Forget 15 Dove A Day Limit

GON Staff | April 1, 1991

In the March, 1991 issue of GON, we reported that the state Game Management Section was expected to recommend a 60-day dove season this fall with a 15 dove per day bag limit. You can forget that idea. The public has spoken and what it has said is that a dozen doves a day is enough.

Game Management held a series of 11 public meetings around the state in early March to gather hunter opinion on dove hunting. More than 300 people turned out for the meetings, and the consensus was that they preferred the 70 day, 12 dove a day season over the proposed 60 day, 15 dove a day season.

A mail survey done by the state revealed the same opinion and by about the same percentage; 56% in favor of the dozen bird but longer season, and 44% in favor of the shorter season with the three extra bird bag limit.

Game Management, which had been expecting to strongly recommend the increased bag limit, has bagged the idea.

Other preferences included:

Most hunters opted for full day rather than half day hunting. However, opening day shooting hours will still begin at noon.

The Northern/Southern Zone split in Georgia is generally supported.

There was some interest in starting dove season later in the fall in both zones. This fall Georgia’s Northern Zone dove season opens Sept. 7, the first Saturday in September and the weekend after Labor Day. The Southern Zone will open Saturday, Sept. 28.

Meanwhile, the state is in the process of redefining the legality of shooting over top-sown grain. The state plans to use planting dates, by types of grain and by physiographic region, set by the University of Georgia Agriculture Department, as their guidelines. Under those guidelines the earliest wheat may be top-sown anywhere in the state for a bona-fide agricultural operation—and therefore a legal dove shoot—is Sept. 15. With a two-week grace period, the earliest wheat might be top-sown is Sept. 1—too late to draw doves for an opening day shoot on most years.

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