were not.

During the 2024 turtle dove spring hunting season, the FKNK again carried out a voluntary exercise among its members on the same basis as the previous two years.

On each day of the open season, on average 4,016 hunters were hunting, who reported the fractional average take per hunter at 0.34 turtle doves.

The exercise values again indicated what FKNK said was a strong sustainable index of 0.66, meaning that over 66% of the turtle doves available for harvest by the hunters were not taken.

“This is just one of the works that the FKNK continuously carries out to safeguard the traditional socio-cultural passion of turtle doves’ hunting in spring,” FKNK chief executive Lino Farrugia said.

“Therefore, the FKNK continues to encourage the cooperation of members whenever they are asked to collaborate such as this spring exercise, as moreover wishes to thank the substantial financial donations it receives from the same members, especially those raised for the turtle doves’ project.”