Dove season opens Sunday afternoon

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Dove season opening day is one of the most anticipated days of the year and is a great time for outdoor fun with friends and family.

Mississippi’s dove hunting season will open on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. in both dove zones. There are no morning hunts allowed on opening day because it falls on Sunday. This is unusual, but federal regulations do not permit the opening of the season before September.

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The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) primary objectives for dove season are to conserve and enhance our migratory bird resources, to provide opportunities for quality outdoor recreation, and to make sure everyone has a safe hunting experience. Dove fields on MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas may have different hunt days and starting times, depending on the specific area’s regulations. Shooting hours for all migratory game birds, including doves, end at sunset.

Hunters should take serious notice of how a location was prepared prior to hunting. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know if the area is legal for hunting or not.

To assist with this determination, a brochure on dove field preparation and hunting regulations can be found online at

Three questions hunters should be able to answer regarding how the area was prepared before dove hunting are:

  • ● Did I know the area was baited?
  • ● Did I look to see if the area was baited?
  • ● Did I ask how the area was prepared?
  • MDWFP conservation officers will be working with federal officers during the dove seasons to ensure hunters comply with state and federal hunting laws. Before hunting migratory game birds in Mississippi, hunters should make sure their hunting license is current, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration, which is required for anyone hunting migratory game birds in each state hunted.
  • To complete HIP registration, hunters must use any of the methods or vendors available for purchasing hunting licenses. During the HIP process, hunters are asked questions about their migratory game bird hunting activity and harvest from the previous year.
  • The most frequent citation written in Mississippi during dove season has been no hunting license. This violation has a direct negative impact on conservation due to the loss of Federal Aid dollars to the state.
  • Dove hunters should ensure their shotguns are not capable of holding more than three shells. The total combined bag limit for mourning and white-winged doves is 15 per person per day, with no more than 45 in possession. On opening day, the possession limit is the same as the daily bag limit.
  • For more information regarding doves in Mississippi, visit or call(601) 432-2199.