Hunting season for mourning doves opens Sept. 7. (Photo/Terry Johnson)

Hunting season for mourning doves opens Sept. 7. (Photo/Terry Johnson)

If you are planning to begin the upcoming dove season by taking part in one of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division’s (WRD) quota dove hunts, you must apply now! The reason for this urgency is all applications to take part in one of these hunts must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 15.

Up to three hunters can submit names in the same application. All applications must be submitted via the Internet. If you would like to submit an application for this or other quota dove hunts, visit the WRD website (GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com). It will provide you with all of the information you should need to apply. However, if you need additional information, call 1-800-366-2661.

Two quota hunts will be held on Monroe County’s own Rum Creek Wildlife Management Area. The dates for these hunts are Sept. 7 (opening day) and 14. Seventy-five hunters will be selected for each hunt. 

Area Manager Stanley Kirby has planted the area’s 37-acre dove field complex located near the junction of Juliette and Holly Grove Roads in a combination of sunflower, browntop millet, wheat, corn, sorghum, and buckwheat.

If you are looking for another nearby state wildlife management area where a quota dove hunt will be held on opening day, check out the Clybel WMA. Clybel is located east of Forsyth near the small town of Mansfield. This destination is less than an hour away.

Two hundred hunters will be selected to take part in a quota dove hunt that will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7. Approximately 155 acres of wheat, sunflower, buckwheat, and browntop millet have been planted to attract doves this season.

Updated information regarding the status of the dove fields planted on the Rum Creek and Clybel WMAs can be obtained by calling the Region IV Game Management Office in Fort Valley (478) 825-6354.

All told, the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division has scheduled some 15 quota dove hunts this year.  These hunts will be staged on wildlife management areas scattered across the state from north Georgia to the Georgia coast, and southwest Georgia. This offers Georgia hunters the opportunity to hunt doves in a wide range of habitats. 

For a complete listing of all of the quota dove hunts offered by the Wildlife Resources Division, pick up a free copy of the 2019-20 edition of the Georgia Hunting Season and Regulations Guide. This guide is now available wherever hunting licenses are sold. It can also be viewed online (www.GoHuntGeorgia.com).

If by chance you are not selected to take part in any of these hunts, you will be awarded a priority point. Hunters that hold priority points have an increased chance of being selected for a quota dove hunt next season. For more information as to how this system works, visit the quota hunt page (GoHuntGeorgia.com).

Finding a dove field, particularly on the first day of the season, has become both difficult and expensive. However, the Wildlife Resources Division’s quota dove hunts offer a solution to this problem. These hunts allow hunters to enjoy quality dove hunting experiences for nothing more than the price of a Georgia Waterfowl and Migratory Bird Stamp ($5) and a Georgia Hunting License ($15). In this day and age, you would be hard pressed to find a better deal. 

Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column ‘Monroe Outdoors’ for the Reporter for many years. His book, “A Journey to Discovery,” is available at The Reporter. Email him at tjwoodduck@bellsouth.net.