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2014 dove season in North Carolina opens on Labor Day, Sept. 1

It’s going to be a tradition all over again for the start of dove hunting in North Carolina on Sept. 1, Labor Day.

Years ago, it was well-established that dove season in the state began on the holiday, the month’s first Monday. Then, at the urging of hunters, opening day was changed to the first Saturday in September.

This year, the holiday happens to be the month’s first day.

“We’re aware many hunters prefer the season to open the Saturday prior to Labor Day,” said a spokesman for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “However, federal guidelines do not allow state wildlife agencies to begin migratory game bird seasons prior to Sept. 1.”

The commission announced the dates for seasons on doves and other webless migratory game birds this week. It also established seasons on Canada goose and teal.

Dove hunting season is split into two segments, Sept. 1-Oct. 11 and Nov. 27-Jan. 15. The daily bag limit once again is 15 birds.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which establishes guidelines on the taking of migratory game birds, allowed 20 extra days of hunting this year. “Hunters should note that the commission added a portion of these extra days to the October segment and the remaining days to late November and early December,” the agency spokesman said.

Previously, dove season had three segments.

Canada goose season is Sept. 1-30, also with a daily limit of 15 and a season limit of 45.

Teal season, Sept. 6-24, is restricted to that part of the state east of U.S. 17, with a daily bag of 6. Observer News Services

222 qualify for deer record listing in S.C.

Hunters presented 569 sets of whitetail deer antlers for measurement scoring in South Carolina this year, and 222 topped the minimum for listing in the state’s record book.

“Racks must score 125 points typical or 145 atypical to qualify,” said Charles Ruth, deer specialist for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. “Scoring is based on the Boone and Crockett Club system, which measures the mass and symmetry in the two categories.”

Of the racks measured, 182 were taken in the last two seasons. Best of the typical was a buck from Laurens County, bagged by Ricky Brooks last October, that measured 159 3/8. And atop atypical was a deer that scored at 167 4/8, taken by Tony Blackwell in Oconee County in December.

Kershaw County topped this year’s entries with 15 qualifiers.

Ruth said the South Carolina herd is in good condition. He estimated the statewide population at about 750,000. ONS

Catches of the week

•  Limits of stripers and hybrids at Lake Thurmond (Clarks Hill Reservoir) by Harry Newton of Mint Hill and his grandson, Blake Russ, 10, of Matthews.

•  A 9-pound largemouth bass at Lake Lee in Union County by Brian Secrest of Monroe.

•  Forty catfish at Lake Lee by David Rose of Monroe.

•  An 8 ½-pound flounder by Danny Bass of Holden Beach.

•  A blue marlin boated and released off Hatteras by Steven Koon of Gastonia.

•  A white marlin boated and released off Hatteras by Jeff Gouge of Spruce Pine.

•  A while marlin boated and released off Hatteras by Steve Mull of Hickory.

•  A wahoo of 44 pounds off Georgetown, S.C., by Charles Cavatoni.

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