Georgia dove hunting season kicks off today

Published 12:49 pm Saturday, September 2, 2017


SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. – Georgia’s dove hunting season opens Sat. Sept. 2, 2017, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).
“Dove season is a fantastic reason to introduce someone new to hunting, it brings a lot of joy to participants and is a great kick off to the fall hunting season,” said John W. Bowers, Chief of WRD Game Management. “Georgia has more than 50 public dove fields, including opportunities on private land made available to the public through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program called the Voluntary Public Access (VPA)/Habitat Incentive Program.”
The official 2017-2018 dove seasons are Sept. 2-17, Oct. 14-Nov. 2 and Nov. 23 – Jan. 15. Shooting hours are noon until sunset on opening day (Sept. 2) and one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for the remainder of the season dates.
Dove hunters 16 years of age and older must possess a Georgia hunting license and a Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp.  The Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp is required for ALL migratory bird hunters (doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe, coots, rails, or gallinules), even if a hunting license is not required. This stamp is how Georgia participates in the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). Some licenses allow the license holder to get the Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp at no cost. The Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp is only valid for a single season (March to February). Hunters must obtain a new Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp each season.
More information is available at: (click on “Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp”). Hunters may purchase licenses online at, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at license vendor locations.
The dove field forecast is available at ( The dove field forecast identifies available crops and anticipates hunting conditions for opening day.
The daily bag limit is 15 doves per hunter. Collared doves may be taken and do not count toward your daily limit. Any auto-loading or other repeating shotgun must be plugged to hold no more than three shot shells while hunting doves. As always, hunters must obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private property.
In 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Research Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with several states, including Georgia, initiated an ongoing dove banding project. Hunters can participate in this conservation effort by examining harvested doves for leg bands and reporting band numbers to the USFWS at
Private field plans? Make sure the field is legal. Check out the online brochure, “Dove Hunting and Agricultural Practices in Georgia,” available at
Hunters in need of the Georgia hunter education course have two options – completely online or a classroom course, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“Our customers can take the hunter education course completely online,” says Walter Lane, hunter development program manager with the Wildlife Resources Division.  “This allows students to complete the course at their convenience. We also continue to offer the more traditional classroom course.”
The available online courses each require a fee (from $9.95 – $29.00), but all are “pass or don’t pay” courses.  Fees for these courses are charged by and collected by the independent course developer. If the online course vendor fees are an obstacle, students can attend the 8-hour classroom course free of charge.
Completion of a hunter education course is required for any person born on or after January 1, 1961, who:
•  purchases a season hunting license in Georgia.
•  is at least 12 years old and hunts without adult supervision.
•  hunts big game (deer, turkey, bear) on a wildlife management area.
The only exceptions include any person who:
•  purchases a short-term hunting license, such as the Apprentice License or the 3-day Hunting and Fishing Combo License (as opposed to a season license).
•  is hunting on his or her own land, or that of his or her parents or legal guardians.
For more information, go to call 770-761-3010.
For more information on dove hunting in Georgia, visit