Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Arkansas [No, Know Why] 

Spread the love

Pigeons are very tightly knit. They tend to live in one place for a long time. So, removing them from your house is challenging. But is it illegal to kill pigeons in Arkansas? 

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Arkansas. You can take down Rock doves or Feral pigeons at any time using guns or any other way. However, the state prohibits the use of poison on birds. You can also hunt migratory pigeon species during the hunting festival.  

Hunters can shoot doves in small games. But there is some rule that you must follow. So, continue reading the article to learn more about it. 

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

In Arkansas, it is legal to hunt and eat pigeons. But it is forbidden to take down migratory pigeon species off-season. So, you can hunt them only during small games. There are four pigeon species in the state Feral pigeons or Rock pigeons, Eurasian collared doves, Mourning doves, and White-winged doves.  

The latter two pigeons are migratory and protected by the authorities. But the former two species are unprotected. So, if you see any unprotected pigeon species around your house, you can kill it without any permit. But given the circumstances, you must follow the law. So, you must know the features of the pigeons to identify the species.  

Mourning Doves 

Mourning doves are overall tan or greyish brown with black dots on the wings. As they expand their wings, their length can increase to 15 to 18 inches. Their head is small, and you can clearly see a black dot under the eye.  

White-Winged Doves 

White-winged doves are brown overall with a dark line on the cheek. They are larger and bulkier than the Mourning doves. A white stripe at the edge of the wings is clear as they take flight. Their tail is white-tipped and appears black due to the grey underside. 

Eurasian-collared Doves 

Eurasian-collared doves have small heads, plump bodies, and long tails. They are larger than Mourning doves, and their tail is squared at the tip rather than pointed. The overall color is greyish to tan. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Arkansas? 

In Arkansas, it is illegal to hunt migratory dove off-season. Migratory pigeons or doves are those birds that travel according to the climate and food. These birds are part of the MBTA or Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It was signed in 1918 by the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.  

According to this act, it is illegal to harm, kill, trade or transport such birds without federal authorities’ permission. But, in Arkansas, you can hunt Mourning doves and White Winged doves during small games, which typically begin in September. 

There is a daily bag count and possession limit. The daily bag count is 15, which is the number of doves you can hunt. But a possession limit is the number of doves you can possess, and it is 45. Hunting more birds than this limit is illegal. You can eat pigeons and doves. But it is better to avoid the meat of Feral pigeons considering they carry pathogens. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Arkansas State 

Hunting laws in the state ensure the safety of the hunter and the wildlife. Hunters must go through the state shooting and hunting rules to learn all the essential points. Following are the shooting rules that you must know when hunting in Arkansas. 

Hunting License  

  • When hunting in Arkansas, you must have your hunting license. A hunting license can be in print, a reusable hard card, or an electronic format. 
  • It applies to everyone above 16 who is shooting birds in the game or supplying pen-raised birds.  
  • Hunters below 16 that are without a license can obtain a free customer ID through the AGFC’s (Arkansas game and fish commission) website or an agent.  
  • The state offers many different types of hunting licenses depending on profession and age. The fee for each hunting license type varies. The list of hunting licenses with charges is on the state website.  
  • The state authorities also offer a 65-plus lifetime hunting license. The customer must be a resident for at least one year. 
  • You can shoot only Feral pigeons with air rifles. Doves can be taken down only with shotguns. 
  • The shotgun must not hold more than three pallets of chamber and magazine combined.  
  • The lead shot size must not be longer than BB.  
  • You can also use a bow and arrow for hunting pigeons. 
  • Legal shooting hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end thirty minutes after sunset. 

Baiting Laws for Dove Hunting 

  • It is illegal to hunt or kill any migratory pigeons or doves with the help of baits. The bait can be electronic callings or scattering any salt, grain, or feed.  
  • Any area covered with bait is considered bait till ten days after removal.  
  • When planning to hunt in any area, you should know if it is based. Hunters should physically inspect the land and take complete information from the landowner. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Arkansas State? 

Pigeons are more dangerous than most people think. They not only destroy your property but can also spread bacteria like E-coli. So, pigeon removing pigeons from your property is essential. To shoot and hunt them, follow the steps below.   

  • Purchase a hunting license online or via an agent.  
  • Carry a hunting license on the field. It can be on your e-device or print.   
  • It is not essential for people below 16 to have a license. But they can purchase an ID online. Underage people can also buy a youth hunting license. 
  • Junior or youth hunters, licensed or not, must be under the supervision of an adult licensed hunter above 21.   
  • You can only use air rifles and shotguns to take down pigeons.   
  • To hunt on private property, you need to get permission from the landowner.   
  • Landowners possessing a large area can shoot pigeons on their property without a license.  
  • Wear safety gloves and goggles on the field, and also carry a first aid box.   
  • After harvesting, separate pigeons in each bag according to the species. 

Summing Up

In Arkansas, it is legal to kill, shoot and hunt pigeons or doves. As there is a rapid increase in their population. Shooting pigeons is the easiest way to decrease their number and prevent damage. Pigeons cause several problems ranging from property damage to transmitting disease. 

But it is illegal to take down migratory doves off-season. The state protects these doves according to the MBTA. So, you cannot hunt these doves until the small games. Dove hunting or small games begins in September. The dates can vary according to the breeding season. There is also a bag count and possession limit on the doves.