A proposed change to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation for Migratory Game Birds may mean 20 more days of dove hunting in Texas this fall.
New federal guidelines allow the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to propose migratory game bird changes earlier in the year.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already approved the added 20 days for a 90-day dove hunting season. The TPWD says this would be the longest dove season in the state in 80 years.
The reason for the additional days early in the season? To take advantage of migrating birds.
The changes to Texas’ dove season by the TPWD are as follows:
- 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 season opens, the aggregate bag limit would be 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.
The proposal, along with others related to migratory game birds hunting regulation, will be open to a public hearing and possible adoption by the TPWD on March 24.
The public can comment on the proposals in several ways: public meetings, during a live webcast March 3 or online through March 24 at twpd.texas.gov.