Seasons set for dove, snipe, sora, woodcock, Virginia rails

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Seasons set for dove, snipe, sora, woodcock, Virginia rails
A hunter addresses his dogs during an autumn hunt. (Photo courtesy Seth Schulte)

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced 2021-'22 hunting season dates and bag limits for mourning dove, snipe, sora, woodcock, and Virginia rails. The seasons are set within the annual guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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The dove season is split into three segments with this first segment running from Sept. 1 to Oct. 10. Shooting hours on Sept. 1 are noon to sunset. For the remainder of the season, it is a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds.

The South Branch Wildlife Management Area has a special controlled mourning dove hunting area with designated hunting stations. Hunters wanting to hunt the control area Sept. 1-2 need to obtain a permit. To apply for a permit, call the District 2 office at 304-822-3551.

The woodcock season is split into two segments. Both the snipe and rail seasons are a single segment. Shooting hours for woodcock, snipe, and rails are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.

All licensed migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders and senior citizens, must have a valid Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration card. HIP cards are available online at WVhunt.com and at license agents throughout the state.

An overview of each season is listed below. All season details can be found in West Virginia’s 2021-22 Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations brochure, available online at WVdnr.gov, at license agents, and WVDNR offices.

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Mourning Dove (3-way split):

  • Dates
    • Sept. 1 - Oct. 10
    • Nov. 1 - Nov. 14
    • Dec. 20 - Jan. 24
  • Daily Limit
    • 15
  • Possession Limit
    • 45

Woodcock (2-way split):

  • Dates
    • Oct. 16 - Nov. 20
    • Nov. 29 - Dec. 7
  • Daily Limit
    • 3
  • Possession Limit
    • 9

Snipe:

  • Dates
    • Sept. 1 - Dec. 16
  • Daily Limit
    • 8
  • Possession Limit
    • 24

Sora & Virginia Rails:

  • Dates
    • Sept. 1 - Nov. 9
  • Daily Limit
    • 10
  • Possession Limit
    • 30

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