JACKSON, MS – One of the most popular hunting days of the year is quickly approaching. Mourning dove hunting on Labor Day weekend is a great tradition for many Magnolia State hunters. This year, opening day of Mississippi’s dove season is Saturday, September 3. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) encourages all hunters to enjoy this early-season hunting opportunity. All MDWFP Conservation Officers will be working with local and federal officers to ensure dove hunters are in compliance with state and federal hunting laws.
Hunters need to be sure their hunting license is current for the 2011 hunting season, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. HIP certification is required for hunting all migratory game birds. Upon purchasing a license, hunters are asked HIP questions about their harvest from the previous hunting season. Officers typically write more citations for hunting without a license than any other citation. Failure to purchase a license has a direct impact on MDWFP’s programs because of the subsequent loss of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration dollars.
Hunters should be sure shotguns are “plugged” and not capable of holding more than three shells, and should be aware of how their dove field was prepared. Hunting with the aid of bait is illegal, and it is the hunter’s responsibility to know if the area is baited or not. A brochure on dove field preparation and hunting regulations can be found online at https://www.mdwfp.com. Hunters are encouraged to have a safe and enjoyable hunt. The bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves is 15 per day with no more than 30 in possession. The possession limit does not apply on opening day. Shooting hours are from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to sunset.
Dove hunters should consider the following questions before hunting. How was the field prepared? Did I look to see if the field was baited? According to Steve Adcock, MDWFP Chief of Law Enforcement, “Our officers have fields across the state under surveillance for potential baiting violations. We have received tips from neighboring landowners and hunters about baited fields. Hunters in violation of state or federal dove hunting regulations will be cited. Our primary objectives are to protect the resource and to ensure that hunters have a safe, quality experience.”
For more information on dove hunting regulations and public hunting opportunities on Wildlife Management Areas and private lands, please visit https://www.mdwfp.com or call 601-432-2199.
You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.
Reprinted from The Outdoor Wire