This information is provided to guide sportsmen/women in the preparation of and hunting over dove fields and agricultural areas.
The mourning dove is the most hunted and harvested game bird in the United States. About 17 million mourning doves are taken annually by U.S. hunters. Dove hunting is equally popular in North Carolina. In 2010-11, approximately 44,300 North Carolina hunters harvested an estimated 686,900 doves. Mourning doves are migratory birds that congregate where food, bare soil and water are abundant. It follows that agricultural areas offer some of the best dove hunting. However, strict laws govern the hunting of migratory birds. Of particular importance are regulations that pertain to "baiting". Every year, numerous North Carolina hunters are cited for hunting over baited fields. It is, therefore, important that hunters and farmers fully understand how the management of agricultural operations relates to dove hunting regulations.
Click on the links below to see answers to the most common questions about baiting laws when hunting in agricultural areas. The links will expand and display the answers.
Dove Hunting in North Carolina (download pamphlet)
Mourning Dove species page