The Free Press WV


The Free Press WV


The Free Press WV

►  Report Harvested Banded Game Birds to USGS Bird Banding Laboratory

Hunters who harvest leg-banded game birds should report them online at The United States Geological Survey’s Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL), the federal agency in charge of overseeing all migratory bird banding, has discontinued the 1.800 number used to report banded birds.

“While this band-reporting method has been discontinued, bands inscribed with the 1-800 number could be encountered for several years,” said Mike Peters, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) game bird biologist. “We ask hunters to continue to report those bands through the website because we still need the valuable information those bands provide.”

If the 1.800 number is called, an automated answering system will direct callers to report the band through the website.

Bands can still be reported by mail to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708. Hunters must provide their contact information and the leg-band number, and indicate when and where the bird was harvested. Hunters can keep the band.

Migratory bird biologists from state and federal wildlife agencies use banding data to develop models to predict harvest impacts and understand environmental factors affecting migratory bird populations. These models are used to set annual migratory game bird regulations, including season lengths and bag limits.

“We rely heavily on hunter cooperation in reporting banded birds to help in their management, and we thank them for their continued support in this effort,” Peters said.

WV’s 2017-2018 Seasons Set for Mourning Dove, Woodcock, Common Snipe, Sora and Virginia Rails

West Virginia’s 2017-2018 hunting season dates and bag limits for mourning dove, woodcock, common snipe and sora and Virginia rails have been set. These seasons are set within the annual guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Free Press WV



Daily Limit

Possession Limit

 Mourning Dove
 (3-way split)

September 01 – October 14
October 30 – November 18
December 18 – January 12



 (2-way split)

October 14 – November 18
November 27 – December 05



 Common Snipe

September 01 – December 16



 Sora & Virginia Rails

September 01 – November 9



The dove season is split into three segments with this first segment running from September 01 to October 14. Shooting hours on September 01 are noon to sunset. For the remainder of the season, it is one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds.
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 one-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 and license agents.
“All harvested, banded birds should be reported online at because the 1.800 phone number has been discontinued,” said Mike Peters, game bird biologist for the Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “Biologists use the reported band information to help set hunting regulations, so it is vital to report harvested banded birds.”
West Virginia’s 2017-2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations brochure is available online at Printed copies will be available in late August at license agents and at DNR offices.

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