Arizona: All Signs Point to Exceptional Dove Season
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has released an optimistic outlook for the upcoming dove season.
“The great news is that another exceptional early season is expected,” said Johnathan O’Dell, small game biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “A longer wet winter delayed some early nesting, but it pushed more of that nesting into the prime breeding season in the deserts.
“The bottom line is that a lot of birds should be around for the season opener, especially since the summer monsoon has been relatively weak so far.”
The 15-day “early” season gets underway 30 minutes before legal sunrise Sept. 1. The daily bag limit is 15 mourning and white-winged doves, of which no more than 10 may be white-winged. The possession limit is 45 mourning and white-winged in the aggregate after opening day, of which no more than 15 may be taken in any one day. Of the 45-dove possession limit, only 30 may be white-winged, of which no more than 10 may be taken in any one day. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit on the invasive Eurasian collared-dove.
All dove hunters should review the “2020-2021 Arizona Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Regulations,” which are posted at www.azgfd.gov/dove. The regulations have been produced in a format that hunters will find particularly handy in the field. The color brochure is easy to read and features important hunting information, such as season dates, daily bag and possession limits, and legal requirements, at a glance.
All hunters 18 and older must possess a valid Arizona hunting license, as well as a migratory bird stamp — both of which can be purchased online now at https://www.azgfd.com/license/. A youth combination hunt/fish license (for youth hunters 10 to 17) is only $5 and includes a migratory bird stamp.
Dove hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) funds consist of excise taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment (including 11 percent on ammunition), the benefit of which comes right back to Arizona for habitat improvements, shooting ranges, boating access and more.