The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) announces that Alabama’s 14th Annual Youth Dove Hunts are scheduled for the following counties in 2014: Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Colbert, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Escambia, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Talladega, Tallapoosa and Walker.

South zone counties include Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Mobile. All other counties are included in the north zone. The north zone hunts begin on September 6. The south zone hunts begin on September 20. 

Although the hunts are free, pre-registration is necessary. The preferred method of registration is online. Online registration begins on August 15 at 8 a.m. for the September hunts and September 19 for the October hunts. Participants without Internet access may register by calling their Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries district office listed in the hunt schedule. District office personnel will complete the electronic registration form for you over the phone. 

Alabama’s Youth Dove Hunt events are held in open fields and staffed by ADCNR personnel, which encourages a safe, secure environment for both parents and participants. The program also makes use of private lands and fields opened for use by community members, thus fostering good relationships between hunters and private landowners. 

To participate in the hunts, youth hunters must be age 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult at least 25 years old (or a parent) who holds a valid state hunting license and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp. Hunters should obtain their license and HIP stamp before the hunt since they will not be available on-site. 

Before each hunt, a short welcome session with reminders on hunting safety will be conducted. All hunters are encouraged to wear eye protection and earplugs.

Doves are migratory and are part of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has special rules and regulations that apply to dove hunting that all hunters must follow. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has revised recommendations for plantings related to dove management. 

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com. 

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