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WV's Mourning Dove Season opens Sept. 1

August 19, 2014

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - Mourning dove season in West Virginia opens September 1. "For many hunters this marks the beginning of the fall hunting seasons," said Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR).

The 2014 season will be split into three segments: Sept. 1 through Oct. 18; Nov. 3 through Nov. 22; and Dec. 22 through Jan. 10, 2015. The total season length has increased by 20 days. Shooting hours are from noon to sunset Sept. 1 and one half-hour before sunrise until sunset for all other days. The daily bag limit is 15 and the possession limit is 45.

"Mourning dove hunting season segments have been adjusted slightly, but the bulk of the season still falls in September when few other hunting opportunities are available," said Taylor. "The remaining hunting days are scheduled to target late crop harvests and the Christmas/New Year holiday period."

Article Photos

West Virginia's mourning dove season begins Sept. 1, 2014. Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

Dove hunting is available throughout West Virginia, but dove numbers are typically higher near agricultural areas. "Recently harvested grain fields with a nearby waterhole, a dead snag or two, and a brushy fence row for concealment are good bets for dove hunting," Taylor said. "In addition, don't overlook other possibilities such as reclaimed strip mines or recently brush-hogged pasture fields. Hunters should be contacting landowners now for permission to hunt on private land. Scouting areas immediately prior to a planned hunt is also very important."

Federal regulations require all licensed dove hunters (including lifetime and senior citizens) to register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) and carry proof of registration while hunting. HIP cards are free and available from DNR offices and all hunting 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 cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.

Several hundred doves are banded with leg bands each year in West Virginia for population monitoring and research purposes. Hunters who harvest a banded bird are asked to report it by calling 1-800-327-2263 or going online at Hunters may keep the band and will receive banding information for the harvested bird.

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More information on mourning dove season can be found in the 2014-2015 West Virginia Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations which will be available from DNR offices, license agents and the DNR web site ( in late August.



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