It is almost time for dove hunting season in Georgia.
By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
The Georgia dove season opens at noon on Saturday, September 7.
The official 2013-2014 dove seasons in Georgia are Sept. 7-22, Oct. 12-20 and Nov. 28 – Jan. 11
The long-awaited opening day of the statewide dove season traditionally is considered the beginning of the fall hunting season.
With numerous wildlife management area hunts scheduled, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement officer Craig Fulgum said it is a good opportunity to introduce young hunters to the sport.
“For many hunters in the State of Georgia it’s a time when a lot of kids start hunting,” Fulgum said. “That’s something that the Georgia DNR encourages and it gets kids outdoors.”
While the rules for hunting are the same as last year, Fulgum said there are many more doves and areas in which to hunt them in this year.
Fulgum said some farmers and property owners have had questions in the past about the kinds of seeds to plant for dove hunting season.
He said there is a Web site where farmers can get that information.
“(Planting) has to be done in a manner consistent with the official U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended dates,” he said. “The planting dates, the planting methods and the rates of application are all set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. ”
The daily bag limit is 15 doves per hunter.
White-winged doves may be harvested, but count toward the daily bag limit of 15.
Any auto-loading or other repeating shotgun must be plugged to hold no more than three shotshells while hunting doves.
Dove hunters 16 years of age and older must possess a Georgia hunting license and a free Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program or HIP Permit.
When hunting on a Wildlife Management Area, you also must possess a WMA license.
Dove hunting is a social sport and Fulgum said one of the biggest things for all hunters to remember is not to drink and hunt or be under the influence of any drug, even over the counter medications.
“We don’t see a lot of it in this area, but we want to make the public aware that it’s no different than boating under the influence or driving under the influence,” he said. “Hunting under the influence carries similar penalties. We don’t want anyone out there hunting who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and carrying a firearm for obvious reasons.”