JACKSON – One of the most popular hunting days of the year is quickly approaching with opening day of dove season, September 5th. All sworn law enforcement officers with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will be working in concert with local and federal officers to insure all hunters are in compliance with all state and federal hunting laws.
Violation of any migratory game bird law can be charged both in state and federal courts resulting in large monetary fines and the loss of hunting privileges for up to three years.
Hunters need to be sure their hunting license is current for the 2009 hunting season, shotguns are not capable of holding more than three shells, and be aware of how the field was prepared. Hunting with the aid of bait is illegal, and it is the hunter’s responsibility to know if the field is baited or not.
There are three questions the hunter will need to be able to answer regarding how the field was prepared before going hunting. Those questions are: “Did I know the field was baited, did I look to see if the field was baited, and did I ask how the field was prepared?”
Steve Adcock, Chief of Law Enforcement with MDWFP, states “Our officers have fields across the state under surveillance for baiting this year. We have received tips from neighboring landowners and hunters about baited fields. Hunters in violation of state or federal dove hunting regulations will be cited. Our primary objectives are to protect the resource and make sure everybody has a safe quality experience.”
In previous years, the No. 1 citation has been no hunting license. This violation has a direct impact on the agency because of the loss of federal aid dollars.
Hunters are encouraged to have a safe and enjoyable hunt. The bag limit for morning doves is 15 per day with no more than 30 in possession. The possession limit does not apply on opening day. Shooting hours are from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to sunset. For more information on dove hunting regulations, please go to: www.mdwfp.com.