FRESNO COUNTY (KFSN) --If you live in a rural area, you may be waking up to gunshots this morning.
Thursday marks the first of two season openers for dove hunting. Hunting can start as early as half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
This year's season is split, so this first round lasts through September 15th, and the second hunt period runs November 12th through December 26th.
This is the time of year a lot of calls of "shots fired" in rural areas come into the sheriff's office, so they want the public to be aware that Thursday marks the start of the season.
Hunters must make sure they have written permission from property owners to be on their land and they must be familiar with the county's no-shoot zones. They also need to aware of their surroundings and realize there may be other hunters walking the property.
Click here for all Fresno County No Shooting Maps
If a hunter is contacted by law enforcement, put the safety on your rifle, set it down and cooperate with the officer.
Shoot time for doves is one half hour before sunrise to sunset. All hunters, including junior hunters, are required to carry their hunting license with them. Bag limits apply to each hunter and no one can take more than one legal limit per day.
Here are some other shooting regulations:
- It is illegal to shoot within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling.
- It is illegal to shoot from or across a public roadway.
- It is the responsibility of every hunter to know and follow all laws.
Safety is the most important part of any hunting adventure. Although wearing hunter orange (blaze) is not required by law, it may be required in specific areas. Wearing a minimum of a hunter orange hat is recommended, especially when sitting or when hunting in deep vegetation.
Safety glasses are a simple way to protect the eyes and are available in many shades for hunting in all types of lighting situations.
Non-lead ammunition is now required when hunting on all wildlife areas and ecological reserves managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
Use of lead shot is still legal for hunting dove, quail and snipe on federal properties, public lands not managed by CDFW and private lands, including licensed game bird clubs, until July 1, 2019. Please plan accordingly.