RALEIGH, N.C. — NC Wildlife Commission officials say the 2022-23 hunting season for mourning and white-winged doves opens on Saturday, September 3rd.

Officials say they are using this as an opportunity to remind seasoned and novice hunters the importance of being properly licensed, to observe state and federal regulations, and to follow safe hunting practices.

Dove hunting season will be separated into three segments: September 1st-October 1st, November 5th-November 26th, and December 10th-January 31st.

Officials say the daily bag limit is 15 mourning or white-winged doves, either as single species or combined, and shooting hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

Hunting of migratory game birds, including doves, by any method is not allowed on Sundays, according to a news release.

Officials say it is also illegal to dove hunt with a shotgun that can hold more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.

Migratory game bird hunters, including lifetime license holders, are required to register in the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP), a survey method developed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to collect more reliable estimates of migratory game bird harvests throughout the country.

New this year, officials say HIP certification is available July 1st through April 1st and expired June 30th each year.

Hunters can purchase or renew their license and obtain their HIP certification online for immediate use in the field.

Licenses can also be purchased through a Wildlife Service Agent or by phone at 888-248-6834, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Officials say 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.

Additionally, officials remind hunters that an area is considered baited for ten days following the removal of all salt, grain or other feed.

Hunting safety is also a priority when in the field.

Click here for free hunter safety courses through the Wildlife Commission.

Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers advise dove hunters to follow these safety tips:

  • Adhere to established safe zones of fire.
  • Ensure you have the correct ammunition for your firearm.
  • Keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in a safe direction
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Do not shoot at low-flying birds.
  • Do not place decoys on utility lines.

Visit ncwildlife.org for more information.


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