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Dove Hunters May See Something New This Year

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WENDELL, N.C. — For some people, Labor Day is a holiday in more ways than one.

For hunters, it is not just a day off from work. It also is opening day of dove season.

A 12-gauge shotgun, shells, camouflage -- all the items needed for one of the biggest days of the year for hunters.

For gun-shop owner Barry Perry in Wendell, it is a big business.

"It is the kickoff for our whole season," Perry said. "It literally is opening day for us."

Perry said his average customer will spend about $100. After buying a North Carolina hunting and fishing licenses, a hunter will need to pick up camouflage, perhaps a matching Browning 12-gauge shotgun, and it will not take long to spend $1,000.

Traditionally, opening day of dove season is a family affair with cookouts. Hunters may find something new this year as they head out to the fields.

North Carolina is participating with 26 other states in a dove-banding study. A thousand birds have been banded and released here.

Wildlife officials want hunters to report banded birds they shoot. Hunters can keep the band, and the Federal government will advise them on dates and different data about the animal they shot.

Hitting a banded dove will be a long shot, at best.

To report a banded dove, call the phone number on the band.

Dove season starts Monday at noon.

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