Nov. 13, 2023
PHOENIX — When it comes to experiencing some of the finest wing-shooting that Arizona has to offer, the “second” dove season — which opens Friday, Nov. 17 — is not to be missed.
While the bigger white-winged doves, prized during the traditional 15-day season in September, have long since migrated to Mexico, the more acrobatic mourning doves remain abundant and widespread. The second season is a longer one, lasting 45 days and running through Dec. 31, 2023.
There still is a 15-bird daily bag limit, all of which must be mourning doves. The possession limit remains 45 mourning doves after opening day, of which no more than 15 may be taken in any one day. Note: The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages all hunters to harvest as many Eurasian collared-doves as possible. There is an unlimited daily bag and possession limit year-round for this invasive species.
A few things to remember to make the most of the upcoming season:
- A combination hunt and fish license for youth hunters ages 10 to 17 is only $5. Children 9 and under do not need a license when accompanied by a licensed adult (two children per adult). Licenses can be purchased online at www.azgfd.com/License/, or from any license dealer.
- Hunters 18 and older must possess an Arizona hunting license, or a combination hunt and fish license, and an Arizona migratory bird stamp ($5), all of which can be purchased online or from any license dealer.
- Shooting hours are 30 minutes before legal sunrise until legal sunset.
- One fully feathered wing must remain attached to each harvested dove until it reaches its final destination.
- Keep in mind that dove hunters are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Shell casings (shotgun hulls) and associated debris constitute litter and must be picked up and packed out. Littering while hunting or fishing are revocable violations, and a conviction can result in the loss of hunting privileges for up to five years.
- For everything “dove,” read the “2023-2024 Arizona Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Regulations.”
Dove hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program funds consist of excise taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment (including 11 percent on ammunition), the benefit of which comes right back to Arizona for habitat improvements, shooting ranges, boating access and more.
In addition to the late dove season that opens Friday, several other small game hunting seasons are underway, including quail (Gambel’s, scaled), Oct. 13, 2023-Feb. 11, 2024; cottontail rabbit, July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024; chukar, Sept. 1, 2023-Feb. 11, 2024; and tree squirrel (Abert’s, Kaibab and red, excluding Mount Graham red squirrel), Sept. 29, 2023-Jan. 31, 2024. The season for Mearns’ quail opens Dec. 1, 2023, and closes Feb. 11, 2024.