Season Extended: Dove hunters getting extra days

HARLINGEN — Texas wing shooters are rejoicing over what will be the longest dove season in 80 years.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials announced the dates for dove season last week.

In the Rio Grande Valley, the number of dove hunting days for the 2016-17 season totals 89, up from 70 days the year before.

TPWD biologists set season lengths based on population surveys of mourning, white-winged and white-tipped doves, which are the three game species of doves in Texas.

The Rio Grand Valley area’s bag limits remain the same. For the early season’s two weekends, the limit is a daily bag of 15 birds not to include more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves.

After the early special season, the bag limit is 15 birds with no more than two white-tipped doves.

For many hunters in Texas, dove season remains a special event. It is the first major hunting season of the fall to open. In addition, many hunters started shooting as kids during dove season.

Perhaps a significant factor for the excitement dove season creates is because it also coincides with the opening of college football season.

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Special White-winged Dove Area hunting dates 2016/17

– Sept. 3-4, 10-11

– Sept. 23-Nov. 9

– Dec. 17-Jan. 23

Doves and pigeons of Texas

– Band-tailed pigeon

– Common ground dove

– Eurasian collared dove (introduced)

– Inca dove H Mourning dove

– Ruddy ground dove

– White-tipped dove

– White-winged dove

Source: Texas Cooperative Extension