Dove season opens Sept. 1 at noon (local time), the annual start of one of Tennessee’s most long-standing outdoor sports traditions. This year’s opening day falls on a Sunday.
Tennessee’s dove season is once again divided into three segments: Sept. 1 through Sept. 28; Oct. 12 through Nov. 3; and Dec. 8 through Jan. 15, 2020. Hunting times, other than opening day, are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
Doves are found throughout the various regions in the state, but the highest concentration is in farming areas. The hunter must have in his/her possession a valid state hunting license and Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit at all times while hunting. Hunters must have landowner’s permission to hunt on private land.
TWRA manages dove hunting fields in each of the four regions. For more information and location of fields visit http://tn.gov/twra/article/dove.
The daily bag limit for mourning doves is 15. There is no limit on collared doves. Doves not readily identifiable as collared doves will be considered mourning doves and will count toward the mourning dove daily bag limit. No person shall take migratory game birds by the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area. Any auto-loading or repeating shotgun must be incapable of holding more than three shells while being used for dove hunting.
In addition to the start of dove season, the early season for Canada goose, brant, blue, snow, and Ross’ Geese (light geese) also starts on Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 22. Refer to the 2019-20 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide for daily bag limits.
Other hunting seasons that open Sept. 1 are moorhens/gallinules and rails (Virginia and sora). The Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit is also required to hunt these species.
More information on Tennessee’s dove and other migratory birds can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website (www.tnwildlife.org) in the Hunting section. The 2019-20 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide can also be viewed on the website, the TWRA App, or a copy may be obtained at any TWRA regional office or wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. This year’s guide also includes waterfowl regulations, which in previously years were included in a separate guide.