The 2018-19 Dove Hunting Season Officially Begins Saturday September 1st
Local hunters and area game wardens are preparing for an increase in activity as local sportsmen will enjoy the official start to dove season. Texas citizens will enjoy an extended dove season for the third year in a row. Hunting season will run from September 1st-November 4th and then later from December 21st-January 14th in the North zone where the panhandle region is located.
Roughly 15 percent of the nation’s 300 million mourning dove reside in Texas, along with about 15 million white-winged doves at the beginning of September. Each fall, over 300,000 Texas dove hunters take to the field in pursuit of these acrobatic, fast-flying game birds. “Texas is uniquely situated to catch a lot of migratory birds as they move through the central part of the continent. Couple that with the fact that we are such a big state with diverse habitats, and it makes sense that we have such large numbers of doves,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, TPWD Dove Program Leader.
Public information officer Aaron Sims explains that district game wardens eagerly wait for the hunting season to begin. “Game wardens are just as excited as hunters for September 1st to roll around. We’ve already begun marking locations that will be busiest in hunting activity, as well as speaking with citizens reminding them of the specific species bag limits and restrictions.” Sims says that all available wardens will be out in force throughout the region ensuring hunters are abiding by the laws. “One of the many violations that we might encounter would be hunters not abiding by their daily bag limit.” The daily bag limit for dove is 15, which means that a hunter cannot exceed taking 15 dove in a single day. Sims also advises that hunters abide by the legal shooting hours and to double check those official times prior to hitting the fields. Migratory game birds can legally be hunted 30 minutes prior to sunrise until sunset.
There is no closed season or bag limit restrictions for Eurasian collared-doves or common pigeons (rock doves). However, it is recommended that hunters leave plumage on these birds for species identification to verify they are not part of a migratory game bird daily bag or possession limit.
All hunters are reminded that hunting licenses expire each year on Aug. 31, so a new license for 2018-19 is needed prior to going dove hunting. Licenses may be purchased at local sporting goods retailers, TPWD Law Enforcement offices, and online through the TPWD website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/buy The online transaction system is
Hunting and fishing regulations for the new season can be found in the 2018-2019 Outdoor Annual, available at license retailers and online at www.txoutdoorannual.com. The mobile app available enables hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. To download the free app, visit http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app or search the iTunes App Store, Amazon AppStore or Google Play for Outdoor Annual – Texas Hunting and Fishing Regulations.