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Outdoors

Dove hunters' wait comes to end on Thursday

Dove hunters' wait comes to end on Thursday

August 28, 2005|By Bill Anderson

Dove season is traditionally the first hunting season of the fall, and this year is no exception with opening day scheduled for Sept. 1. As has been the case for many years, the dove season in Maryland will feature several segments: Sept. 1-Oct. 15; Nov. 11-Dec. 10; and Dec. 24-Jan. 7, 2006.

The bag limit will be 12 birds per day.

Most of the shooting opportunities in the early portion of the dove season will be for resident birds - birds that have nested in our area and birds that never migrate. In the later part of the season, the area will see flights of birds that are migrating through the area on their way toward warmer climates.

Most bird hunters I've met rate dove shooting as the toughest of the wingshooting sports they have tried. Doves are very fast flyers and they also have the habit of flying in erratic, zig-zag patterns, making for some very tough shooting.

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Doves are not hard to bring down, so you should use light loads and small shot. Most of us need all we can get.

Most dove hunting is pass shooting - allowing doves to fly past while you shoot at them. Pass shooting is most productive near grain fields (recently harvested is best), watering areas and roosting areas.

Doves are migratory gamebirds and the season dates and regulations are set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition to the state hunting license, you are also required to obtain the Harvest Information Program permit, which is free.




Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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