Dove hunters can get an early start on their hunts this year because the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission set new hours for the 2012-13 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.
This is a significant change from previous seasons, when shooting began at noon.
The Home From The Hunt safety campaign is also reminding hunters to be safe in the field.
Home From The Hunt recommendations include:
- When hunting in a group, know where others are and communicate.
- Never shoot at low-flying birds.
- Alert others when a bird is too low to allow a safe shot.
- Handle firearms properly at all times, not just while hunting.
- 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 www.ncwildlife.org 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