Release Date: 04/05/2007

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Wildlife Division has developed mourning dove hunting recommendations for consideration by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its May 3, 2007 meeting.  Hunting regulations recommendations represent a change from the past two decades because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service eliminated its prohibition of opening a south zone prior to September 20th.  As a consequence, use of zones for mourning dove hunting will allow early September openings with season dates better tailored to regional dove hunting interests.

Date Recommendations:
South Zone:
Sept. 1-9, nine days.
Oct. 13-Nov. 26, 45 days.
Dec. 22-Jan. 6, 16 days.

North Zone:
Sept.1-16, 16 days.
Oct. 13-Nov. 11, 30 days.
Dec. 15-Jan. 7, 24 days.

The dove focus group, Louisiana hunters who expressed an interest in participating in LDWF facilitated meetings addressing dove hunting issues, provided input into the design of two surveys of mourning dove hunters.  These dates were developed based on the results of those two random mail surveys of dove hunters-one for each zone.

Bag Limit Recommendations:
Mourning, White-Winged and fully dressed Eurasian Collared-Doves and Ringed-Turtle Doves: Daily bag limit 12 in aggregate, Possession 24 in aggregate but note: Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves may only be hunted or taken during the open mourning dove season.  There is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird.  Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.

Shooting Hour Recommendations:
Opening weekend of each segment: noon to sunset; 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset for the remainder of each segment.

Proposed mourning dove zone boundary:

The state shall be divided into North and South Mourning Dove Hunting Zones by the following boundary:  Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Highway 12; thence east along La. Highway 12 to its intersection with U.S. Highway 190; thence east along U.S. Highway 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along Interstate 12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; thence east along Interstate 10 to the Mississippi state line.

Note:  Mourning dove regulations are usually conducted at the July Commission meeting.  However, the Commission will be taking action on these recommendations at its May 3, 2007 meeting because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's regulations' process requires that the zone boundary recommendation by given to them in early May.

Public comment or questions on the proposed mourning dove season recommendations should be directed to Mike Olinde at molinde@wlf.louisiana.gov or mailed to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Rm. 370, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

For more information, contact Mike Olinde at molinde@wlf.louisiana.gov or 225/765-2353.