Outdoors

Early migratory game-bird season begins Labor Day weekend

Canada geese season starts in September.
Canada geese season starts in September. Associated Press

Labor Day weekend marks the start of early hunting seasons for migratory game birds in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks announced its schedule back in the spring.

The early seasons are for resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, dove and rails.

Mourning dove season opens statewide on Sept. 3 for a 90-day 15-bird daily bag limit. The possession limit is 45 birds.

“Dove hunting is very popular,’’ MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator Houston Havens said.

The state is divided into two zones, North and South, to maximize hunting chances for all hunters during dove season.

Legal hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

The North Dove Zone consists of areas north of U.S. 84, south of U.S. 84 and west of Mississippi 35. Season dates for the North Zone are Sept. 3-Oct. 9, Oct. 22-Nov. 6 and Dec. 10-Jan. 15.

The South Dove Zone consists of areas south of U.S. 84 and east of Mississippi 35 including Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties. Season dates for the South Zone are Sept. 3-Sept. 11, Oct. 8-Nov. 13 and Dec. 3-Jan. 15.

Hunting is by permit ages 16 and up. Two youth ages 15 or younger can attend with each permitted adult hunter age 21 or older at no additional cost. To purchase a permit, visit mdwfp.com/dove. Hunters with permits will be granted access to the field on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday afternoons.

For Coast hunters, the closest dove field is on private leased land in Pearl River County. A permit costs $100 to hunt on the 45-acre field in Lumberton.

Here are the schedules:

▪ Canada geese season is Sept. 1-Sept. 30 with a bag limit of five and possession of 15.

▪ Teal season is Sept. 10-Sept. 25 with a bag limit of six and possession of 18.

▪  Rails season (Sora and Virginia) is Sept. 3-Nov. 11 with a bag limit of 25 and possession limit of 75.

▪ Rails (Clapper and King) and Gallinules (Common and Purple) seasons both go Sept. 3-Nov. 11 with a bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 45.

▪  Snipe season is Nov. 14-Feb. 28 with a bag limit of 8 and possession limit of 24.

▪ Woodcock season begins Dec. 18 and ends Jan. 31 with a bag limit of three and possession limit of nine.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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