Labor Day start for dove season this fall

CorrespondentJuly 17, 2013 

Rather than wait for the first Saturday in September – Sept. 7 this year – North Carolina’s hunters will get an earlier start on dove season.

The season will start Sept. 2, Labor Day. Although the Monday holiday isn’t quite a Saturday, many hunters will have the day off to go afield.

The early opening was among changes revealed Monday when the N.C. Wildlife Resources Association announced seasons and regulations for dove and other webless migratory game birds, along with September seasons for Canada geese and teal.

Among the other changes:

Seasons for rails, gallinules and moorhens will be split into two segments.

The daily bag limit for September teal will increase from four to six.

Possession limits for all species will increase from two times to three times the daily bag limit.

Shooting hours for dove season, including opening day, will begin a half-hour before sunrise. Shooting hours for all species remain a half-hour before sunrise until sunset.

The 2013-14 seasons, with species, dates and bag limits:

Dove (mourning, white-winged): Sept. 2-Oct. 5, Nov. 25-30, Dec. 13-Jan. 11; daily limit 15, possession limit 45.

King and clapper rails: Sept. 7-28, Oct. 5-Nov. 21; daily 15, possession 45 (daily bag limits singly or in aggregate).

Sora and Virginia rails: Sept. 7-28, Oct. 5-Nov. 21; daily 25, possession 75 (singly or in aggregate).

Gallinule and moorhens: Sept. 7-28, Oct. 5-Nov. 21; daily 15, possession 45 (singly or in aggregate).

Woodcock: Dec. 12-Jan. 25; daily 3, possession 9.

Common snipe: Nov. 14-Feb. 28; daily 8, possession 24.

Teal (blue-winged, green-winged, cinnamon): Sept. 7-25 (east of U.S. 17 only); daily 6, possession 18.

Canada goose: Sept. 2-30 statewide; daily 15, possession 45; west of U.S. 17 only and during September only, shooting hours are extended to a half-hour after sunset, unplugged guns are permitted and electronic calls are permitted.

For details, along with falconry dates, go to

Game lands meetings

Everyone from hunters and hikers to kayakers and bird watchers can have a say as the wildlife commission holds seven public meetings for input in developing game lands management plans:

Sandhills: 6 p.m. July 18, Hinson Lake Rotary Lodge, Rockingham.

Holly Shelter: 7 p.m. July 22, Cape Fear Community College, Castle Hayne.

Lower Roanoke River: 7 p.m. July 23, Martin Community College, Williamston.

Suggs Mill Pond: 7 p.m. July 24, Bladen Community College, Dublin.

R. Wayne Bailey-Caswell: 7 p.m. July 24, Caswell County Center, Yanceyville.

Sandy Mush: 7 p.m. July 30, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Marshall.

Green River: 7 p.m. Aug. 1, Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock.

Comment also can be made at

Commission leaders change

The wildlife commission elected new leaders during its July 11 business meeting. The chairman is Jim Cogdell of Norwood, who is the District 6 commissioner. The vice chairman is John Litton Clark of Clinton, a House Speaker appointee at large.

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