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Miller Farm Kicks Off Another WV Dove Season

October 20, 2015
By Larry Claypool - OT Times Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Nearly 60 friends and neighbors of John C. "Doc" and Peggy Bahnsen spent another Labor Day by kicking off hunting season in West Virginia with an annual Dove Shoot. The Bahnsen's have hosted the event for the past 16 years at the Miller Farm in New Manchester, WV. It was a great day of hunting and camaraderie for the Bahnsens and their friends.

The dove season, for many hunters, marks the beginning of the fall hunting seasons. Doc Bahnsen is a seasoned veteran when it comes to dove hunting. He grooms the fields at the 132-acre Miller Farm to attract doves and pheasants. Sunflowers are strategically planted near some rows of corn and by late summer, just in time for the dove season opener, the sunflower plants are harvested around the corn - leaving some seeds that attract the birds and high corn stalks that work as blinds for hunters to shoot from. It's a shooter's paradise for dove hunters.

Because of the dry summer weather this year the quality of the sunflower and corn plants were not as developed as they have been in the past. This may have led to a smaller bird count hunters experienced during this first day of hunting. Only a few of the nearly four dozen hunters had limited out (15) with birds on this day. Most of the hunters, at least, harvested 6-10 birds though.

Article Photos

About 40 hunters took part in the 16th Annual Labor Day Dove Shoot hosted by John C. “Doc” and Peggy Bahnsen at Miller Farm in New Manchester, WV. It was the dove season opener in West Virginia. Photo by Larry Claypool

The hot temperature that day, which reached the high 80s, with nearly no wind, may have contributed to lower harvest numbers.

The Bahnsens offered the hunters a nice meal before hunting. Afterward adult beverages were offered, along with hunting stories from past hunts. Doc Bahnsen is a great story teller. His stories about his hunting dogs drew the most laughs.

Several local and state Republican party candidates participated in the dove shoot. Bahnsen's VIP hunters for the day were Senator (District 6) Bill Cole, Delegate (Dist. 1) Ryan Ferns and Delegate (Dist. 2) Ryan Weld. Bahnsen said Cole will make a strong bid to be West Virginia's next Governor. Ferns is vying for a Senate seat.

The dove season is split into three segments with this first segment running from Sept. 1- Oct. 17. The two other hunting segments for dove season in WV are Nov. 2 - Nov. 21 and Dec. 21 - Jan. 12, 2106.

All licensed migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders and senior citizens, must also have a valid Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration card. HIP cards are available at license agents, DNR offices and online at

West Virginia's 2015-2016 Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations brochure is available online at, at license agents and DNR offices.



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