Late dove season begins Friday, Nov. 21 Take advantage of all-day hunting, great weather, fewer crowds

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November 24th, 2008

The late dove season combines enjoyable hunting with great seasonal weather.Mourning doves are everywhere it seems.

By all indications, this should be one of the better late dove seasons. So be sure to pick up plenty of extra shotgun shells and mark your calendar for Friday, Nov. 21 for the return of dove hunting.

There is nothing better than hitting a water tank a few hours before sunset for some fantastically fast and furious action. Fall temperatures are cool and refreshing, compared to the hot and humid early dove season in September. Sunsets during this time of the year are unmatched. Hunters can slow the pace of the daily grind by enjoying the glowing oranges and reds while taking a few birds on the wing for the grill.

“The second season is good for a number of reasons: the weather is fantastic, there are fewer crowds, and quail and rabbit seasons are open too – offering a mixed bag,” said Mike Rabe, migratory bird specialist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Surprisingly, a very small percentage of early season dove hunters go out in the late season. Those that choose not to go are really missing out on a great opportunity and an abundant resource.”

The season runs from Nov. 21 into the new year, ending Jan. 4, 2009. However, in order to hunt in 2009, you will need a 2009 hunting license. Your migratory bird stamp is valid for the entire 2008-09 season if you have it from hunting the early dove season in September. Licenses can be obtained at any department office or license dealer.

The daily bag limit is 10 mourning doves. White-winged doves are not open, nor are they typically found in the state during the winter months. However, in some areas bordering rural communities or near agricultural areas, hunters may encounter Eurasian collared-doves; there is no limit on these birds, but it is required to leave one feathered wing until you reach your final destination for identification (on both species). Eurasian doves are large (bigger than a white-wing) and excellent eating.

“Late season dove is always good,” adds Rabe. “There are fewer hunters, and fewer hunters means more room for those of us who venture out. Because the second season allows for afternoon hunting, there is more flexibility for a morning and evening hunt.”

Shooting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until sunset – statewide. The best times to hunt are right before sunrise and about 1-2 hours before sunset, making this hunt convenient and accommodating for busy schedules. Start your day a little early before going to work to get into a quick flight of birds. Conversely, work through lunch and leave early to get to a local stock tank and finish off the day with wingshooting and a sunset. Either way, late season dove offers a link to the outdoors and an Arizona tradition.

For tips on where and how to hunt dove, visit www.azgfd.gov/artman/publish/article_1024.shtml and scroll down the page. For more hunting information, including regulations and the small game outlook, visit www.azgfd.gov/hunting.

One Response to “Late dove season begins Friday, Nov. 21 Take advantage of all-day hunting, great weather, fewer crowds”

  1. Says dove opening Friday 21 Nov. That is a Saturday. When does dove season open in November, 2009?

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