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State's dove, bear hunts open Sunday

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Hunters can go on the prowl for one of the state's smallest animals--and one of its largest.

The Associated Press reports the two-month Minnesota dove hunting season opened Sunday, while MPR reported black bear season, which runs through Oct. 13, also began.

For doves, hunters need a small-game license and Harvest Information Program certification to take part in the hunt. Individuals can shoot up to 15 doves per day and have 45 in their possession. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimates that 13,000 hunters harvest more than 100,000 of the birds each year.

MPR reports that a plentiful summer berry crop has kept Minnesota's black bears from being particularly hungry, which may make it more difficult for hunters to attract them with piles of food.

This year the DNR issued 3,750 hunting permits, a reduction of about 35 percent. The DNR estimates there are about 15,000 black bears in the state.

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