Dove season opens Saturday, don't forget to get HIP

LITTLE ROCK - It's Labor Day weekend, so that means football and dove season in Arkansas. The opening of dove season represents the traditional opening of fall hunting in Arkansas. The season opens Saturday morning, Sept. 5.

One of the first things hunters need to do is make sure they're HIP registered. Harvest Information Program is the formal name, but everyone from hunters to license clerks just says HIP.

This is a mandatory federal program in effect in all states except for Hawaii. It's free, but hunters should remember they have to register for HIP each year in each state they hunt. There is no cost, and the best way to register for HIP is when you buy a hunting license. It's required for duck, goose and all migratory bird hunting.

The information is used for hunter participation and harvest monitoring and for setting future regulations by wildlife authorities, both federal and state.

Arkansas's dove season first segment this year opens Saturday, Sept. 5, and runs through Oct. 18. The second season segment is Dec. 5-Dec. 30.

The daily dove bag limit remains at 15, with possession limit 30. Doves are migratory game birds, so federal rules of shotguns plugged to hold no more than three shells are in effect. There is no daily or possession limits on the Eurasian collared-dove.