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#07-247 September 3, 2007

College football and dove season open Sept. 1

There is much more to do this Saturday besides getting your tailgating supplies ready before the opening of college football. Dove hunting season opens in South Carolina at noon on Saturday Sept. 1. You have just enough time to enjoy the dove season opener before kick-off of the University of South Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette game Saturday night and the Clemson vs. Florida State contest on Monday.

According to S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists, there will be lots of hunting opportunities. "The opening of dove season is a South Carolina tradition. Doves provide an action packed hunt and are a great challenge for new hunters and long-time veterans alike," said Billy Dukes, Small Game Project supervisor with DNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

Dove hunting is enjoyable for many reasons:

There are quite a few places to go dove hunting in South Carolina. Fifty public dove fields are available across the state during the 2007-08 season through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program. Free WMA maps are available from Department of Natural Resources regional offices in Columbia, Clemson, Florence and Charleston.

All you need to go dove hunting on public fields is a South Carolina hunting license ($10.00) with a Wildlife Management Area permit ($30.50), or a combination license ($25) with a Wildlife Management Area permit ($30.50) or a sportsman license ($50) and a free migratory bird permit. This is a small price to pay to relax before watching the big games this weekend. Wildlife Management Area permits are not required for hunting on private lands. "The dove hunting experience costs far less than taking the family to a college football game," said Dukes. "I'd call that a great deal."

The 2007-2008 mourning dove season in South Carolina is Sept. 1-3 (noon until sunset); Sept. 4-Oct. 6; Nov. 17-24; and Dec. 21-Jan. 15. Legal hunting hours for mourning dove season, except for Sept. 1-3, are from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The bag limit is 12 doves per hunter per day. Call 1-866-714-3611 to buy a license. You can call (803) 734-3609 for a list of public dove fields. Public dove field lists are also available at County Extension Service offices, Soil and Water Conservation District offices and local DNR offices.            

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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