LINCOLN, Neb. – With the annual dove season opener on Sept. 1, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has some reminders for hunters, as well as recommendations for areas to hunt.
Dove hunting is a fun activity for many hunters each fall and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce youth and other novice hunters to hunting.
Doves are abundant statewide and, with generous bag limits, provide some excellent wing-shooting opportunities. Doves may be hunted statewide Sept. 1 – Oct. 30, 2021, with daily bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively. Bag and possession limits are for mourning, white-winged and Eurasian collared-doves in aggregate. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
Sunflowers, millet and wheat, which generally provide good food sources and dove hunting opportunities, have been planted on numerous wildlife management areas earlier this year. For a listing of these “dove fields,” view the 2021 Dove Hunting Fact Sheet at Outdoornebraska.gov/SmallGameSpecies.
Preseason scouting is recommended due to changing habitat conditions. All publicly accessible sites throughout the state – including federal, state, conservation partner and private lands enrolled in Game and Parks’ Open Fields and Waters Program – are displayed in the 2021-2022 Public Access Atlas, which can be found at OutdoorNebraska.org/PublicAccessAtlas. Private lands throughout the state also provide excellent hunting opportunities for doves.
Hunters are reminded that they must obtain landowner permission prior to accessing private lands in Nebraska.
Nebraska residents 16 years and older and all nonresidents are required to have a valid Nebraska small game hunting permit, habitat stamp and Harvest Information Program number. Get the free HIP number at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hip or at any Game and Parks office. Federal and state migratory bird hunting stamps, or duck stamps, are not required to hunt doves. Shotgun plugs are also required, restricting it to no more than three shells.
Hunters who harvest a dove with a leg band should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at reportband.gov. In addition, randomly selected hunters will be asked to save one wing from each dove during the first week of the season and mail them postage-free to the Service.
Eurasian collared-doves also may be harvested between Oct. 31, 2021 and Aug. 31, 2022, with bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively.
For summaries of hunting regulations, read the Small Game and Waterfowl Guide at Outdoornebraska.gov/guides. Purchase permits at OutdoorNebraska.org.