LINCOLN – Dove hunting season begins soon and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has some reminders for those hunters, as well as recommendations for areas to hunt.
Doves may be hunted statewide. The season is Sept. 1 – Oct. 30, with daily bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively. Bag limits are for mourning, white-winged and Eurasian collared doves in aggregate. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
Nebraska residents 16 years and older and all nonresidents are required to have a valid Nebraska small game hunting permit, habitat stamp and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. HIP numbers are free and can be obtained by calling toll-free 1-877-634-8687, by registering at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hip or in person at any Game and Parks office. A federal migratory bird hunting stamp (duck stamp) is not required to hunt doves. Shotgun plugs are also required, restricting it to no more than three shells.
Dove hunters who find a leg band on a dove should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 1-800-327-BAND or report it at reportband.gov. In addition, randomly selected hunters will be asked to save one wing from each dove during the first week of the season and mail the wings postage-free to the USFWS.
Sunflower, millet and wheat, which generally provide good dove-hunting opportunities, have been planted at several wildlife management areas across the state. Game and Parks recommends hunters scout areas before they hunt. To view a list of these areas, see the 2016 Dove Hunting Fact Sheet at: OutdoorNebraska.gov/SmallGameSpecies.
“Dove hunting is a great way to get back into the fall hunting season,” says Acting Wildlife Division Administrator Karie Decker. “Dust off the decoys, fine-tune the dog training and get some practice shots in before Sept. 1. It’s shaping up to be another good year for bird hunting.”
Other WMAs throughout the state can provide good dove hunting opportunities, depending on local conditions. Contact the nearest Game and Parks office for area-specific information.
Public hunting lands and lands open to public hunting through the Open Fields and Waters program can be found in the Nebraska Public Access Atlas, available where hunting permits are sold or online at OutdoorNebraska.gov/WheretoHunt.
Eurasian collared-doves also may be harvested between Oct. 31 and Aug.31, 2017, with bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively.