JACKSON – Mississippi’s dove hunting season will open on September 2 statewide. For private lands on opening day, legal shooting hours will begin 30 minutes before sunrise. Dove fields on Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Wildlife Management Areas may have different hunt days and shooting times, depending on the specific area’s regulations. Shooting hours for all migratory game birds end at sunset.
Opening day of dove season is one of the most anticipated hunting days of the year and is a great time for fun and fellowship with friends and family. Hunters should take serious notice of how a location was prepared before hunting. Hunting migratory birds 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 www.mdwfp.com/dove.
All MDWFP conservation officers will be working with federal officers during the dove seasons to ensure hunters comply with state and federal hunting laws. Before hunting migratory game birds, hunters should be sure their hunting license is current, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration, which is required for hunting all migratory game birds in each state hunted. HIP registration is completed when, upon purchasing a license, hunters are asked questions about their migratory game bird harvest from the previous year. The most frequent citation written in Mississippi has been no hunting license. This violation has a direct impact on conservation due to the loss of Federal Aid dollars to the state. Dove hunters should ensure their shotguns are not capable of holding more than three shells. The total combined bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves is 15 per day, with no more than 45 in possession. On opening day, the possession limit is the same as the daily bag limit.
For more information regarding doves in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/dove or call us at (601) 432-2199. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.