Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Alabama

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Pigeons are attracted to places with a good view, like balconies or ledges. The surrounding area that offers them an ample food supply is always their favorite place. Your home might be that place. So, is it illegal to kill pigeons in Alabama? 

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Alabama. The authorities don’t protect Rock pigeons and Eurasian-collared doves. Hunters can take these pigeons down at any time. There is no harvest limit on them. However, to hunt a Mourning dove, you will have to wait till small games. 

The small games happen once a year. You can hunt Migratory birds only during the small games. Continue reading to find more detail. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Alabama? 

In Alabama, it is illegal to hunt Migratory pigeons off-season. The Migratory pigeon specie in the state is the Mourning dove. You will have to wait for small games to take them down. The small games are part of the hunting festival. The state organizes small games once a year, depending on every bird’s breeding season.   

The dove hunting season in Alabama begins in September. It is split into zones for hunter’s ease. To hunt Mourning doves, you must have a hunting license and a Small game permit. There are separate days for youth to hunt doves. It is essential that you must know all the features of Mourning doves.   

Mourning doves are overall tan or greyish brown. They are small, slender-tailed, and small-headed. Their wings are covered with black spots and have black-bordered white tips tail feathers.  

However, there are no restrictions in the state on eating pigeon meat. The law says nothing about pigeon meat. You can eat as much as you want as long as you can prove you have not killed it solely for food. Many don’t recommend eating Feral pigeon meat as it can transmit bacteria. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt and Eat Pigeons in Alabama? 

It is illegal to hunt Mourning doves off-season because they are Migratory birds. According to USA law, no one can harm, kill, sell, or trade migratory pigeons without a federal permit.  

This rule is the principal theme of the MBTA or Migratory bird Treaty Act, signed in 1918. It was passed in many other countries along with the USA. Therefore, you can’t hunt Mourning doves until the Small games.  

The Small games are part of the gaming festival. It happens once a year. You must purchase a permit to hunt any migratory bird during the festival. There is a bag limit of 15 for the doves, and the possession limit is 45. No hunter can harvest more than the limit. To increase your daily count, you can eat the doves you possess. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Alabama State 

The pigeon hunting laws ensure safe hunting. Rules are the same in each state but might differ in a clause according to each state, like hunting age. The Alabama wildlife authorities have all rules updated on their website each year. Every resident and non-resident needs to abide by these rules. I have discussed some of the necessary laws below to guide you.   

Hunting Education Course  

A hunting education course is essential for all born on or after 1st August 1977. You must complete the course before purchasing a hunting license. It is for all people above the age of ten. But, it is not a requirement till 16. It is better to get it done as early as possible. Plus, Alabama wildlife accepts all the other states hunting education courses. 

There are two ways to take your hunting education classes. You can either take it in person or online. To complete the course, you will have to take all lessons of 8 hours, whichever your option is. The in-person classes charge a fee. They are available to both residents and non-residents. However, some of the online lessons are free. But are only for residents. 

Hunting License 

A hunting license has many types considering your age, residence, and background. The hunting license for residents and non-residence is different. But both can participate in a similar activity. The state also offers hunting licenses for young people ages ten to sixteen.

As per the 2002 law, it is not essential for youth to carry a hunting license on the field. But, they must be under the direct supervision of an adult hunter age 21 or above.  

You can purchase a hunting license online or via an agent. It is essential to carry it on the field along with you. You can have it on any device or in print.

Pigeon Shooting Weapon

Hunters can use manual rifles or Shotguns. The gun must be 22 Caliber or shorter and shoot the bullet in a single projectile. It is also legal to use manual or semiautomatic centrefire or Muzz loading shotgun that is ten gauges or less. The state also allows the use of archery equipment and crossbow, and bolts. However, the ammo must not be poisonous.  

Permits   

Hunting on private land is legal when you have permission from the landowner or tenant. However, people who own the land and their tenants can hunt freely without a hunting license and permit. The resident landowner who has an Alabama driver’s license card can hunt freely. The landowner family can also hunt on the property without a hunting license.  

However, if a landowner wants to give a stranger access to their land, they can get a permit. The land access permission card known as ‘Property only hunting’ is for landowners that meet all the criteria. So, the land must be forty acres and three hundred yards from the dwellings. 

Migratory Birds  

It is illegal to hunt Mourning doves off-season. The period for dove hunting begins in September and ends in December/January. During this hunting period, hunters can take down doves according to their daily bag count. However, you cannot hunt Mourning doves the rest of the year. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Alabama State? 

In Alabama, pigeon hunting is legal. The state has a set of rules to assist you in hunting on and off-season. Below are some pointers to help you in pigeon shooting and hunting. If you are a beginner no need to worry, these points will help you through the process.  

  • Carry your hunting license and permit on the field. The hunting license can be in print or on a soft copy.   
  • Register online to get a permit for Small games.  
  • Check local newspapers and websites to remain updated on a doves hunting date.  
  • Hunting hours begin a half hour before sunrise and end half hour after sunset.   
  • It is not legal to use the weapon on Sunday. Therefore, dove hunting is forbidden.  
  • The legal weapon to shoot pigeons is a Shotgun. The shotgun must be no longer than ten gauges. It must not hold more than three pallets.    
  • Hunters must have first aid boxes, gloves, and goggles with them.  
  • Purchase a permit when you are planning to hunt private land.  
  • It is unlawful to hunt within 50 meters of worship places.  
  • Wear a blaze pink or orange vest, cap, and backpack on the field.   
  • After harvesting, separate pigeons in each bag according to the species.   
  • Submit each specie count to the wildlife authorities. 

Conclusion 

It is legal to take down nuisance pigeons in Alabama. However, the federal authorities protect Mourning doves which are Migratory birds. According to state law, no one can harm, kill, or shoot migratory birds without a state permit. Therefore, you can hunt Mourning doves only during the gaming festival. The small games are part of that festival.  

The hunting days for Mourning doves can change yearly according to the breeding season. It usually begins in September and ends in January. Different zones have different dates. So, it is better to check through the website of newspapers. Other than doves, you can shoot as many Feral pigeons as you want. 

Reference  

https://www.hunter-ed.com/alabama

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