North Carolinas best public dove fields are mostly in the Piedmont.
The Sandhills Game Land comprises 63,000 acres surrounding the town of Hoffman along US 1 south of Raleigh in Hoke, Moore, Richmond and Scotland counties. It is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Commission maintains 15 dove fields at Sandhills, from the 120-acre Carrington tract and the 30-acre Parsons tract to several fields from 4 to 7 acres in size. Dove fields on the game lands cover 214 acres.
Brady Beck, a biologist for the Commission, said not all of the fields are planted every year. Call the Sandhills Depot (910-281-3917) to check on the status of individual dove fields.
Butner-Falls of Neuse Game Land has had a reputation as a good dove-hunting venue for years.
“The Brickhouse Road dove fields (70 acres) ... draw a lot of hunters, but there are other good dove fields at Butner-Falls,” said Chris Baranskii, a Commission biologist.
The 35-acre Flat River field, Olive the 28-acre Grove Road field, the 18-acre Ellerbe Creek field, the 17-acre Eno Hole field and the 16-acre Penny Bend field are planted in corn, millet, top-seeded wheat, buckwheat and sunflowers and draw plenty of doves.
Butner-Falls is open Monday through Saturday, with no special permits are needed to hunt doves.
Jordan Lake Game Land has seven dove fields totaling 55 acres, with the 22-acre NC 751 tract probably the best. Its dove fields also have corn, millet and top-seeded wheat.
The Wayne Bailey-Caswell Game Land’s seven dove fields cover 156 acres and range in size from the Scott Tract’s 30 acres to 8 acres at the Old Bigelow Tract.
Northeastern North Carolina has one of the top permit hunts on the Conoho Farms tract of the Lower Roanoke Rapids Wetlands Game Land between Williamston and Hamilton, but the deadline for permit applications was Au.g. 10. Approximately 40 acres of fields are planted in millet and sunflower on the right side of NC 125. To make sure all 50 permits are drawn during the application process, call 888-248-6834
“Permit dove hunts at the Lower Roanoke River Wetlands are by far the best in the northeast,” said David Turner, a Commission biologist, “especially the first couple of days.”