AUSTIN – Texas dove hunters will get an additional 20 days this fall under changes to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation for Migratory Game Birds.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a 90-day Texas dove season, the longest in 80 years.
Under new federal guidelines, Texas presented migratory game bird regulation changes earlier in the year than previously allowed. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted dove and waterfowl hunting seasons at its March 24 public hearing, giving hunters more time to plan trips afield.
TPWD staff integrated the additional 20 dove hunting days early in the season to take advantage of migrating birds. The traditional September 1 dove season opening day in the North and Central Zones remains, while the South Zone opens Sept. 23. The first segment in the North and South zones extends through Nov. 13, while the Central Zone runs until Nov. 6. The season reopens statewide Dec. 17 and runs 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 remains at 15 and the possession limit 45.
The Special White-winged Dove Area is 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 reopens Sept. 23 and continues through, Nov. 13, and then reopens again on Dec. 17 through Jan. 19, 2017. During the early two weekends, the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. Once the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.