Wildlife - Species

Mourning Dove

Species Specific Regulations

Doves - Mourning Dove

Licenses: Hunting License required. Migratory Bird Hunting and Seasons set annually. Daily aggregate bag limit for mourning doves and white-winged doves is 15.

Limits: Please see Migratory Bird Regulations for any game zones restrictions or Limitations.

Complete hunting regulations.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Drawing of a Mourning Dove


  • Sexes similar in appearance
  • Medium-sized, slender with very thin neck
  • Black bill
  • Distinct pointed tail

Average Size

Length: 10.5 inches; approximate weight is between 4 to 6 ounces.

Preferred Habitat
Although doves are a migratory species, the majority of doves in South Carolina are resident birds. The resident birds breed in South Carolina, and may spend their entire lives within the state’s boundaries. Their range is over the 48 contigous states in the United States and into parts of southern Canada. Feeds on grass seed and waste grain.



Publications and Literature

Attracting Doves Legally Publication of Clemson University Cooperative Extension's Forestry & Natural Resources team.

Doves of South Carolina - Identification and Status. (Adobe PDF) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. Columbia, South Carolina

Some of the files above are provided in the Adobe® Acrobat® (PDF) format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open these files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.

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Hunting Information

For more information, please see:

Michael W. Hook - Small Game Program Leader

P.O. Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 734-3940
Fax: (803) 734-6020

E-mail: HookM@dnr.sc.gov