Office of Law Enforcement
Protecting Wildlife and Plant Resources
Dove Hunting and Baiting

Mourning doves and other migratory birds are a national resource protected under the MigratoryBird Treaty Act. The mourning dove is the most hunted migratory game bird in North America, and dove hunting is a popular sport in many parts of this country. Federal and State regulations help ensure that these birds continue to thrive while providing hunting opportunities.

Regulatory changes adopted by the Federal government in 1999 define key terms for hunters and landowners with respect to baiting, and clarify conditions under which you may hunt doves and other migratory game birds. The goal of these rules is not to regulate farming, but to ensure that you understand those practices that are compatible with dove hunting and those that are not.

As a hunter or land manager, it is your responsibility to know and obey all Federal and State laws that govern the sport. This web page reviews Federal rules on baiting, incorporates current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement policy, and summarizes other Federal regulations for dove hunting.

Please remember that Federal regulations are more restrictive for waterfowl hunting than for dove hunting. For information on waterfowl hunting, carefully review the Federal regulations and visit the companion web page on waterfowl hunting and baiting.

Click here for a printable PDF file of the following information.

Federal Regulations

What is Legal?

Hunter's Responsibilty

Last updated: February 14, 2013