It's dove hunting season

Monday was more than just a holiday; it also marked the start of dove hunting season.

In Aynor, several people sat in chairs positioned around a sunflower field in hopes of getting the mourning doves that flew overhead.

Ashley Parsons, 28, was among those who took part in opening day. She also was the only woman out there hunting, which she laughingly says happens a lot.

Parsons has been hunting with her dad since she was 13 and dove hunting over the past four years.

"It's just relaxing being outdoors. I love the outdoors. Just good clean fun," Parson said.

At the end of the day, Parsons walked away with six doves, even on a day that people say was a slow day in terms of the number of doves flying around.

"You have to definitely lead them. The farther out they are, you want to lead your shot," Parson said.

While people hunted, 1st Sergeant Nathan Hutson with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, checked to make sure people were following the federal hunting rules.

"We're going to check to make sure they have their hunting license and make sure they have their migratory bird permit or harvest inventory permit," Hutson said.

He also mentioned the department will be checking guns to make sure they don't hold more than three shells, monitoring the number of doves people hunt per day, which is 15 under the federal limit, and inspecting the fields to make sure they aren't baited with seed.

Hutson told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that the rules haven't changed much over the years. However, he has noticed a change in reasons why people hunt.

"They like to hang out so they'll have barbeques and grill, and they'll cook and eat and get together beforehand and then they'll gave a dove shoot, and then they'll get together afterwards," Hutson said.

From Sep. 2 to Sep. 7th, people hunting will be allowed to hunt from 12 p.m. until sunset.

From Sept. 8th until Oct. 5th, hunting will be allowed a half hour before sunrise until sunset.