The South Carolina Natural Resources Board recently approved 2011-12 hunting season for early migratory birds, although the season structure must still be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be ultimately enacted, the SCDNR said today (Aug. 4).

Included in the season dates are those for mourning doves, marsh hens, woodcock, snipe, moorhens, purple gallinules, and early seasons during September for teal and Canada geese.

The mourning dove season in South Carolina will be:

• Sept. 3-5 (noon until sunset)
• Sept. 6-Oct. 8
• Nov. 19-26
• Dec. 21-Jan. 15

Legal hunting hours for mourning dove season, except for Sept. 3-5, are from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Daily bag limit is 15 doves per day.

The early statewide season for Canada geese will run Sept. 1-30

Shooting hours during this season are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. Daily bag limit for Canada geese during this early season is 15 birds.

The two-part season for marsh hens – including king, clapper, sora and Virginia rails – and common moorhens and purple gallinules will be from Sept. 26-Oct. 1 and Oct. 22-Dec. 24.

Daily bag limit for king and/or clapper rails is 15 birds per hunter, while the daily limit for moorhens and/or purple gallinules is 15 birds per hunter. The daily limit for sora and/or Virginia rails is 25 birds per hunter.

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Woodcock season will be Nov. 19-Nov. 26 and Dec. 26-Jan. 31.

Three birds per hunter are allowed each day for woodcock, and shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Hunting for common snipe, also called Wilson's snipe, will be Nov. 14-Feb. 28. Daily bag limit is eight birds, and shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

The early teal season will be Sept. 15-30, and the daily bag limit is four birds.

Shooting hours for teal are sunrise until sunset (not 30 minutes before sunrise, as with other migratory bird seasons).

South Carolina migratory bird hunters age 16 and older must have a state hunting license and a free migratory bird permit.

Additionally, participants in the September Canada Goose season and the early teal season must have the Federal Waterfowl Stamp, the South Carolina Migratory Waterfowl Permit and the South Carolina Migratory Bird Permit.

Completion of an approved hunter-education course is mandatory for resident and nonresident South Carolina hunters born after June 30, 1979, to purchase a license, and voluntary for older and younger hunters.