Mississippi’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will again provide public dove hunting on private lands through its 11-year-old Private Lands Dove Field Program.

The state agency leases private grain fields, helps develop them to attract birds and then sells the limited hunting opportunities to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

MDWFP officials say it’s similar to private dove clubs, which often cost as much as $500 to $750 per hunter.

This year, there will be five fields, located one each in the counties of Kemper, Panola, Pearl River, Scott and Webster. 

“Dove hunting is very popular; however, MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family-friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” Houston Havens, MDWFP Waterfowl Program Leader said in a news release Tuesday announcing the program. “MDWFP has partnered with farmers to make their fields available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy.”   

Hunting is by permit only for persons 16 years of age and older.

Permits will go on sale Monday (Aug. 10) and will only be available at www.mdwfp.com/dove.

Hunters who purchase permits will be granted access to the field on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoons during the first two dove seasons. Up to two youth hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt with each permitted adult hunter 21 years of age or older at no additional cost.

A limited number of permits are available ranging from $100 to $115 each. Permit fees are used to pay for field preparation. To purchase a permit or for more information on the Private Lands Dove Field Program, including aerial photos of the fields and complete hunting regulations, please visit www.mdwfp.com/dove or contact the Wildlife Bureau at (601) 432-2199.

Four of the five fields are located in the North Dove Zone where the first two seasons are Sept. 5-Oct. 7 and Oct. 10-Oct. 31 

The Pearl River County field is in the South Dove Zone, where the first two seasons are Sept. 5-Sept. 13 and Oct. 10-Nov. 15)