Hunters statewide can celebrate the beginning of dove season at noon Saturday, Sept. 4. Long-awaited opening day is traditionally considered the beginning of the fall hunting season, and with the numerous wildlife management area hunts scheduled, it is the perfect opportunity to introduce children and grandchildren to the sport.
The Migratory Bird Hunting license (or HIP permit) requires all hunters pursuing doves, ducks, geese, rails and other migratory bird species to complete an annual harvest survey. The free license is available online, by phone or at retail license agents across the state, and requires hunters to report harvest rates. Fifteen years and running, the HIP program details both the number of migratory game bird hunters and their harvests. This information helps wildlife managers monitor migratory bird populations, set hunting seasons and bag limits and ensure healthy, sustainable populations.
Georgians curious about the differences between legitimate dove field preparation and illegal baiting should read “Dove Hunting and Agricultural Practices in Georgia,” available at http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com . Baiting is the illegal practice of intentionally luring doves to a field by placing grain or feed. Federal and state laws prohibit hunting migratory game birds over such areas.
The 2010-11 mourning dove season will run as follows: Sept. 4-6 (noon until sunset); Sept. 7–Oct. 9; Nov. 20-27; and Dec. 21–Jan. 15. Legal hunting hours for mourning dove season, except for Sept. 4-6, are from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
The draw requirement is an effort to improve both the quality of the hunt and the safety of the participants.
Public drawings will be held at noon Tuesday, Aug. 17 to select participants for the opening day dove hunts at the Draper Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in York County.
For more information, write to Early-Season Migratory Birds, DNR, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, call (803) 734-3886 in Columbia, or visit the DNR Web site at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting.html.
A growing market continues to exist for the sale of pen-reared bobwhite quail, but state natural resources officials say a commercial quail breeder’s license is needed before opening for business.
The Canada goose is an adaptable bird and can live in a variety of locations, including open farmland and rural reservoirs to suburban neighborhood ponds, office complexes, parks and other developed areas. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, as the goose population increases and they become more common in urban areas so does the increase in nuisance complaints.