Hunters get second shot at doves beginning Friday
Posted November 18, 2020
Late season runs Nov. 20 through Jan. 3
PHOENIX — The bigger white-winged doves, which Arizona hunters prefer to slip into their bird vests during the traditional 15-day season in September, are long gone and spending the winter in Mexico.
That’s not to suggest that hunters should take a pass on the state’s “second” season that opens Friday, Nov. 20. As always, the smaller but more acrobatic mourning doves will be abundant and widespread, providing plenty of wing-shooting opportunities — and, at the end of the day, some tasty table fare.
The late season lasts 45 days and runs through Jan. 3, 2021. 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. There is an unlimited daily bag and possession limit year-round for the invasive Eurasian collared-dove.
A few things to remember to make the most of the upcoming season:
- It’s important to remain physically distant from other groups, or persons not in your same party or household, but Arizona’s dove hunters are strongly encouraged to stay socially connected and share in the fun experiences.
- 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 migratory bird stamp ($5) that 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,” visit www.azgfd.com/hunting/species/smallgame/mourningdove.
Dove hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) 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. 16, 2020-Feb. 7, 2021; cottontail rabbit, July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021; chukar, Sept. 1, 2020-Feb. 7, 2021; and tree squirrel (Abert’s, Kaibab and Red, excluding Mount Graham red squirrel), Oct. 2, 2020-Dec. 31, 2020. The season for Mearns’ quail opens Dec. 4, 2020 and closes Feb. 7, 2021.