The Georgia dove hunting season opens Sat. Sept. 4, 2021, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).
“For wing shooters, dove season kicks off the fall hunting season,” says Alan Isler, Chief of the WRD Game Management Section. “Two big changes this year includes expanding the first dove season into October and changing opening day shooting hours – make sure you take note of the right shooting hours for the field you plan to hunt.”
The official 2021-2022 dove seasons are Sept. 4-Oct. 10, Nov. 20-28 and Dec. 19 – Jan. 31. Statewide shooting hours – for all of the dove season – are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. However, on managed Wildlife Management Area (WMA) dove hunts, opening day shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 12 noon.
More Dove Season Tips and Information:
- Dove Field Forecast (https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/dove): The dove field forecast identifies available crops and anticipated hunting conditions for opening day.
- Regulations Quick Review: The daily bag limit is 15 doves per hunter. Collared doves may be taken and do not count toward your daily limit. Shotguns must be plugged to hold no more than three shot shells while hunting doves. Hunters must obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private property.
- Report Banded Doves: In 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with several states, including Georgia, initiated an ongoing dove banding project. Hunters can participate in this conservation effort by examining harvested doves for leg bands and reporting band numbers to the USFWS at www.reportband.gov.
- Private Field Plans? Make Sure the Field is Legal: Check out the online brochure, “Dove Hunting and Agricultural Practices in Georgia,” available at http://georgiawildlife.com/migratory-bird-info.
- Licenses Needed: Hunters 16 years of age and older need to have a hunting license and a Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp. This stamp is how Georgia participates in the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). Some licenses allow the license holder to get the Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp at no cost. Hunters may purchase licenses online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at license vendor locations (list of vendors available online).
For more information on dove hunting in Georgia, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/migratory-bird-info.
Hunters have two options, they can take the course completely online or take part in a classroom course, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“You get to choose the method through which you take your hunter education course,” says Jennifer Pittman, Hunter Development Program Manager with the Wildlife Resources Division. “Offering both classroom and online options gives students a choice of not only what works best with their schedules, but also with their learning style.”
There are now five available online courses. For most students, each course requires a fee, but all are “pass or don’t pay” courses. Fees for online courses are charged by and collected by the independent course developer. The DNR classroom course is free of charge.
Completion of a hunter education course is required for any person born on or after January 1, 1961, who:
• purchases a season hunting license in Georgia.
• is at least 12 years old and hunts without adult supervision.
The only exceptions include any person who:
• purchases a short-term hunting license, i.e. anything less than annual duration (as opposed to a season license).
• is hunting on his or her own land, or is a dependent hunting on land of his or her parents or legal guardians.
For more information, go to https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/huntereducation or call 706-558-3355.