Doves and Waterfowl Usher in West Virgina’s Fall Hunting Season

Doves and Waterfowl Usher in West Virgina's Fall Hunting Season

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Doves and Waterfowl Usher in West Virgina's Fall Hunting Season
West Virginia DNR
West Virginia DNR

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – -( September 1st signals the beginning of another hunting season in West Virginia.

For many years now, September 1st is the traditional opening of dove season across a wide swath of the United States. These early seasons provide extra opportunities to get out and enjoy good shooting before the regular seasons kick in.

For such a small bird, dove hunting, or better phrased, dove shooting, is a major event. The farther south you go the bigger event it becomes with cookouts featuring the day’s bag of morning doves. Many southern plantations in the Carolinas, Old Virginia and Mississippi host extravagant bar-b-que after the day’s shooting. In West Virginia, we have a couple of shooting preserves in the Eastern Panhandle and in Monroe County that conduct dove shoots with blinds and shooting butts set up for visiting hunters.

In reality, we talk about dove shooting instead of dove hunting because there is normally very little hunting for the birds, but more shooting once the field is located. For years it has been published by the arms and ammunition companies that on the opening day of dove season there will be more shotgun shells fired than there will be the rest of the entire season. The reason is that the birds are small, fast flying with a very erratic flight pattern.

The early goose season should be good this year with an abundance of geese. While goose hunting, remember that your gun must be plugged to hold no more than three shells total. If using a repeater, that means one in the chamber and two in the magazine. And also remember that steel or lead alternative shot must be used. So no lead shot when hunting waterfowl.

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