There have been some recent changes in Arizona state laws regarding magazine limits and hunting, but you will still need your shotgun plugs this dove-hunting season. Federal regulations stemming from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and several federal laws passed since then prevail. When hunting dove and other migratory birds, the maximum number of shells allowed in a shotgun will remain at three.

Migratory game birds such as dove may be taken only with a 10-gauge or smaller shotgun capable of holding not more than three shells (chamber and magazine combined) because the federal regulations still apply. So, sportsmen and women, don’t forget your shotgun plugs. Birds may also be taken by falconry, by bow and arrow, or by crossbow. The maximum three-shell rule will also apply when we get into the waterfowl seasons.

Early dove season runs from Sept. 1-15. Once again this year, shooting hours for dove hunting are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit is any combination of 10 mourning and white-wing doves, which should make it easier to keep track of bag limits.

For more information on dove hunting, visit, or pick up a hard copy at your favorite sporting goods store or any of the seven Game and Fish offices statewide.

Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

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