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May 28, 2009
TPWD Dove Season Framework Gets Commission Approval
AUSTIN, Texas — Changes proposed for the 2009-2010 Texas dove season, including a 70-day season and 15-bird daily bag statewide, received approval from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
The season framework change is part of a new adaptive harvest management regulations package developed for the 14 states, including Texas, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Central Management Unit.
Additionally, the commission approved moving the South Zone dove season opening the Friday nearest Sept. 20, but no earlier than the 17th. This year the season will open Sept. 18 if approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in late June.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department received relatively little input, although overwhelmingly supportive of the changes, during the public comment phase. Less than 100 comments were received via email or through the agency’s online public comment survey and 32 comments during nearly two dozen public meetings around the state.
If authorized under federal guidelines, Texas dove season in the North and Central Dove Zones will run from Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 25 and reopen Saturday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 9, with a 15-bird bag and not more than two white-tipped doves.
The South Zone dove season will run Sept. 18-Nov. 3, reopening Dec. 26-Jan. 17 with a 15-bird bag and not more than two white-tipped doves. Possession limit is twice the daily bag for all migratory game birds except light geese, which currently does not have a possession limit.
The Special South Texas White-winged Dove Area will open to white-winged dove afternoon-only (noon to sunset) hunting the first two full weekends in September running from Sept. 5-6 and 12-13 and reopen when the regular South Zone season begins on Friday, Sept. 18 through Tuesday, Nov. 3 and again from Saturday, Dec. 26 through Wednesday, Jan. 13. The Special White-winged Dove Area season takes four of the allowable 70 days, so when the regular season opens, this area most close four days earlier than the rest of the South Zone. The daily bag limit is 15 birds, not more than four mourning doves during the first two weekend splits and 2 white-tipped doves. Once the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit will be 15.
The Service is also reviewing a proposal to give TPWD the option to adjust a portion of the boundary of the Special White-winged Dove Area. This change would remove portions of Jim Hogg and Starr counties and also received commission approval.
TPWD is making no changes to other early migratory game bird seasons other than to reflect calendar shifts.
If Texas gets a 16-day September teal season, the dates will be Sept. 12-27, while a nine-day season will run Sept. 19-27.
The season for rail and gallinule is Sept. 12-27 and Oct. 31-Dec. 23; for snipe, Oct. 31-Feb. 14; and for woodcock, Dec. 18-Jan. 31.
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