Texas dove hunting season to run 90 days in 2016

The mourning dove population is pegged at about 350 million, and roughly 50 million of those birds will nest, hatch or pass through Texas.
Dove season across much of Texas begins Sept. 1.

Texas dove hunting is a $300 million industry, but that figure is set to rise substantially this fall with the recent adoption of a 90-day dove season, the longest in eight decades.

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Here are dove hunting seasons from Texas Parks & Wildlife, with a breakdown on season dates and limits:


North Zone

  • Sept. 1 – Nov. 13 and Dec. 17 – Jan. 1, 2017.

Central Zone

  • Sept. 1 – Nov. 6 and Dec. 17 – Jan. 8, 2017.

South Zone

  • Sept. 23 – Nov. 13 and Dec. 17 – Jan. 23, 2017.

The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit 45.

Special White-winged Dove Area

  • Sept. 3-4, 10-11, Sept. 23 – Nov. 9, Dec. 17 – Jan. 23, 2017.

During the early two weekends in the Special White-winged Dove Area, hunting is allowed only in the afternoon and the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. During the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.

Under new federal guidelines, Texas is now able to adopt migratory game bird regulation changes earlier in the year than previously allowed. This means waterfowl hunters will have more time to plan trips afield.

Waterfowl seasons approved for 2016-17 include a later opener for duck hunting this year, with a shorter break between splits for the North Duck Zone and a later overall season in the South Duck Zone.

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Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.