Dove season opensPublished 5:54pm Monday, September 9, 2013
With dove hunting season starting Saturday, there may be some inquiries in regards to the rules and regulations of the sport this year.
Capt. Fred Bain, District II law enforcement supervisor for Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, said hunters could be assured that there have been no significant revisions to current hunting guidelines.
“Nothing has changed as far as the type of firearms or ammunition,” Bain said. “Whether it’s licensing or bird permits, everything is pretty much the same, right down to making sure you have permission to hunt on private property.”
Hunters are allowed to use a shotgun with a 10-gauge or lower for dove hunting, and the gun isn’t allowed to hold more than three shells.
Bain said the typical bird shot size of the shell ranges from 6-8.
However, Bain added that the recent string of weather could pose a problem for hunters.
“This year we’ve had to sit through so much rain that farmers are late on gathering their crops,” Bain said. “As a result, there’s not much hunting land available. Most hunters know that the best land to hunt on is harvested land.”
For those preparing their land for hunting, Bain said the state laws for field preparation are modeled after the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service’s guidelines for agricultural planning practices.
“That site has everything listed,” Bain said. “You can go there to see the recommendations for planting top-sown wheat. The ground has to be broken somewhat to ensure seed to soil contact.”
Starting Saturday at noon, hunters in the north zone (all counties except for Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Mobile) can hunt until sunset.
From Sept. 8 – Oct. 6, hunting times in the north zone are from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
There will be a break in hunting from Oct. 6 – Oct. 19, and from Oct. 19 – Nov. 2, hunters can continue from normal times.
Hunting then ceases from Nov. 3- Dec. 6. On Dec. 7, hunting resumes at normal authorized hours until Dec. 31.
Hunters can bag no more than 15 doves per day and can have no more than 15 doves in their possession at any time.
For more information, you can visit www.outdooralabama.com.