LDWF agents prepare for dove season opener on Sept. 6

Rule change allows morning hunts on opening day, Buatt says

Opening day hunters on private land can begin hunting doves one-half hour before sunrise this year, an important change to remember when the season kicks off statewide next Saturday, Sept. 6.

Capt. Robert Buatt, Region 5 commander for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said agents will be carefully monitoring the new legal shooting time.

“The only thing they changed was the opening day on private lands where you can start hunting 30 minutes before legal sunrise up until sunset,” Buatt said. “But on LDWF-leased fields and WMAs, on opening day it’s from noon until sunset.”

And like opening day hunts every year, Buatt said hunters are reminded it’s their responsibility to ensure they aren’t hunting over baited fields.

“Each hunter needs to be aware of his or her surroundings,” Buatt said. “The law says it’s the hunter’s responsibility to check their immediate area to make sure they’re not hunting in a baited area.”

He also requested that hunters be courteous of homeowners located adjacent to dove fields.

“We get a lot of calls from people living near the fields where people are hunting complaining about hunters shooting towards houses, so please be considerate of neighbors and take all safety precautions,” he said.

And Buatt reminded hunters who may have participated in the Conservation Order for light geese last spring to make sure to replace their shotgun plugs.

“You can hunt with a shotgun capable of holding only three shells, chamber included,” he said. “So check to make sure you put your plug back in the gun before heading to the dove field.”

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.