The numbers are in and the dates set for what looks to be a great dove and teal season for Texas hunters.
The U.S. Department of wildlife has approved the 2015-2016 dove and waterfowl seasons for Texas. Improved habitat conditions and increased rainfall are pointing to one of the best seasons for a long time for Texans.
“Age-ratios from last season indicated very strong production in mourning doves across Texas last year; we expect similar or slightly increased production this year with the improved habitat conditions across nearly all of Texas,” said Shaun Oldenburger, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department dove program leader in a press release.
“However, improved habitat conditions equal more food and water on the landscape, which means hunters may need to spend more time patterning mourning doves prior to opening day in their area.”
Dove season will open on September 1 in the North and Central Zones and close on October 25, making it five days longer than last year. The season will reopen December 18 through January 1, 2016.
The South Zone will open September 18 and go through October 21. The second half will reopen on December 18 and run until January 22, 2016.
Bag limits for dove are set at 15 with a possession limit of 45 statewide.
Duck hunters are also looking to get in on the improved action this year for the September opener for teal. The increased rainfall this year has filled normally low marshes and lakes. The TPWD is expecting record migrations of teal in the upcoming months.
“Blue-winged teal numbers are way above the minimum of 4.7 million needed for the 16 day season,” said Kevin Kraai, TPWD waterfowl program leader.
“Conditions for teal across the state are excellent and hunters are urged to have their fingers crossed for a timely migration in the middle of September.”
Early teal and Canadian geese season begins September 12 through September 27. Bag limits remain at six for teal with a possession limit of 18. Canadian geese have a daily limit of of three with a possession limit of six.
To participate in the early September hunt a Migratory Game Bird and Harvest Information Program, certification must be acquired.
Hunting licenses for the 2015-16 season go on sale August 15. They can be purchased online, various field offices, at state parks, and numerous retailers across the state. Teal hunters will be required to purchase a Federal Duck Stamp along with their license.
Hunting rules and regulations can be found online at TPWD website: tpwd.texas.gov.