2017 Dove season opens with a bang in Caroline County
RIDGELY — Opening season for mourning dove hunting began Friday, Sept. 1, and few families know that better than the Tribbetts of Caroline County. Each year, the family hosts people from all around looking to get their limit on the tiny bird.
Dave Tribbett Jr. begins planting a sunflower field in May of each year, on his Twin Maples Farm in Ridgely. Come the end of August, after the bright yellow blooms have all dried, he bush hogs them down to create a meal set for hundreds of dove.
He said this year he had 50 people register for opening day and that they took close to 500 birds.
“Several of those hunters came from New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania just to hunt for the day,” Tribbett said. “One guy flew into to Ridgely airport, rode over to the farm and flew back home that evening.”
Tribbett said a lot of his hunters have been coming to his farm for years for the event and he said for him it is a family affair.
“A lot of guys brought their kids with them and my girls help me to take care of the guys every year,” Tribbett said. “My girls work hard running out water to the guys or anything else they may need.”
He said in addition to being great helpers, his girls, Taylor, 12, Calleigh, 11, and Camdyn, 7, also take part in the sport each year.
“I am so proud of my girls,” Tribbett said. “They are not afraid to do anything a man can do and they hang right with me and these girls can shoot just as good as any of the boys.”
On Monday, Sept. 4, as everyone was enjoying a Labor Day barbecue before heading back to school the next day, the Tribbetts were hosting a youth hunt day.
“It is all about the kids. It is a really neat thing and it’s a good time for everybody,” Tribbett said.
Mourning dove season is part of the early migratory game bird hunting season and is considered a split season with the first season running from Friday, Sept. 1, through Saturday, Oct. 14. It will reopen again on Thursday, Oct. 26 through Saturday, Nov. 18. The third season runs from Saturday, Dec. 16 through Saturday Jan. 6.
Other early migratory game bird season includes woodcock that runs from Friday, Oct. 27, through Friday, Nov. 24, and again on Friday, Jan. 12, through Saturday, Jan. 27.
The early resident Canada goose season also began Friday, Sept. 1, and ends Friday, Sept. 15, for the Eastern Zone.
The September teal season will run from Tuesday, Sept. 16, through Saturday, Sept. 30.
Maryland Department of Natural resources released the season dates in a press release dated Friday, Aug. 28.
“These seasons mark the traditional start of hunting activity in Maryland,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “We wish all hunters a safe and successful year.”
For bag limits and other hunting restrictions, visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources at www.dnr.maryland.gov.
Above, Dave and Taylor Tribbett of Ridgely pose for a picture following the mourning dove hunt on Monday, Sept. 4.