The anticipation is building, where will you be on opening day? Georgia's dove hunting season opens Sat. Sept. 7, 2019, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).
"Georgia offers more than 50 public dove fields and this is widely considered one of the best times of the year to introduce someone new to hunting," said Ted Will, Chief of WRD Game Management. "Additionally, this year, in response to the desire of hunters to end the dove season later, recent framework changes by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed us to provide that opportunity until January 31."
The official 2019-2020 dove seasons are Sept. 7-30, Nov. 23-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6 - Jan. 31. Shooting hours are noon until sunset on opening day (Sept. 7) and one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for the remainder of the season dates.
· Regulations Quick Review: The daily bag limit is 15 doves per hunter. Collared doves may be taken and do not count toward your daily limit. Shotguns must be plugged to hold no more than three shot shells while hunting doves. And, as always, hunters must obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private property.
· Report Banded Doves: In 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Research Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with several states, including Georgia, initiated an ongoing dove banding project. Hunters can participate in this conservation effort by examining harvested doves for leg bands and reporting band numbers to the USFWS at www.reportband.gov.
· Private Field Plans? Make Sure the Field is Legal: Check out the online brochure, "Dove Hunting and Agricultural Practices in Georgia," available at http://georgiawildlife.com/migratory-bird-info.
· Licenses Needed: Hunters 16 years of age and older need to have a hunting license and a Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp. This stamp is how Georgia participates in the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). Some licenses allow the license holder to get the Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp at no cost. Hunters may purchase licenses online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at license vendor locations (list of vendors available online).
For more information on dove hunting in Georgia, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/migratory-bird-info.