Texas Dove Hunting Season prospects bright with lots of birds and longer season

Tom Hinde

Dove populations are soaring and the hunting season, which gets underway Thursday, September 1, will be the longest in 80 years. The new 90-day season this fall means hunters will have 20 more days of hunting compared to previous years.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is adding those additional days early in the season to take advantage of mourning dove migration into the state, as well as at the end of the season in the Special White-winged Dove Area to offer more bird hunting opportunities.

"During the start of breeding season (March) in Texas, habitat conditions for dove were good to fantastic, thanks to the carryover of precipitation from 2015," said Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD Dove Program Leader. "Biologists witnessed good early production on both white-winged and mourning doves throughout the state until the May rains arrived. Based on early survey results at TPWD, mourning dove numbers may be some of the highest in more than a decade in the Panhandle region.