Photo of an Alabama dove hunt.

Your Guide to Alabama Dove Season [2022]

Looking forward to the Alabama dove season? You’ve come to the right place. This article highlights the 2022-2023 Alabama dove season dates, bag limits, important rules and regulations, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Alabama dove hunting.

Good luck this dove season chasing North America’s most hunted migratory game bird!

RELATED: Alabama Deer Season Dates 2022-2023

2022-2023 Alabama Dove Season Dates

NORTH ZONE

  • September 3 (noon until sunset)
  • September 4 – October 23 (all day)
  • November 19-27 (all day)
  • December 17 – January 15 (all day)

Bag Limit: 15 birds per day

SOUTH ZONE

  • September 10 (noon until sunset)
  • September 11 – October 30 (all day)
  • November 19-27 (all day)
  • December 17 – January 15 (all day)

Bag Limit: 15 birds per day

Map of Alabama dove season zones.

Alabama Dove Hunting License Requirements

To legally hunt doves in Alabama, you will need the following:

  • Alabama All Game OR Small Game Hunting License (unless exempt)
  • Habitat Improvement Program (HIP) Certification (free)
  • Free map permit if hunting on a WMA

Get the necessary licenses and permits now through the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Legal Dove Hunting Weapons

  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, plugged with a one piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun or otherwise incapable of holding more than 3 shells using standard No. 2 shot or smaller, except waterfowl must be hunted with steel shot or other shot compositions and shot sizes that are approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Long bows, compound bows, or crossbows.
  • Raptors by properly permitted falconers.

Baiting

What is Considered Baiting

You cannot hunt doves or any other migratory game bird by the aid of baiting or on or over any baited area where you know or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.

Baiting is the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could lure or attract doves to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them. A baited area is any area on which salt, grain, or other feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, if that salt, grain, or feed could serve as a lure or attraction for doves. Any such area will remain a baited area for 10 days following the complete removal of all such salt, grain, or other feed.

What is NOT Considered Baiting

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the following is legal to hunt doves on, over or from:

  • Lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural operations, which include normal agricultural harvest, normal agricultural post-harvest manipulations, or normal agricultural practices.
  • Lands planted by means of top-sowing or aerial seeding where seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, a planting for agricultural soil erosion control, or a planting for post-mining land reclamation.
  • Lands or areas where grain or feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of the manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown.
  • Standing crops.
  • Lands planted as wildlife food plots, provided the seed is planted in a manner consistent with Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service recommendations for the planting of wildlife food plots. In states without Cooperative Extension Service recommendations for the planting of food plots, the seed must be planted in accordance with Extension Service guidelines for producing a crop.
  • Lands planted as pasture improvements or for the purpose of grazing livestock. (The Fish and Wildlife Service will not make a distinction between agricultural fields planted with the intent to gather a crop and those planted without such intent provided the planting is carried out in a manner consistent with the recommendations of State Extension Specialists).
  • Standing or manipulated natural vegetation.
  • A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation.
  • A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, provided your use of such vegetation does not expose, deposit, distribute or scatter grain or other feed. You should be aware that seeds or grains from such vegetation could create a baited area.

Alabama Dove Hunting FAQs

What day does dove season open in Alabama?

The 2022 Alabama dove season kicks off at noon on Saturday, September 3 for most of the state. For the nine counties in the South Zone, the 2022 dove season begins one week later at noon on Saturday, September 10.

How long is dove season in Alabama?

Alabama’s dove season is the maximum 90 days allowed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. However, it is a split season as opposed to 90 consecutive days.

How many doves can you shoot in Alabama?

Alabama dove hunters can harvest 15 birds per day.

What time can you shoot doves in Alabama?

On opening day in both the North and South Zones, dove season opens at noon and closes at sunset. You can shoot doves for the remainder of the season from one half-hour before sunrise until sunset.

What do I need to hunt dove in Alabama?

To legally hunt dove in Alabama, you will need either an All Game or Small Game Hunting License, and a free Habitat Improvement Program (HIP) Certification. Those hunting on an Alabama WMA will also need a free WMA map permit.

Can you bait dove in Alabama?

The short answer is NO, you cannot. Doves are federally regulated migratory birds, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service prohibits hunting them over bait. In the article above we discuss what is and is not baiting in depth.

Summary

Dove season can be an exciting time in Alabama. We hope you’ll carve out some time to spend in the dove field this fall, enjoying the camaraderie and fellowship that is often lacking in other forms of hunting. If you have plans for this Alabama dove season, we would love to hear about them in the comments section below.

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