There will be a longer dove hunting season in Texas since state wildlife officials got exactly what they asked for. In fact, Texas dove hunters will have an additional 20 days this fall under proposed changes by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation for Migratory Game Birds up for public comment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a 90-day Texas dove season, the longest in 80 years.
TPWD staff proposes to integrate the additional 20 dove hunting days early in the season to take advantage of migrating birds. The traditional September 1 dove season opening day in the North and Central Zones would remain, while the South Zone would open Sept. 23. The first segment in the North and South zones would extend through Nov. 13, while the Central Zone would run until Nov. 6. The season would reopen statewide Dec. 17 and run through Jan. 1, 2017 in the North Zone, Jan. 8, 2017 in the Central Zone and Jan. 23, 2017 in the South Zone.
The daily bag limit for doves statewide would remain 15 and the possession limit 45.
The Special White-winged Dove Area would be restricted to afternoon only (noon to sunset) hunting the first two full September weekends on Sept. 3-4 and 10-11. Hunting in this area would reopen Sept. 23 and continue through, Nov. 13, and then reopen Dec. 17 through Jan. 19, 2017. During the early two weekends, the daily bag limit would be 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. Once the general dove hunting season opens, the aggregate bag limit would be 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.
No matter how you slice it, dove hunting opportunities in Texas will increase this fall. It remains to be seen whether or not the weather will cooperate with hunters headed to the field later this year.
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