The Home From The Hunt safety campaign of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds everyone enjoying dove hunting to think before they pull the trigger this hunting season.

The 2012-13 season for mourning and white-winged dove is Sept. 1 – Oct. 6; Nov. 19 – 24; and Dec. 15 – Jan. 11. Daily bag limit is 15 and possession limit is 30. Shooting hours are from a half hour before sunrise until sunset, including opening day.

“Before you pull the trigger, positively identify your target and what is beyond it,” said Travis Casper, the state hunter education coordinator. “Know your zone of fire and be cautious. Don’t pepper people, buildings or vehicles with falling shot.”

Home From The Hunt recommendations include:

Be Safe

  • When hunting in a group, know where others are and communicate.
  • Never shoot at low-flying birds, and alert others when a bird is too low to safely allow a shot.
  • Wear shooting glasses and hearing protection.
  • Handle firearms properly at all times, not just while hunting.

Be Responsible

  • Never place decoys on utility lines, which is trespassing and risks electrical shock.
  • Don’t combine game bags, which is a hunting regulations violation.
  • Share the heritage and consider taking youth or a new hunter with you.
  • Take time prior to hunting to walk the field and inspect the area for bait.

It is an individual hunter’s responsibility to know the area being hunted. Don’t hunt over baited fields. According to state regulations, the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve as a lure for migratory game can constitute a baited area. Because birds often return to a feeding area even after the food source is exhausted, hunting within 10 days after complete disappearance of feed from a baited area is illegal.

All first-time hunting license buyers must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course, offered free across the state. Go to to consult the online version of the 2012-13 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest or call 919-707-0031 for more information.

Logo courtesy NCWRC

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