West Virginia’s 2013-2014 hunting season dates and bag limits for mourning dove, woodcock, common snipe and Sora and Virginia rails have been set, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.  These seasons are set within guidelines established annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Shooting hours for dove are from noon to sunset on September 2, 2013, (opening day of the first segment) and from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset for the remainder of the season. Shooting hours for rails, woodcock and snipe are from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. The possession limits for dove and woodcock have been increased to three times the daily bag limit.

Dove hunting is available throughout West Virginia, but dove numbers are typically higher near agricultural areas.  A recently harvested grain field with water nearby is always a good bet for dove hunting, but nontraditional sites such as reclaimed mine sites or even clearcuts should not be overlooked. Hunters should be contacting landowners now for permission to hunt on private land.  Scouting areas immediately prior to when you plan to hunt is very important.

All licensed migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders and senior citizens, must also have a valid Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration card. The HIP card is available free at DNR offices and all license agents.  Hunters may not hunt migratory birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells unless the shotgun is “plugged” with a one-piece filler that can’t be removed without disassembling the gun. Banded birds should be reported by calling 1-800-327-2263 or online at www.reportband.gov.

West Virginia’s 2013-2014 Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations brochure will be available at license agents, game check stations and DNR offices in late August, and are available online now at www.wvdnr.gov.

Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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