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Texas Hunters Seek Change for Dove and Duck Hunting Seasons

Two Texas hunters call for schedule changes for dove and duck seasons.

As the 2014-15 duck and dove seasons come to an end, two Dallas hunters are calling for a re-evaluation of how the schedules are set up in north Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has the ability to change the current beginning and closing of hunting seasons, as long as they stay within the guidelines set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Dove

In the past, dove season started the first of September and lasted as long as FWS allowed. In recent years however, the season has been split in two by ending in late October and picking back up in late December. This  effectively shortens the season but still allows kids to hunt while on Christmas break.

Dallas attorney Jack Goldman, the main hunter concerned, feels that one long season makes more sense in the northern and central zones where the weather gets colder. He believes that even though there are abundant winder doves, they are looking for any excuse to go south and some hunting pressure is reason enough.

TPWD’s data seem to back this up with only two percent of North Zone doves taken during the late season. Eight percent of is taken in the Central Zone and twelve percent in the South Zone.

Ducks

Currently duck season in the North Zone and South Zone run on an almost identical schedule, with an early and late seasons similar to dove.

According to the observations of real estate developer and long-time hunter in the Dallas area Steve Brown, this is problematic because the North Zone and South Zone are completely different. The South Zone’s coastal habitat and climate are the epicenter of Texas duck hunting and it would only make sense that the North Zone should be on a different schedule.

Brown’s observation is that the North Zone’s peak migration period is mid-December. As the current schedule stands the split happens right at this time. Brown would like TPWD to start the season later and shorten the split between early and late seasons in the North Zone in order to increase the amount of time spent in that peak period.

These proposals remind us that even thought populations are on the rise, we still have to do our part to help manage these wonderful resources. If you would like to voice your opinion on these, and any other Texas outdoor issues, you can contact Robert Macdonald, who tracks public comment for TPWD, at robert.macdonald@tpwd.texas.gov.

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Texas Hunters Seek Change for Dove and Duck Hunting Seasons