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The anticipation is building, where will you be on opening day?

Georgia’s dove hunting season opens Sat. Sept. 7, 2019, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

“Georgia offers more than 50 public dove fields and this is widely considered one of the best times of the year to introduce someone new to hunting,” said Ted Will, Chief of WRD Game Management. “Additionally, this year, in response to the desire of hunters to end the dove season later, recent framework changes by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed us to provide that opportunity until January 31.”

The official 2019-2020 dove seasons are Sept. 7-30, Nov. 23-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6 – Jan. 31. Shooting hours are noon until sunset on opening day (Sept. 7) and one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for the remainder of the season dates.

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.  And, as always, hunters must obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private property.
  • Report Banded Doves: In 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Research Division 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: ….

Before dove season arrives, do you need to complete your hunter education course?

If so, 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.

“We are glad that we are able to give our customers a choice about how they want to take the 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 what works best with their schedules, especially those with time constraints.”

The four available online courses each require a fee (from $9.95 – $24.95) but all are “pass or don’t pay” courses. Fees for these courses are charged by and collected by the independent course developer. The 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.
  • hunts big game (deer, turkey, bear) on a wildlife management area (some exceptions apply, please visit https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/huntereducation for more info).

The only exceptions include any person who:

  • purchases a short-term hunting license.
  • is hunting on his or her own land, or that of his or her parents or legal guardians.

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