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April 9, 2009
Parks and Wildlife Looking for Additional Dove Leases
AUSTIN, Texas — Attention landowners: Looking to make some extra money and got a weedy field not in production or being rested this fall?
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Public Dove Hunting Program is not only an opportunity for hunters, but it is also an opportunity for landowners to make some extra money by leasing the hunting rights for dove and other small game to TPWD.
This is a short termed lease usually for 45 to 60 days in length — the equivalent of the first split of the dove season.
Revenue from the sale of hunting licenses and the annual public hunting permit enable TPWD to expand public hunting opportunities through private land lease programs.
"We are looking for properties that are at least 50 or more acres where hunting is legal, with access, food, water and cover to attract dove," said Kelly Edmiston with TPWD’s public hunting program. "Ideal sites have a good food source such as grain crops; sunflowers, croton (goat weeds), water or that have become recently fallowed."
Additionally, each tract must have a public access point where hunters can park their vehicles, from which they will walk to the hunting area.
Temporary signs will clearly identify property boundaries. Game wardens and other departmental staff will monitor the units to ensure compliance with all regulations. Edmiston said most entrance points are designated for parking to protect the private property and reserve the maximum acreage for actual hunting activities.
"We expect our public hunters to respect the land and the landowners who have been so generous. We want to maintain a good relationship for the future," Edmiston said.
This is a short termed lease usually for 45 to 60 days in length — the equivalent of the first split of the dove season. Not everyone with a hunting license is allowed legal access to these short-term lease lands. Only those hunters who purchase the $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit (approximately 31,000 are sold annually statewide) from TPWD are allowed to hunt and only at times the area is open to hunting under the terms of the contract.
Price per acre is dependent on size, habitat, game species and hunt dates included. Location is also very important. We would like to find areas that are along the corridors of interstates 35, 45, 10 and 20 within about 100 miles of major urban areas.
"However if a property is located in other areas and you are interested, give us a call anyway," Edmiston said. "We try to find a good hunting opportunity, which means that we don’t lease all properties that are offered due to limited funding and not meeting the criteria we are looking for. If you know your local wildlife biologist or game warden you can also contact them."
More information about this program, locating your local wildlife biologist or game warden can be found by visiting: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/private/hunt/small_game/ or calling Wildlife Information at 512/389-4505.
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