OSBORN, Mo. -- Dennis Browning didn't get much sleep the evening of Aug. 31.
Browning, a wildlife management biologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation's Pony Express Conservation Area, tried to nod off on the couch in his office. But he knew whatever sleep he would get would be short-lived.
This, after all, was the eve of the Missouri dove opener. And hunters always arrive in the middle of the night to check in and rush off to the fields to get a choice spot.
"I got my first hunter at 2:30 this morning," Browning said when the opener arrived. "But it's like that every year. That's why I stay in my office the night before the season opens.