PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The 2013-14 dove seasons are set for Mississippi hunters. And the first hunting season gets started in less than two weeks across all 82 counties.
Mississippi, which is divided into a north and south zone, offers a 70-day mourning and white-winged dove season. The daily limit is 15-birds per hunter and the possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.
The South Zone includes areas south of U.S. 84 and east of Mississippi 35. The dates are Sept. 1-9, Oct. 5-to-Nov. 4 and Dec. 14 through Jan. 12.
The North Zone includes areas north of U.S. 84 and west of Mississippi 35. The hunting dates are Sept. 1-22, Oct. 12-to-Nov. 4 and Dec. 20 through Jan. 12. The seasons both open statewide on Sept. 1 at 2 pm and a small game hunting license is required.
''Basically, the state is boxed in,'' Scott Baker of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in Jackson said. ''Anything south of U.S. 84 and east of Mississippi 35 is in the south and the rest of the state is the north. We're hearing good reports across the state and expect a very good season because we have a healthy crop of dove.''
The reports were really good until the recent cool front. But a sudden change - like cool weather and rain - will change things up. But the reports are still good.
''For non-land owners in the state, The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks currently has seven public hunting fields in the Private Land Dove Field Program. In the South Zone, one field is in Jones County and the other in Pearl River County.
To purchase a permit to hunt one of the seven fields, go to http://www.mdwfp.com/
''We have seven fields enrolled in our program,'' Baker said. ''There are two in the south and the other five are in the north. You have to purchase a permit to hunt the fields and that includes up to two youth hunters. I know the field in Pearl River County still has permits left.
''Opening day is always an exciting time. It might as well be a state holiday because it's a big event. Dove hunting and the opening of the college football season. In Mississippi, hunters harvest six birds per hunt and two-to-three hunts. That's more than a million dove killed each year. It's a big event all across the state."