Most Texans are sweating under a brutal August heatwave. However, savvy dove hunters don’t mind and will gladly suffer along providing conditions don’t change before the Sept. 1, the season opener.
A hot, dry landscape heading into the season can concentrate dove around feeding and watering areas.
“With abundant highly-preferred dove foods available on the landscape this year, we’re seeing excellent production,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, TPWD dove program leader. “White-winged dove production, in particular, has been very high in the southern half of the state. Plus, many of the states to the north had similar spring habitat conditions, which should result in a strong influx of migrant birds for Texas later in the season. I’m excited about the prospects this season, it should be fantastic.”
In addition to prime conditions heading into the opener, dove populations have thrived this year thanks to the amount and timing of spring rains across most of the state that kicked habitat into high gear for dove breeding season.
Each fall, more than 300,000 Texas hunters take to the field where they harvest nearly one-third of all mourning doves taken nationwide each year — on average an estimated 10 million birds — far more than any other state.
The regular dove season in the North Zone runs Sept. 1-Nov. 12 and resumes Dec. 20-Jan.5, 2020. The regular season in the Central Zone is Sept. 1-Nov. 3, then resumes Dec. 20-Jan.14, 2020. The regular season in the South Zone is Sept. 14-Nov. 3 and Dec. 20-Jan. 23, 2020. The Special White-winged Dove Days in the South Zone are Sept. 1-2 and 7-8.
“Over the years, TPWD has worked very hard to open up more of September to our hunters in the southern part of the state,” said Fitzsimmons. “The vast majority of our dove harvest occurs in September. Getting the (Federal government) to agree to a set Sept. 14 South Zone opener beginning last year ensures hunting opportunity in the south every weekend in September when you consider the early whitewing days.”
For more information go to the TPDW.Texas.Gov