Dove season opens Sept. 1 in Nebraska, giving hunters a great opportunity to introduce a novice to wing-shooting.

Doves may be hunted statewide from Sept. 1 – Oct. 30, except no hunting is allowed on state and federal refuges and sanctuaries. The aggregate bag and possession limits for mourning, white-winged and Eurasian collared-doves are 15 and 30, respectively. Also, Eurasian collared-doves may be hunted Oct. 31 – Aug. 31, 2013. The bag and possession limits are 15 and 30, respectively.

Nebraska residents 16 years and older and all nonresidents are required to have a 2012 Nebraska hunting permit and a habitat stamp for all dove hunting. A 2012 Harvest Information Program number is required for dove hunting Sept. 1 – Oct. 30 but not required for the Oct. 31 – Aug. 31 Eurasian collared-dove season.

Some doves have been banded. Hunters who find a leg band on a dove should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) banding office toll-free at 800-327-BAND or report it at reportband.gov.

And some hunters will be asked to save a wing from each dove during the first week of the season and mail the wings postage-free to the USFWS. Data from the wings will be used to estimate annual productivity of the dove population.

Sunflower, millet and wheat generally provide good dove-hunting opportunities. They have been planted at several wildlife management areas across the state. For a list of WMAs, and more dove-hunting information, visit OutdoorNebraska.org, then click on Hunting, Upland Game, Doves and 2012 Forecast.

Permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Image courtesy Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

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