Thursday, July 6, 2006
Dove hunters have input on season structure
Mississippi dove hunters are just weeks away from the 2006-07 hunting season. This year, dove hunters are being asked to provide input prior to the setting of the season structure, bag limits, and shooting hours, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks(MDWFP).
Mourning doves are migratory thus falling under the regulatory control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Each year the USFWS sets the basics of the dove season but allows the individual states to tailor a unique season framework. This year Mississippi is asking dove hunters to complete a survey indicating their preference of more days and fewer birds, or more birds and fewer days.
The survey, which can be found at the agency’s website, www.mdwfp.com, asks hunters to choose a 12-bird bag limit with 70 available days of hunting. The second option is a 15-bird bag, with 60 days of possible hunting. In addition, hunters are asked to provide preferences for time of day and how many days are to be allowed within the Federal guidelines.
“This is a chance for hunters to voice their opinion and have that opinion presented to the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks when the final season structure is discussed,” said Larry Castle, Wildlife Bureau Director for the MDWFP.
“Survey One asked how the season days should be divided among the months and what the bag limit should be. Respondents will find questions about shooting hours and other season related topics in Survey Two.”
According to Federal statute, dove season in Mississippi cannot open until September 1 each year. The 2006 calendar places September 1 on Friday. This makes the traditional opening date of Labor Day weekend as Saturday, September 2.
The Commission will likely address the 2006 dove season at their July 18 meeting in Jackson. Hunters are urged to respond to the survey as soon as possible to be part of the recommended framework.
For more information on dove season and the survey process, contact the Wildlife Bureau Office in Jackson by calling 601-432-2400.
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