Texas hunters to see increased teal limit, white-winged dove opportunities

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Texas bird hunters will see increased bag and possession limits and expanded opportunities this fall, including the early-season teal framework.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved an expanded Special White-Wing Dove Area, a six-bird daily bag during the early September teal season and increased possession limits for all migratory game birds.

The special whitewing area will now extend eastward along its current boundary and continue south along Interstate 37 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, effectively doubling its current size.

“For the last two decades, white-winged dove populations have steadily expanded both their numbers and their geographical extent,” said Dave Morrison, Small Game Program Director with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in a news release. “We believe, and the Service agrees, an expansion is appropriate to take advantage of additional hunting opportunities.”

To take advantage of the earliest possible opening dates for the special area, the season will run Sept. 1-2 and reopen, running Sept. 7-8. The bag limit during the four-day season is 15 doves in the aggregate to include no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. Hunting also is permitted only from noon to sunset.

Dove season in the North and Central zones will run from Sept. 1-Oct. 20 and Dec. 20-Jan. 8. The South Zone dove season will run Sept. 20-Oct. 27 and Dec. 20-Jan. 20, with the season in the special whitewing area Sept. 20-Oct. 23 and Dec. 20-Jan. 20.

Teal hunters will be able to shoot as many as six teal daily during the statewide September teal-only season, which will run Sept. 14-29. The early Canada goose season also will run Sept. 14-29 in the eastern goose zone with a daily limit of three geese.

Under new rules, the possession limit for all migratory game birds is three times the daily bag.

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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.

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