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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : August 8, 2006


Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381

Contact: Curtis Taylor , Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771

Mourning Dove Season Opens September 1

The September 1 st opening of mourning dove season marks the beginning of traditional fall hunting for many West Virginia hunters, according to Curtis Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section. The 2006 season will open at 12:00 noon on September 1 and the first of three segments will continue through October 7. The two remaining segments are October 23 through November 4 and December 18 through January 6, 2007. Shooting hours, after the first day, are from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit is 12 with a possession limit of 24.

“Mourning dove seasons are set to maximize hunting opportunity in relation to other hunting seasons,” Taylor said. “The bulk of the season is in September when few other hunting seasons are open and the second and third segments target late crop harvests and the Christmas/New Year holiday period respectively.”

“A recently-harvested grain field with a dead snag for perching and a water source nearby is an ideal setting for a good hunt,” according to Taylor. Scouting and obtaining permission from landowners before opening day increases the odds of a successful hunt.

Federal regulations require all licensed dove hunters (including lifetime and senior citizens) to register with the National Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) and carry proof of registration while hunting. HIP registration is free and available from DNR offices and all hunting license outlets. Hunters may not hunt migratory birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells unless the shotgun is “plugged” with a one-piece filler which cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.

Several hundred doves are banded with leg bands each year for monitoring and research. If you harvest a banded bird you can report it by calling1-800-327-band (2263) or online at (select bird banding lab). Hunters may keep the band and will receive a certificate of appreciation that includes the banding information for the bird.

More complete information will be available in the 2006-2007 West Virginia Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations. The regulations will be available from DNR offices, license agents and the DNR website in late August.


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