Dove hunters will open the 2015 season on a Saturday for the first time in several years after the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced season dates for dove and other webless migratory game birds, as well as September seasons for Canada geese and teal.
The past two years, Labor Day was the earliest that dove season could open according to the framework set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This year, however, hunting will begin on the Saturday or Labor Day weekend. North Carolina’s dove season will be split in two parts: Sept. 5-Oct. 10 and Nov. 23-Jan. 15, with a daily bag limit of 15 birds.
Seasons and bag limits for most species are similar to last year. Shooting hours for all species are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset unless otherwise noted. Dove hunters should note that shooting hours for the entire season, including opening day, begin at 30 minutes before sunrise. The change to opening day shooting hours for doves was implemented several years ago.
Waterfowl hunters will also get an early start on the 2015-16 season. They can hunt resident Canada geese statewide from Sept. 1-30, with a daily bag limit of 15. In addition, west of US 17, hunters will have extended shooting hours to 30 minutes after sunset, they can use unplugged guns and electronic calls.
East of US 17, hunters can target teal – blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon – from Sept. 12-30, with a daily bag limit of six birds.
Possession limit is three times the daily bag for all species, and the listed seasons do not include Sundays. There is no hunting of migratory game birds by any method on Sundays.
The Commission also set seasons for shore birds, including Sept. 1-Oct. 3 and Oct. 23-Nov. 28 for king and clapper rails (daily bag limit of 15), sora and Virginia rails (daily bag limit of 25), gallinules and moorhens (daily bag limit of 15), Nov. 13-Feb. 27 for common snipe (daily bag limit of eight).
Woodcock season will be Dec. 17-Jan. 30, with a daily bag limit of three.