South Zone dove hunters looking forward to January

Dove hunters in Mississippi’s South Zone have another four weeks to bang away at mourning doves this season.

January offers additional bird-hunting opportunities, including a full month of dove hunting in Mississippi’s South Zone (south of U.S. Highway 84 and east of Mississippi Highway 35). The third and final split of the season there ends on Jan. 31.

Hunters in the rest of the state, the North Zone, aren’t as lucky. The season ends on Jan. 8, which disappointed some hardcore dove hunters in the Mississippi Delta.

“I don’t understand why we didn’t get more days later in the month,” said Gene Reynolds of Greenwood. “I’d gladly give up a week or two in October and November to hunt later in January. That gives us more time to shoot the migratory birds that come in from the corn belt in the Midwest. Those big birds get here late, and the food sources are scarce, which means those of us that planned and prepared some late crops can concentrate the birds and have some great hunts.

“It’s hard to beat a weekend when you can hunt ducks in the morning and doves in the afternoon. That’s what I love about being in the Delta, and this year, we don’t get that opportunity as much as we have in the past.”

Other bird seasons open in January include woodcock and geese through Jan. 31, snipe and crows through Feb. 28, and quail through March 6.

“Two things we hunt a lot in February are crows in pecan groves and snipe in marshy bottoms near the Mississippi River,” Reynolds said. “Crows are fun, and snipes are not only fun but taste and look just like a dove on the grill.”

About Bobby Cleveland 1349 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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