View Full Version : Dove Hunters May Have Opportunity To Bag More Birds This Season

07-29-2008, 06:03 PM
Dove Hunters May Have Opportunity To Bag More Birds This Season

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Georgia - Georgia dove hunters may soon reap the benefits of a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regulations approval aimed at expanding dove season opportunities. USFWS's Service Regulations Committee recently adopted a change in the framework increasing the dove bag limit from 12 to 15. Georgia's Wildlife Resources Division will propose a regulation change reflecting the new federal framework at the Board of Natural Resources meeting Aug. 27. If approved, it will take effect just in time for the 2008 Georgia dove hunting season, which begins Sept. 6.

"For several years, we have been working through the federal process in cooperation with other state wildlife agencies to provide more harvest opportunity and enhance hunter satisfaction," says John W. Bowers, the division's assistant chief of Game Management. "This is the first time we have been offered a 15-bird bag limit without a change in the number of days to hunt doves."

Because mourning doves are migratory game birds, hunting seasons and bag limits are set within a framework provided by the USFWS. Past federal frameworks have allowed only two options: a 60-day, 15-dove limit or a 70-day, 12-dove limit season. Individual states were required to choose one of the two options. Wildlife Resources has always opted for the 70-day, 12-dove bag limit season to satisfy consistent hunter preference of more hunting opportunities.

Through the work of the Eastern Management Unit dove technical committee, in which Georgia is an active member, biologists determined there was no significant difference in harvest numbers among states that chose the 60-day, 15-dove limit or the 70-day, 12-dove limit season packages. It was determined that the majority of the dove harvest occurs on the opening weekend with very little harvest occurring after opening weekend.

This year, opening weekend officially begins at 12 Noon Sat. Sept. 6. The 2008-2009 season dates are Sept. 6-21, Oct. 11-19 and Nov. 27, 2008 - Jan. 10, 2009. Opening day hunting is from 12 Noon to sunset on Sept. 6, while hours for all other season days are half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

Regarding waterfowl

The USFWS Service Regulations Committee may also consider changes in the federal framework to provide a 3-duck bag limit for wood ducks for an experimental three-year season. This decision is expected by early August. Should this be approved, Wildlife Resources also will propose a regulation change reflecting the details of this framework change at the Aug. 27 board meeting.

For updates on regulation changes, or for more information on hunting seasons and limits, visit http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com or contact a Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office.

Media Contact:
Jennifer N. Barnes, Sr. Public Relations and Information Specialist (770) 918-6795; jennifer.barnes@gadnr.org