LINCOLN, Neb. – 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 and possession 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. Get the free HIP number at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hip or 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 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 statewide. Game and Parks recommends hunters scout areas before they hunt. To view a list of these planted areas, see the 2019 Dove Hunting Fact Sheet at OutdoorNebraska.gov/SmallGameSpecies.
Other public lands throughout the state can provide good dove hunting opportunities, depending on local conditions. All of Nebraska’s publicly accessible lands (including state, federal, and private lands enrolled in the Open Fields and Waters Program) are displayed in the 2019-2020 Public Access Atlas, which can be found online at OutdoorNebraska.org/PublicAccessAtlas.
It is unlawful to hunt on state recreation areas (SRA) until Sept. 3. Regulations prohibit any hunting on SRAs until the Tuesday following Labor Day.
Eurasian collared-doves also may be harvested between Oct. 31 and Aug. 31, 2020, with bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively.
Dove is just one of many hunting seasons that open in September.
Small game – Cottontail and jackrabbit seasons open Sept. 1.
Webless migratory birds – Dove, snipe and rail seasons open Sept. 1.
Upland birds – Grouse season opens Sept. 1.
Waterfowl – Early teal season is Sept. 7-15 in the High Plains Zone and Sept. 7-22 in the Low Plains Zone.
Big game – Archery, Whitetail Statewide Buck, Youth, Landowner, Antlerless Only Season Choice and River Antlerless Private Land Only deer seasons open Sept. 1, as well as archery bull elk season. Fall turkey season starts Sept. 15. Muzzleloader antelope and firearm bull elk seasons begin Sept. 21.
Furbearers – Raccoon (hunt only) season starts Sept. 1.
For summaries of hunting regulations, read publications at Outdoornebraska.gov/guides/. Purchase permits at OutdoorNebraska.org.