Most hunters look forward to September simply because the first day of the month has traditionally been the dove hunting season opener. That held true again this year, but hunters across the state found mixed results. Despite dry conditions, hundreds of thousands of Texans headed to the field for the opening weekend of dove season, which started last Thursday in the Central and North Zones.
Texas’ North Zone dove hunting was decent, but many properties lacked the water necessary to hold birds. Plowed corn fields along the Red River in Lamar County have held scattered shoots of mourning doves. The recent front did bring new birds to the area, but watering holes are scarce at best. The best dove hunts in the High Plains have been in harvested corn and milo fields in the morning.
Most playa lakes in the Texas Panhandle are dry so feed lot ponds have been better dove hunting areas in the afternoon. Sunflowers and plowed ground have held most of the doves in the Abilene area, and any watering holes has been a magnet in the afternoon. The season runs through October 23 and the near-term hunting prospects are fair.
The Central Zone dove hunting held up better. Steady shooting could be heard around San Antonio with resident white-winged doves keeping gun barrels warm over cut corn fields. Hunters there have taken limits in dove lease fields with water sources, but those are few and far between. Uvalde, Sabinal, Hondo and Del Rio hunters saw good dove shoots over the weekend, but resident birds are becoming wiser by the day.
Further East, dove hunters have taken half-limits an public dove hunting lands around Beaumont, Dayton, Liberty, Nome and Winnie, mostly due to high winds and rain associated with the tropical storm. Better shoots have come from around Sealy and Columbus, but hunters there have had to deal with extreme north winds from the storm and the cool front that passed through the region on Labor Day. The front also brought new doves to the region. The Central Zone dove hunting season runs through October 23 and prospects look fair to good for hunters headed to the field over the next few days.
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