Created: Thu, 04 Sep 2014 08:00:00 CST
Updated: Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:24:14 CST
Dove Hunting season is underway across Nebraska, and there are rules and regulations hunters need to follow, one of which is staying in designated hunting areas.
“Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are posted with signs and they will tell you if that’s an area that can be hunted or not. Plus, if you get one of our atlas’ that will help as well,” said Julie Geiser, public information officer with Game and Park Commission.
The Nebraska Game and Parks issues a 2014 Public Access Atlas which lists every area that is open to the public for hunting and fishing. But these areas are open to everyone so hunters and sight seers have to be cautious.
“It’s good if you’re walking by someone that is hunting to let them know, 'hey, I’m going head off this way or in this direction.' Everybody can get along, just let each other know where you’re going to be. Put on some hunter orange if you’re not hunting doves that way other hunters can see you in the field,” said Geiser.
One of the most important laws hunters have to remember is that you have to shoot a dove in flight.
“It all has to do with fair chase, so you want to give the game you're pursuing fair chase. That’s why we shoot them in flight and not on the ground or in a roosted tree,” said Geiser..
And because of fair chase hunters are only allowed three shot shells in the chamber of their gun and shotguns must be plugged when hunting doves. There are also bagging and possession limits.
“There’s a bag limit of 15 and that is a combination of all species. And then we do have have a possession limit which is 45,” Geiser said.
If dove hunters find a leg band on a dove they should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Banding Office at 1-800-327-BAND.
Hunters 16 years and older are required to have a valid Nebraska hunting permit, a habitat stamp and a Harvest Information Program Number. You can register at any Game and Parks district office, by phone at 1-877-NEHUNTS or register at http://nehip.com/ and http://www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov/HIP.
Dove hunting season runs from Sept.1 through Oct. 30.