For the second year, dove hunters have access to approximately a million more acres of open uninhabited lands within municipal boundaries, advises the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

“This is a great opportunity for families to hunt closer to home and for youth especially to connect with nature,” said Jim Paxon, chief public information officer for Game and Fish.

In 2011, State Sen. Frank Antenori, Dist 10 (Tucson), sponsored SB 1334 that was passed by the Legislature giving the Arizona Game and Fish Commission authority over regulating the use of firearms for the take of wildlife within municipal boundaries.

Last year in light of the new law, the commission established the areas open to hunting, which have stayed the same again this year. The department has continued to work closely with municipal governments and police departments in coordination for safe hunting in the established areas.

For the Phoenix area, you can view the map on what areas are open/closed at www.azgfd.gov/h_f/hunt-info/dove/metrodovemap-legaldescript.pdf. For the descriptions of those legal hunting areas within municipalities, please read the detailed notes in the dove regulations.  You can download the regulations at www.azgfd.gov or obtain them at most sporting goods stores or any of the seven Game and Fish offices.

Game and Fish law enforcement officers caution that these changes do not allow hunting in developed communities or neighborhoods – it is still unlawful per state law to discharge a firearm while hunting within ¼-mile of an occupied building, or to trespass on posted private lands. Shooting from, across or into a road or railway is also still prohibited by state law.

Once again this year, the early dove hunt is Sept. 1-15 and shooting is legal from sunrise to sunset. So that it will be easier to keep track of your bag limits, the daily dove bag limit is any combination of 10 mourning and white-wing doves.

Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

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