Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Nebraska [No]

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Pigeons are rats with wings. They can invade your yard and hoover all the bird food and the fruits. It is essential to get rid of them. But preventative measures will not stop them from coming back. The simple solution is killing them. But is it illegal to kill pigeons in Nebraska? 

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Nebraska. You can take down the annoying pigeon species from your house. But it is unlawful to shoot doves that are not flying. It is also forbidden to hunt migratory pigeon off-season.  

Pigeon hunting is legal only if you follow all the rules. Continue reading to learn more about pigeon shooting and hunting in the state. 

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

It is illegal to hunt Migratory pigeons off-season in Nebraska. So, you can take down these species only on the allowed dates. These pigeon species include the Mourning dove, White-winged dove, and Eurasian-collared doves. It is legal to hunt these pigeons and doves in small games. The dove hunting begins in September and runs through October.  

Wildlife Nebraska has assigned dates for each species according to the breeding season. Hunting more than the daily bag count or possession limit. So, you cannot harvest more than 15 birds of each species.  

Another pigeon species in Nebraska is the Rock pigeon. You can hunt them all year with no restrictions. Eating pigeons is legal in the state. You can eat the protected and unprotected species as long as it proves that you haven’t to hunt it solely for eating.  

Below are the features of protected species you must know before going on the hunt. 

Mourning Doves  

Mourning doves are overall tan or greyish brown. They are small-headed with long thin tails. You can identify them with black spots on the wings and under the eyes. Also, you can know them by their large size of 9 to 13 inches.  

White Winged Dove   

White-winged doves are pale greyish-brown doves’ with white strips on the edge of the wings. They have a shot and squared-tipped tail.  

Eurasian collared dove 

Eurasian collared doves have plump bodies, small heads, and long tails. They are comparatively bigger than Mourning doves. Collared doves’ wings are also slightly rounded and broad. Their tail is squared off at the tip. 

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

It is illegal to hunt Migratory pigeons off-season in Nebraska. The authorities protect all the doves in the state. The migratory pigeons or doves move according to the season and availability of food. So, they are in the state for a brief time. It is not legal to take them down at any time you want.  

According to the MBTA or Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to kill, harm, trade, transport, or sell such birds without state permission. It was signed in 1918 between the USA and the neighboring countries. You can take down these doves but only during small games.  

It is legal to eat pigeons and doves from small games. But, it is better to avoid eating unprotected pigeons. The unprotected pigeon species is a carrier of multiple bacteria.  

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Nebraska State 

The USA has specific rules and regulations for hunting pigeons. These rules are pretty much the same all across the US. But, the laws have some changes according to each state. It is essential for hunters to follow these rules. These laws are to ensure safe hunting within limits. The following are the necessary rules that you must know before hunting. 

Firearm Education Course   

Hunters ages 12 through 29 must complete Firearm Hunter Education and carry proof when hunting anything with a firearm or air gun. People under 12 must be with a parent or guardian every session.  

The hunting lessons are available online and in the classroom. But only residents can take the classes online. The skill practice is on the ground for residents and non-residents. At the end of the lessons, there is an MCQ-based test. 

You must take online sessions to attempt the quiz. But, to get the certificate, you must score eight percent on the test. Students 11 and above can take the test and complete the course. But, they will not issue a certificate until they turn 12. 

Hunting License   

All hunters must possess a hunting license, irrespective of age and residence. People can purchase a hunting license online or through a Nebraska wildlife agent. Check the official website for more detail on license types and prices. 

Hunters as young as eleven can hunt pigeons and hunt in the state. But they must possess a hunting license. So, to ensure young hunters’ safety, they must be under the supervision of an adult licensed hunter. Also, the supervisor should be licensed and above the age of 21.    

Hunting Weapon   

In Nebraska, legal hunting weapons are air rifles and shotguns. Handguns or air rifles must not have cartilage longer than .22. You cannot use air rifles to shoot doves during the small game.  

Hunters can carry shotguns that must not have a cartilage larger than No.6. Plus, they must not hold more than three pallets in the chamber and magazine combined.  

Hunting Limit 

The daily bag count of the Mourning dove, White-winged dove, and Eurasian collared dove in the small game are fifteen discrete or combined. On the other hand, there is no bag limit for Feral pigeons.  

The daily possession limit is thrice the daily bag limit. It is the number of birds one hunter can possess. In Nebraska, it is 45 doves.  


It is illegal to shoot doves by baiting or over any baited areas. Baiting means depositing, distributing, or scattering salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure to attract doves. Any baited area will be considered to be baited for ten days after the complete removal of the bait.  

It is also unlawful to use live decoys. Using records or tapes of migratory bird calls, or sounds or electronically amplified bird calls’ is also illegal.  

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Nebraska? 

You must follow the law in Nebraska to shoot and hunt pigeons. The law ensures the safety of hunters, wildlife, and the public. If you are a beginner no need to worry, the points below will assist you.  

  • You must possess a hunting license while hunting pigeons. It can be on any e-device or in print.   
  • You can shoot pigeons on your land without a permit or license. But you will need permission to shoot and hunt on someone else land.   
  • Young people aged eleven or below can hunt without a license. But must be under the direct supervision of an adult hunter age 21 or above.   
  • To hunt doves, check official dates on the wildlife website or local newspaper. 
  • Hunting time begins a half hour before sunrise and ends a half hour after sunset.   
  • Avoid shooting pigeons in residential areas. The state does not allow the use of firearms within 150 yards of a residence or any dwellings.   
  • Collect and label all the harvested pigeons. It is necessary to tag birds for transportation or for discarding as well.  
  • Submit the harvest count on the official Nebraska wildlife website. 
  • You cannot shoot pigeons by driving, rallying, or chasing birds with any vehicle or sailboat to put them in range.   

Summing Up

It is legal to shoot and hunt pigeons in Nebraska. Pigeon or dove shooting might sound easy, but you must abide by the laws. The essential hunting laws are above. These laws are for your safety and to conserve wildlife.  

The state permits migratory bird hunting for a limited time as they are protected bird species. The migratory pigeons in Nebraska are the White-winged dove, Eurasian collared dove, and Morning dove.  

So, for dove hunting, you will have to wait for the hunting season or Small games. It usually begins on 1st September and ends on 30th October. But you can take down Rock pigeons at any time.