Frequently Asked Questions

Bufflehead pair flying

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I hunt doves before 1 September?

All migratory game bird hunting is regulated by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The earliest date for a hunting season is 1 September.

Why do southern states have longer seasons than northern states?

Southern states do not have longer hunting seasons than northern states. Length of hunting seasons are determined by the number of days available which can vary between flyways. Southern states hunt later in the year because they often do not have good hunting opportunities as the same time as northern states.

How can HIP registration tell you how many birds I shot when the questions are so vague?

The questions asked during HIP registration are not meant to determine harvest estimates. They are in place to set up a sampling strategy to send surveys to hunters to ask more specific questions about hunting effort and success.

Why are some states in two flyways?

In the Central Flyway, the continental divide splits western Central Flyway states so that only areas east of the Rocky Mountains are in our flyway. Habitats used by migratory birds in the western parts of those states are more representative of populations associated with the Pacific Flyway.

The seasons are now set a year in advance – how?

Decades of experience and continued annual monitoring provide us with enough trend information so that seasons can be confidently set a year in advance. Should unforeseen, extreme changes occur with populations or habitat conditions, managers can make emergency changes to regulatory recommendations. We anticipate these changes to rarely occur.