2022 Dove Season
It’s good to be back in the outdoors, and there’s no better way to kick off Arizona’s hunting seasons than by getting together with family and friends for some fast-action wingshooting for doves. The popular 15-day season gets underway Sept. 1.
Many festivities are planned in conjunction with dove season, such as the World Championship Dove Cookoff in Yuma and a mentored youth hunt — a longtime tradition — at Robbins Butte Wildlife Area near Buckeye. Other agriculture-based communities, which are magnets for doves, also will be hosting a variety of fun activities.
There are several ways to connect with the Arizona Game and Fish Department for the latest updates and information:
- Facebook: facebook.com/azgfd
- Instagram: www.instagram.com@azgfd
- Subscribe to the E-newsletter: Visit azgfd.gov, then click on “E-news Signup” in the upper-left corner.
For up-to-date hunting information specific to Yuma, visit: http://www.yumadovehunting.com/
- Hunters 18 and older must be in possession of a valid Arizona hunting license (or combination hunt and fish license) and migratory bird stamp.
- Hunters 10-17 only need a youth combination hunt and fish license (a state migratory bird stamp is included with this license).
- Youth under 10 can hunt doves without a license if accompanied by a licensed adult (18 and older). A maximum of two unlicensed children may accompany one licensed adult.
- The daily bag limit is 15 total doves (mourning and white-winged), of which no more than 10 can be white-winged. The possession limit is 45 total doves after opening day, of which no more than 30 can be white-winged. There are no daily bag or possession limits on invasive Eurasian collared-doves.
- The “2022-2023 Arizona Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Regulations” are posted at azgfd.com/Hunting/Regulations. A hunting license and migratory bird stamp can be purchased at www.azgfd.com/license or at more than 200 license dealers statewide.
The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts
Wildlife managers want hunters to have a safe, fun and violation-free time in the field. These are the top 10 dove-hunting infractions for which citations are written every season:
- DO NOT shoot within one-quarter mile (440 yards) of an occupied structure without the resident’s permission.
- DO NOT shoot from, across, or into roads or railways.
- DO NOT leave shotgun shells or other litter on the ground.
- DO NOT hunt over waters all day. (Allow time for livestock to access waters).
- DO NOT consume drugs or alcohol while hunting or handling firearms.
- DO leave one fully-feathered wing attached to the dove for identification purposes until the permanent residence has been reached, or where the bird will be consumed.
- DO keep individual limits of doves separate while in the field, in the cooler (ice chest), or in transit.
- DO respect postings on private land and leave gates as found.
- DO make a reasonable effort to retrieve all downed birds.
- DO report violations to Operation Game Thief: 1-800-352-0700.
This is a one-pot Tex-Mex style meal that can be made on the tailgate right after harvesting a limit of doves.
- 15 dove breasts – filleted off breast bone and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 15 oz. cans Ro-Tel diced tomatoes (with green chiles, optional)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3-cup water
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add the dove meat, and stir until the meat just starts to brown on all sides (approximately 5-7 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion, pepper, and garlic while stirring and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir often and allow to cook until the meat is tender (around 30 minutes). Serve over rice or in a tortilla.
About Hunting and Conservation
Did you know that mourning doves are the most numerous, widespread game bird in North America? They are prolific breeders with an average life span of 1-2 years. Dove hunting seasons are regulated and maintain doves as a sustainable wildlife resource. Dove hunters are a valuable conservation tool. There is an excise tax on firearms and ammunition that is contributed to the federal Pittman-Robertson Fund, which in turn is apportioned to state wildlife agencies for the management of wildlife, which benefits all citizens.
Additionally, hunters provide hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy, by purchasing ammunition, gas, food and lodging while engaging in this American tradition.