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Wildlife Resources Commission urges safety, ethics as dove season opens

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home from the Hunt campaign reminds hunters to always practice safety and follow state and federal laws while in the field.

The 2018-19 season for mourning and white-winged dove is separated into three segments: Sept. 1-Oct. 6, Nov. 17-Dec. 1 and Dec. 10-Jan. 31, 2019.

All hunters must follow applicable licensing requirements and hunting regulations.

The daily bag limit is 15 doves and 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 advises dove hunters to follow these safety tips:

• Never shoot at low-flying birds;

• Never place decoys on utility lines;

• Never combine game bags; and

• Always adhere to established safe zones of fire.

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.

Hunters should understand dove hunting regulations fully and 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 are baited.

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 a local N.C. State Extension Service Center.

For more information on mourning doves, visit ncwildlife.org/mourning-dove.