Trail Mix for Aug. 26: Dove season starts next week

David Bennett, left, and Jeremy Stubbs take aim at Mendota Wildlife Area on the opening day of dove season in 2013. The 2015 dove opener is Tuesday, Sept. 1.
David Bennett, left, and Jeremy Stubbs take aim at Mendota Wildlife Area on the opening day of dove season in 2013. The 2015 dove opener is Tuesday, Sept. 1. FRESNO BEE FILE

The first half of dove season is fast approaching and hunters are advised to be aware of new regulations.

As of July 1, non-lead ammo is required when hunting at state wildlife areas and ecological reserves. Dove hunters carrying lead rounds on department lands could face a citation, Lt. Doug Barnhart said.

In addition, hunters are asked to leave a fully-feathered wing attached to the bird to properly identify the species.

The daily bag limit remains 15 doves, mourning and white-winged, of which no more than 10 may be white-winged. The possession limit remains triple the daily bag limit, with hunters allowed to have 45 birds in possession (no more than 30 may be white-winged). The non-native, Eurasian-collared dove can be hunted year-round with no limits.

A no-shoot zone extends around the Fresno-Clovis city borders. Across Fresno County, the discharge of firearms is prohibited within a quarter-mile of any incorporated city. In rural areas, hunters must remain at least 150 yards away from homes or barns, and 200 yards from any artificial water source for wildlife. It is also illegal to shoot from or across a public road.

Legal hunting starts 30 minutes before sunrise and must stop at sunset. The first period of dove season ends Sept. 15 with the second portion open Nov. 14 to Dec. 28.

At the Mendota Wildlife Area, no reservations will be taken for this year’s opener. Instead, gates will open at 4:30 a.m. to the first 250 hunters on a first-come, first-serve basis.

At the Los Banos North Grasslands Wildlife Complex, draws will be held Monday evening for hunters who did not win one of the 100 original lottery spots. At 4 a.m. Tuesday, permits will be issued to those with reservations. At noon, the area will open to the public.

Game wardens during last year’s opening day made contact with nearly 1,500 hunters across Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern, Inyo and Mono counties. The most common violations seen were hunters using an unplugged shotgun (more than three shells in the chamber and magazine), not having a license and trespassing. All hunters, including junior hunters, must carry their license.

▪ Resident hunting license, ages 18 and older: $47.01

▪ Junior hunting license, ages 17 and under: $12.45

▪ Nonresident hunting license: $163.65

▪ Upland Game Bird Stamp, required for anyone taking upland game bird species: $9.46

Sequoia, Kings Canyon NPs unveil digital atlas

Planning a trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon just got a whole lot easier.

The two national parks unveiled an interactive park atlas Tuesday that includes major roads, information centers, shuttle stops, sequoia groves, rivers, lakes and surrounding wilderness areas. The digital atlas can be accessed at go.nps.gov/SEKIatlas.

The online atlas allows users to select multiple layers that highlight park boundaries and locations for trailheads, trails (including the Pacific Crest, John Muir and High Sierra trails), food storage boxes, restrooms, overlooks, campgrounds and more. The atlas also provides a vegetation map, listing famous sequoia trees, and a history of wildfires dating back to 1921.

The atlas is not intended for navigating off-road trips.

State wildlife officers sought

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is recruiting wildlife officers.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 16. Successful applicants will enter a 31-week academy training program, followed by 19 weeks of field training. For information on minimum qualifications and other requirements for cadets, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/career.