KINGMAN - Sept. 1 will mark the opening of the 2014 Arizona dove season and there are a number of changes that sportsmen should be aware of.
Due to an increase in the number of birds in the state, the limit for doves has been raised from 10 per day to 15. Of that, only 10 of the bag can be white-wings. Mourning doves can make up the entire daily bag and/or possession limit.
The possession limit for doves has also been raised from 30 to 45. Only 30 of the possession limit can be white-wings, however.
Eurasian collared doves are also legal, and there is no bag limit on this feral exotic.
Since doves are migratory birds, a fully feathered wing must be left on every bird, including Eurasian collared doves, until they reach their final destination.
Hunters 18 and older must have a Harvest Information Program stamp. This stamp, which costs $5, can be purchased at any Game & Fish office or at any license dealer.
The season for doves will end Sept. 15. However a second season for mourning doves will start Nov. 22 and will close on Jan. 5.
Doves in Arizona may be taken with a shotgun, bow and arrow or crossbows as prescribed in ARS R12-4-304 or by falconry. Shotguns can hold not more than three shells. Pneumatic devices can be used to take Eurasian collared doves. All hunters must possess an Arizona hunting license to hunt doves in this state.
Empty shotgun shells are considered litter in Arizona. Hunters are responsible for picking up the empty shells before they leave the area.
Littering is an offense punishable by loss of hunting privileges for up to five years.
Hunters are reminded not to field dress birds at drinkers for livestock and/or wildlife. Often times, the feathers can clog up the float valve, which can result is the loss of all the water at that location.