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Forums >> Texas Hunting >> Turkey, Quail and Dove Hunting >> Texas Dove Season Begins

Texas Dove Season Begins

Texas Hunting
Texas Hunting
Texas Hunting writes about Texas Dove Season BeginsTexas Hunting writes about Texas Dove Season BeginsTexas Hunting writes about Texas Dove Season BeginsTexas Hunting writes about Texas Dove Season Begins
Points: Y (790) / M (32)

For almost 400,000 dove hunters in Texas, this time of year brings about a kick-start to fall seasons that will last through the New Year, and anticipation is flying higher than in previous years.

Dove season in the north and central zones begins Saturday and runs through Oct. 24. It will reopen Dec. 22 and run through Jan. 6 while the south zone season runs Sept. 21-Oct. 28 and Dec. 22-Jan. 22. There is a statewide 15-bird daily bag, which may not include more than two white-tipped doves. The mourning dove population is pegged at about 350 million on this continent, and roughly 50 million of those birds will nest, hatch or pass through Texas at some point in the next few months.

Texas also boasts the largest number of white-winged doves, checking in with a population of 5 million or more by most estimates, and the larger doves have expanded their range well out of South Texas and into this region. There are even noted nesting colonies as far north as the Panhandle.

Not only does Texas have the highest dove populations in the country, it also boasts the largest number of hunters, roughly a third of the nationwide tally of 1.1 million in a normal year, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service figures. In an average season, 250,000 people put time in the field hunting mourning doves, while 125,000 target whitewings. Those hunters typically harvest about 5 million mourning doves and a million whitewings, and pump a huge amount of revenue into the state economy – more than $300 million, according to recent state and federal surveys. Those surveys show that even in average seasons hunters in Texas spend more than $8 million alone on shot shells.

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