White-winged Dove Season Opens This Weekend

A white-winged dove is captured on a Rio Grande Valley sunflower field. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The 2018-19 Texas dove season opens this weekend.

Hunters have the first two weekends of September to shoot birds in what is called the special white-winged dove area. The doves are native to this part of the state and northeastern Mexico.

Shooting hours for Sept.1-2 and Sept. 8-9 start at noon and end at sunset as has always been the case.

After such dates, the regular second season will open a week later, or on Sept. 14, making it the first time the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has implemented the change.

But before venturing into the country side planning to shoot the fast-flying doves, all hunters must possess a new hunting license that goes into effect on Sept. 1.

Dove hunting is held on private and public lands.

Some landowners charge up to $150 a day, but TPWD has about a million acres of public land statewide.

Cameron and Hidalgo counties have several parks where people can hunt doves but a hunter must purchase another license to hunt in what is known as Wildlife Management Areas.

Dove hunters can pay by the day, or $20, during the two-weekend special white-winged dove or $48 for an annual permit, which entitles them to hunt anywhere in the state where TPWD owns public land.

Game wardens said the most common violations they encounter during the dove season is finding hunters with no licenses, for having more birds than the limit or for shooting across public roads.

The daily limit during the special white-winged doves season is 15 birds a day with two mourning and a white-tipped dove in the aggregate.

In other words, the daily is 15 white-winged doves, or 13 such doves plus two mourning and one white-tipped dove.

Besides having a hunting license, anyone born after Sept. 1, 1971 must successfully complete a hunter education training course.

For more information about the dove season and bird limits, refer to Page 71 of the 2018- 2019 Outdoor Manual Hunting & Fishing Regulations of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

The dove season marks the start of the state hunting season which runs through the spring with turkey season.

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