Texas Parks and Wildlife Department eyes expansion of white-winged dove area

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is  gathering input on possible dove hunting changes in conjunction with upcoming public hearings in San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

The department will be scoping the expansion of the Special White-winged Dove Area and the associated reduction of mourning doves in the daily bag limit to two during the early four-day season, according to a news release.

The public hearings will begin at 7 p.m., to be followed by scoping sessions, and are set for:

March 7 – Corpus Christi, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, NRC Rm. 1003, 6300 Ocean Dr.

March 12 – San Antonio, Lions Field Community Center, 2809 Broadway

Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which regulates hunting seasons on migratory game birds, including doves, approved an expansion of the current SWWDA boundary in South Texas. The boundary would be expanded east to Interstate Highway 37. This change would approximately double the size of the whitewing area.

“This regulation change would allow more hunter opportunity on an expanding and increasing population of white-winged doves in South Texas,” said Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD Dove Program Leader, in the release.

The USFWS has expressed concern about potential increased harvest of mourning dove in the whitewing area as a result of the proposed expansion.  If Texas accepts the expansion, the USFWS is mandating a two-bird daily bag limit reduction for mourning dove during the early season in the whitewing area.

The current daily bag limit during the early season is 15 doves with no more than four mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. The regulation change would modify the daily bag limit to 15 doves with no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves.

The public is reminded that a number of other fishing and hunting related issues will be covered at these meetings and not limited to this possible regulation change, according to the release.

Additionally, public input on the dove zone scoping items can also be submitted electronically at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/scoping by email to Oldenburger at shaun.oldenburger@tpwd.state.tx.us, or in writing to Oldenburger at P.O. Box 788, San Marcos, TX 78667.

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