As dove hunting season opens Sept. 2, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds hunters to always practice safety and follow state and federal laws while in the field.
The 2017-18 season for mourning and white-winged dove is separated into two segments: Sept. 2–Oct. 7 and Nov. 22–Jan. 15. The daily bag limit is 15 and the possession limit is three times the daily bag limit. All hunters must follow applicable licensing requirements and hunting regulations.
Shooting hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset for the entire season, including opening day. Hunting of migratory game birds by any method is not allowed on Sundays.
The Commission reminds hunters that it is a violation of state and federal law to take migratory game birds with the use or aid of salt, grain, fruit or any other bait. To avoid a baiting controversy, hunters should inspect areas to be hunted for signs of baiting. Hunters also need to be aware that an area is considered baited for 10 days following the removal of all bait. The Commission encourages hunters to ask landowners about agricultural processes for fields or if areas to be hunted have been baited.
“We encourage hunters to get in the field and be a mentor for a future hunter, either youth or adult, and enjoy this natural resource,” said Col. Jon Evans, chief of the Commission’s Law Enforcement Division. “However, it’s up to every hunter to be knowledgeable about state and federal migratory game bird hunting laws.”
Migratory gamebirds may be hunted in agricultural areas where grain has been distributed as the result of normal agricultural operations. Information regarding agriculture and planting techniques may be obtained from your local N.C. State’s Extension Service or online at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/local-county-center/.
The Commission advises dove hunters to follow these safety tips:
Never place decoys on utility lines.
Never combine game bags.
Never shoot at low-flying birds.
Always adhere to established safe zones of fire.