Southern California dove hunters will get a two-way bonus this year.
With the Sept. 1 opener falling on a Sunday, the middle day of the three-day Labor Day weekend, hunters will have Saturday to scout likely hunting areas, then will have two non-working days during which they can put their information to work.
Cool summer weather and rain in some areas has caused early arriving doves to scatter, but birds continue to arrive in the Southland, and the Department of Fish and Game suggests that the dove hunt this year should be at least as good as last year's.
The split season will officially begin at 5:57 a.m., half an hour before sunrise. The first part of the 60-day season will run through Oct. 15. The second part is scheduled for Nov. 16-30.
The limit on doves is 15 a day and 30 in possession after opening day.
In Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, where white-winged doves are legal game, the limits include 10 white-wings a day and 20 in possession. In those counties, however, there must be a fully feathered wing on each dove so that wardens can distinguish white-wings from mourning doves.
Mexican ground doves, small, low-flying birds with rust-colored plumage, are protected and may not be hunted.
Deer hunters with Zone A tags can anticipate better hunting in southern counties than has been available in recent years, if opening day is an accurate barometer.
The season opened Aug. 10, a Saturday, and by late Sunday 59 hunters in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties had registered bucks with the DFG. In the same counties last year, 49 bucks were taken on opening day. Two years ago, the take was 48.
Jim Davis, DFG wildlife biologist for those counties, estimated that as many as 25 tags might also have been mailed in and not included in the early count.
"Most of the bucks were taken from the Figueroa Mountain area near Lake Cachuma and the Pendola Loop region," Davis said.
Seven illegal deer, does or spiked bucks, are known to have been killed and citations were written for six violations.
General buck hunting in Zone A will close Sept. 22.
The annual Hawaiian International Billfishing Tournament in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, was won last weekend by a team of Californians representing the Laguna Niguel Billfishing Club.
Brooks Morris, Elmer Good, Ron Buday and Robert Mainhardt earned 1,127 points, finishing ahead of 67 other teams from 18 countries. The Alaska Trolling Club was second with 915 points.
Giving Laguna Niguel the title was a 568-pound Pacific blue marlin caught on the final day of competition. It was taken on 50-pound-test line and an aerodynamic lure, called Doorknobs, designed by Morris.
Briefly A possible world-record bigeye tuna was caught off San Diego by Bob Wada of Los Angeles earlier this month. Wada caught the 94-pound 3-ounce fish on 15-pound-test line in waters about 40 miles west of San Diego. The current record for 15-pound line is a 75-pound bigeye taken off the coast of Ecuador in 1983. Wada has submitted his catch to the International Game Fish Assn. for verification. . . . A public hearing to determine if salmon and steelheads in the Klamath and Trinity rivers are in jeopardy will be held today by the state Fish and Game Commission. It will begin at 1 p.m. at the Cultural Center in Crescent City. The sport catch of fish from those rivers has been much grater than expected and biologists believe that the take is hampering efforts to rebuild the previously dwindling fish populations. . . . Atlanta Boy Scouts, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and wood ducks in Georgia all are feeling good these days. The scouts, working with Waterfowl U.S.A., recently built 300 nesting boxes and turned them over to the DNR, which is erecting them in nesting areas used by the vividly colored wood duck.