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Dove Hunting

Dove Hunting

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

AUSTIN, Texas --( Dove hunting is a tradition for many Texas hunters and their families, and they won’t be disappointed this hunting season even if the drought continues substantially in some parts of the state, according to wildlife biologists.

Every year, about 250,000 mourning dove hunters harvest 5 million mourning doves in Texas – making the Lone Star State the nation’s leader in both the number of hunters and harvest. This year should be no exception.

The 2014-2015 Texas dove season begins September 1 in the North and Central Zones and on September 19 in the South Zone. The daily bag limit statewide is 15 and the possession limit is 45.

Remember that in addition to a valid hunting license, a Migratory Game Bird endorsement and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification are also required to hunt dove. HIP certification involves a brief survey of previous year’s migratory bird hunting success and is conducted at the time licenses are purchased. Hunters can find detailed information in the Outdoor Annual.

Brush up on dove season basics with this brief video describing zones, split seasons, bag and possessions limits, license requirements and more for 2014.

Although drought may lead to decreased dove populations, it may have the reverse impact on hunting success. Doves will congregate in areas of seed and water availability during early fall, so hunting success can increase in areas that provide both food and water and decrease at hunting spots that do not. Read the full dove forecast in Texas Hunting 2014.

Here are 2 tips to help keep everyone safe and the dove population plentiful:

  • Avoid swinging on game. One of the most frequent ways that accidents occur, especially when taking aim at dove. Identify your zones of fire and stay within them once game is within range. Share this video with your hunting buddies and new hunters before you head into the field.

  • Check harvested doves for bands and report them. Leg banding is part of ongoing research and population management that helps make the most of hunting license dollars. Please report bands to the toll-free number 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or online at
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