RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 18, 2011) – One of the most popular hunting traditions in North Carolina is dove season, bringing family and friends together afield. The Home from the Hunt™ safety campaign reminds everyone to think before they pull the trigger.
“Always think twice – positively identifying your target and what is beyond it – before pulling the trigger,” said Travis Casper, state assistant hunter education coordinator with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “A rewarding hunting experience happens only when all hunters are safe and responsible.”
The 2011-12 season for mourning and white-winged dove is Sept. 3 – Oct. 8; Nov. 21 - Nov. 26 and Dec. 17 - Jan. 13. Daily bag limit is 15 and possession limit is 30. For doves, shooting hours are from noon until sunset on opening day only and from a half hour before sunrise until sunset thereafter.
- When hunting in a group, know where others are and communicate.
- Never shoot at low-flying birds; alert others when a bird is too low to safely allow a shot.
- Wear shooting glasses and consider hearing protection.
- Know your zone of fire. Don’t pepper people, buildings or vehicles with falling shot.
- Never place decoys on utility lines, which is trespassing and risks electrical shock.
- Don’t combine game bags, which is a hunting regulations violation.
It is an individual hunter’s responsibility to know the legal status of the area being hunted. Don’t hunt over baited fields; take time prior to hunting to “walk the field” and inspect the area. According to state regulations, the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve as a lure for migratory game can constitute a baited area. Since birds often return to a feeding area even after food supplies are exhausted, hunting within 10 days after complete disappearance of feed from a baited area is illegal.
In North Carolina, all first-time hunting license buyers must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course, offered free across the state. Go to www.ncwildlife.org to consult the online version of the 2011-12 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest or call 919-707-0031 for more information.