With the annual pigeon season opening on September 1, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has a few reminders for hunters, as well as recommendations on areas to hunt.
Pigeons are abundant throughout the state and, with generous bag limits, provide excellent opportunities for flight. Doves can be hunted statewide from September 1 to October 30, 2022, with daily bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively. Bag and possession limits are for Eurasian Mourning, White-winged, and Collared Doves together. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
Sunflowers, millet and wheat, which generally provide good food sources and hunting opportunities for pigeons, were planted in numerous wildlife management areas earlier this year. For a list of these “pigeon fields,” see the 2022 Dove Hunt fact sheet at OutdoorNebraska.gov/SmallGameSpecies.
Drought conditions are affecting many areas of the state; hunters should follow proper safety practices to prevent wildfires.
Pre-season exploration is recommended due to changing habitat conditions. All public access sites statewide, including federal, state, conservation partner, and private lands enrolled in the Game and Parks Fields and Open Water Program, are shown in the 2022-2023 Public Access Atlas, which can be found at OutdoorNebraska.org/ Public Access Atlas. Private lands throughout the state also provide excellent hunting opportunities for pigeons.
Hunters are reminded that they must obtain permission from the owner before accessing private land in Nebraska.
Nebraska residents over the age of 16 and all non-residents must have a valid Nebraska Small Game Permit, a habitat stamp, and a Harvest Information Program number. Get HIP’s toll-free number at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hip or at any Parks and Games office. Federal and state migratory bird hunting stamps, or duck stamps, are not required to hunt doves. Shotgun butts are also required which restrict you to no more than three shells.
Hunters who catch a pigeon with a leg band should contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service at reportband.gov. In addition, randomly selected hunters will be asked to save one wing from each pigeon during the first week of the season and mail it postage-free to the Service.
Eurasian Collared Doves can be harvested between October 31, 2022 and August 31, 2023, with bag and possession limits of 15 and 45, respectively.
For summaries of hunting regulations, read the Small Game and Waterfowl Guide at OutdoorNebraska.gov/guides. Purchase permits at OutdoorNebraska.org.