When the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meets next month at its public hearing on Thursday, March 24, wingshooters across the Lone Star State could be looking at approval of the longest dove hunting season in some 80 years.
That's because after federal approval of a 90-day dove hunting season framework, TPW Commissioners will get to vote on the idea next month as it considers approving the change under the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation for Migratory Game Birds.
Currently up for public comment, the approval of new federal guidelines – and the ability to adopt dove and waterfowl hunting seasons earlier in the year – could end up giving Texas hunters an extra 20 days to hunt doves in each of the state's three dove hunting zones.
Specific dates currently proposed by TPWD staff include Sept. 1-Nov. 13 and Dec. 17, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017 in the North Zone; Sept. 1-Nov. 6 and Dec. 17, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017 in the Central Zone; and Sept. 23-Nov. 13 and Dec. 17, 2016-Jan. 23, 2017 in the South Zone.
While the length of dove hunting seasons may be about to change, the daily bag limit for doves statewide across Texas would remain 15 birds with a possession limit of 45.
In addition to the above, TPWD notes in a press release that the state's Special White-winged Dove Area would be restricted to afternoon only hunting (noon to sunset) during the first two full September weekends on Sept. 3-4 and Sept. 10-11.
The agency also notes that dove hunting in this area would reopen Sept. 23 and continue through Nov. 13. The release indicates that the final dates for the Special White-winged Dove Area would be Dec. 17, 2016- Jan. 19, 2017.
As for proposed bag limits in the Special White-winged Dove Area, TPWD reports that in the two early weekends, the proposed daily bag limit would be 15 birds to include no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves.
When the general season opens up in the special area, the aggregate bag limit would be 15 birds with no more than two being white-tipped doves.
Those interested in making any public comment on these proposed dove hunting regulation changes can do so in person at upcoming public meetings across the state.
Comment may also be made during a live TPWD webinar on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m.
And comment may also be made online at http://tpwd.texas.gov between Feb. 19 and March 24.
Any questions concerning these proposed dove season changes can be sent by mail to: Wildlife Information, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling the agency toll-free at (800) 792-1112.