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Texas Gets Longest Dove Hunting Season in 80 Years

Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov

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2016-17 Migratory Game Bird Seasons Set

Note: This item is more than three years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

AUSTIN – Texas dove hunters can look forward to the longest season in 80 years, thanks to season dates adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission recently.

While the traditional opening dates established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remain fixed, a new 90-day season this fall means hunters will have 20 more days of opportunity compared to previous years.

The additional days are being integrated early in the season to take advantage of birds migrating into the state, as well as at the end of the season in the Special White-winged Dove Area to offer more wingshooting opportunities.

Dove

North Zone

  • Sept. 1 – Nov. 13 and Dec. 17 – Jan. 1, 2017.

Central Zone

  • Sept. 1 – Nov. 6 and Dec. 17 – Jan. 8, 2017.

South Zone

  • Sept. 23 – Nov. 13 and Dec. 17 – Jan. 23, 2017.

The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit 45.

Special White-winged Dove Area

  • Sept. 3-4, 10-11, Sept. 23 – Nov. 9, Dec. 17 – Jan. 23, 2017.

During the early two weekends in the Special White-winged Dove Area, hunting is allowed only in the afternoon and the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. During the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.

Under new federal guidelines, Texas is now able to adopt migratory game bird regulation changes earlier in the year than previously allowed. This means waterfowl hunters will have more time to plan trips afield.

Waterfowl seasons approved for 2016-17 include a later opener for duck hunting this year, with a shorter break between splits for the North Duck Zone and a later overall season in the South Duck Zone.

Ducks/Geese

Early Season

  • Statewide Teal — Sept. 10-25 with a daily bag limit of six birds.
  • East Zone Canada Geese – Sept. 10-25 with a bag limit of five.

General Duck

  • High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Youth: Oct. 22-23; Regular: Oct. 29-30 — Nov. 4— Jan. 29, 2017; “Dusky” Duck: Nov. 7 — Jan. 29, 2017.
  • North Zone: Youth: Nov. 5-6; Regular: Nov. 12-27 and Dec. 3—Jan. 29, 2017; “Dusky” Duck: Nov. 17-27 and Dec. 3—Jan. 29, 2017.
  • South Zone: Youth: Oct. 29-30; Regular: Nov. 5-27 and Dec. 10 — Jan. 29, 2017; “Dusky” Duck: Nov. 10-27 and Dec. 10 — Jan. 29, 2017.

Bag Limit: 6/day in the aggregate to include no more than 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens, 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 pintail , 2 canvasback, 1 “dusky duck” (mottled, black or Mexican-like) after the first 5 days. Mergansers: 5/day with no more than 2 hooded merganser. Coots: 15/day. Possession limit is 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory game birds except snow geese which have no possession limit.

Geese

  • East Zone: Nov. 5 – Jan.29, 2017; white-front Nov. 5 — Jan. 29, 2017; light Nov. 5-Jan. 29, 2017; conservation order Jan. 30 — Mar. 19, 2017.

Bag Limit after the Early Canada Goose: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit).

  • West Zone: Nov. 5 – Feb. 5, 2017; conservation order Feb. 6 — Mar. 19, 2017.

Bag Limit: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit).

Sandhill Crane

  • Zone A: Oct. 29 – Jan. 29, 2017.Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9.
  • Zone B: Nov. 18 — Jan. 29, 2017. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9.
  • Zone C: Dec. 17 — Jan. 22, 2017. Bag Limit: 2-possession limit 6.

Snipe

  • Oct. 29 — Feb. 12, 2017 with a daily bag of 8 and possession limit of 24

Woodcock

  • Dec. 18 – Jan. 31, 2017 with a daily bag limit of 3 and possession limit of 9.

Falconry

  • Statewide: dove Nov. 19-Dec. 5; ducks Jan. 30-Feb. 12, 2017.