Good Timing & Skill = Successful Dove Season

August 11th, 2017
Taking aim at dove.

Taking aim at dove.

This is Passport to Texas

Beginning in September, dove hunters have 90 days to harvest this plentiful game bird.

We harvest over five million mourning doves annually – which is an amazing number if you think about it. We’re the number one dove harvest state in the nation.

Shaun Oldenburger, migratory shore and upland game bird program leader, says that’s just a small percentage of available birds.

We have a lot of biologists out there trapping birds right now. And we’re seeing a lot of hatch year young – juvenile birds in the population – so that means it will be a good opening season for folks getting out September first, or whenever their opening day is in their zone.

Dove hunting is “front end loaded” meaning most hunters that want to hunt… do so early in the season.

In some places, especially our north zone, pretty much by the first week in October, 90 percent of the harvest has already occurred for that zone for the season. Now, we do have a 90 day season, so it’s a long season. But, what we do is allow those other days to occur for other folks that may have an opportunity later on. We want to make those hunting seasons as flexible as possible for folks, because some people may enjoy going later when there’s not as many hunters out. So we allot a lot of flexibility for dove hunting.

Find bag limits and other hunting regulations on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show, The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series, and funds Mourning Dove Density, Distribution, and Harvest surveys in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Preparing for Dove Season

August 10th, 2017
Dove hunting. Photo: TPWD

Dove hunting. Photo: TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

As the dove season opener approaches, hunters should ask themselves if they are ready to go into the field.

Make sure that you have all of your licenses before the hunting season. And also make sure that you have your hunter safety card.

Shaun Oldenburger is the migratory shore and upland game bird program leader. Licenses and hunter safety cards are just the beginning of preparedness.

Another thing we ask hunters to do before September first is to actually dust off that shotgun, get outside and shoot some clays. Practice a little bit with your shotgun. You know, a lot of folks stumble around August 31st trying to find all their gear before September first. But a couple of weeks prior, get your stuff together, spend a little time going through it. Get out and shoot some clays. Get out and practice a little bit with that shotgun. You can have a lot better experience on your first hunting day. Are you going to get out there this season? I hope so. I actually have a meeting in Kansas that week, but I’m definitely going to get out that weekend, and hopefully get an opportunity to harvest some white wing doves and mourning doves.

Find season information and bag limits for all fall hunting opportunities on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show, funded in part by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Through your purchases of hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are funded in Texas each year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Promising Dove Season Ahead

August 9th, 2017
Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

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Wing shooters are finalizing their plans for the dove season opener, September 1 in the north and central zones, and September 22 in the south zone.

When we look at mourning harvests historically, we see the central part of the state has been very good along with south Texas. Those are really the two strongholds for good harvest counties when we look at distribution of harvest across the counties of Texas.

Shaun Oldenburger is the migratory shore and upland game bird program leader. He says data returned thus far suggests a good dove season statewide.

The great thing about doves is they’re a generalist. So, no matter if you go to the Trans Pecos desert, or if you’re in east Texas Pineywoods with 80-inches of rain the last couple of years, we’ve got doves. So, that’s one thing that really makes dove hunting attractive to folks, is they can get out pretty much anywhere in the state and have success.

Oldenburger says dove hunting provides a gateway into the hunting tradition for folks new to the activity. And you just need the basics to get started.

You don’t need a whole lot [of specialized gear] for dove hunting. You have to have your hunting license, and then also you need a shotgun and shotgun shells. And you need a spot to go. In reality – that’s all you need for dove hunting.

How to prepare for the season ahead. That’s next time.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series, and funds Mourning Dove Density, Distribution, and Harvest surveys in Texas. .

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Eye on the Sky for Meteor Showers

August 8th, 2017
Meteors

Keep an eye on the night sky and you might see a meteor.

This is Passport to Texas

Small fragments of cosmic debris that enter the earth’s atmosphere at high rates of speed become visible as streaks of light we call meteors.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks mid-August. Enchanted Rock SNA will host a star festival August 12-13 to celebrate. It is a recognized Dark Sky Park, and you may see up to 75 meteors an hour. The festival runs from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Park hours will be extended until 3 am to view the Perseids.

The Orionids is another meteoric spectacle that takes place from early October through Mid-November. In a normal year 20-25 meteors an hour streak across the sky; in a great year, as many as 50/hr.

The Leonids, created by the comet Temple-Tuttle, are visible much of November. They have offered stunning meteor storms in the past, but expect only 15 meteors an hour through 2031; that’s when the comet reappears.

The Geminids, visible from early to mid-December, are bright and intensely colored. Meteors start showing up before 10 p.m., so you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to see them.

Whether you see 1 or 100 metors, it’s always a thrill.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Buy a License, Feed the Hungry & Help a Veteran

August 7th, 2017
You can help support Hunters for the Hungry and Fund for Veterans at the time you buy a hunting or fishing license.

You can help support Hunters for the Hungry and Fund for Veterans at the time you buy a hunting or fishing license.

This is Passport to Texas

When licenses go on sale August 15, Texas hunters and anglers may donate to one of two worthy non-profits.

You can make the voluntary contribution of either one dollar, five dollars, ten dollars or twenty dollars to either the Fund for Veterans Assistance, or to help feed Texas families with a donation to Hunters for the Hungry.

Justin Halvorsen is revenue director at Texas Parks and Wildlife, and says donating is voluntary and easy.

It’s through any one of our sales channels. Either online, over the phone, at a retail agent, or any one of our parks and wildlife locations.

The agency keeps close tabs the donations.

And then, at the end of every month, it’ll go into a separate pot, and we’ll send it along to those respective entities [nonprofits].

The program debuted last season and Texans were generous; Texas Parks and Wildlife distributed, $193-thousand to the Fund for Veteran’s, and $106-thousand to Hunters for the Hungry. You may ask: is my donation tax deductible?

That is a great question. And there will be a receipt that gets printed as part of this that specifically says that this is a donation to the Veteran’s Fund or Hunters for the Hungry. And then, really, it’s up to the individual and their tax preparer to make that ultimate decision.

Request an itemized receipt from retailers, and find more information on the TPW website.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.