Texas Dove Hunting Starts Again!

September 1st is almost a national holiday in Texas.  It always marks the beginning of Texas dove hunting and then follows with all of the other bird hunting seasons in Texas.  We are very fortunate to have a wide variety of winged friends in Texas.  We are especially lucky in Central Texas because the white winged dove roosts in our area most of the year.  We almost always have a tremendous dove hunting season in Central Texas.

Invasive Ring Necked Doves

White Ring Neck Dove with Red Blood after Hunting Invasive Doves in Texas
Hunting Invasive Doves in Texas
Eurasian collared doves (ECDs) area also known as ring necked doves.  They are an invasive, non-native species and just like pigeons, there is no season or limit.  They behave very much like pigeons – much more so than doves – and can be found in singles and large flocks around areas where there is loose grain.  Although there is no season on eurasian collared doves like there is for Texas dove hunting for white wing or mourning doves.  They are easily confused with white wing and mourning doves.  So, if you do hunt them out of season, be sure of your shot because the fines and penalties for hunting migratory birds out of season are very stiff!

Morning Goose Hunt in North Texas

Brown, White and Black Canada Goose Decoys on Red Sand for Texas Waterfowl Hunt Sunrise
Texas Waterfowl Hunt Sunrise
Texas is fortunate to be the winter resting ground for hundreds of thousands of Canada Geese and Texas Waterfowl hunting is one of our best kept secrets.  While they can be found as far South as Mexico, they are typically most numerous in the panhandle region of Texas.  The Lubbock and Amarillo area have sections of farming ground with wheat, corn and peanuts that keep the Texas waterfowl hunting going strong throughout the entire season.
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Texas Pigeon Hunting

Pigeon Hunt Sunrise of Orange Sunrise with Yellow corn stalks and Red dirt
Pigeon Hunt Sunrise
I LOVE hunting pigeons.  They are tough, fast and smart and make a very worthy foe.  They are not like Texas dove hunting.  I prefer to hunt pigeons in a scouted area where they leave their town roosts to feed during the day.  There are a variety of pigeon decoys available but numerous ground decoy socks and a couple of wind driven decoys is all it usually takes.  When the pigeons want into your location to feed, they are going to come and then keep coming.  There is no season or limit on pigeons, nor are there any load restrictions. So, take out your plug and grab your magazine extension.  If the pigs are flying, you’ll need the extra shots!

Big Pigeon Harvest

445 Grey Pigeons on Red Sand Texas Pigeon Hunt Results
Texas Pigeon Hunt Results
A typical pigeon hunt with well decoyed pigeons can result in as many as 200 birds harvested in a couple hours.  This was a spectacular hunt with three shooters and an endless supply of pigeons and occurred over 90 minutes of shooting time.  Thanks Brian!

My New Duck Hunting Pond

Little Texas Duck Pond of brown muddy water in brown muddy ground
Little Texas Duck Pond
I farm a little in my off season between March and August.  I had some extra time and a new tractor so I decided to dig a duck pond in my back yard.  I had to promise my wife that I wouldn’t hunt it and I’m OK with that.  We have some wood ducks in the area and it would be nice to see them during the off season.  I’d also be pleased of the doves discovered the water hole as well.  I figure that a bit of practice on the doves with a pellet gun will sharpen my skills in the field with my 28 ga.  Nevertheless, it was fun digging the pond – now if it will only hold water – I’ll be ready for Texas duck hunting!

Cool Texas Dove Hunting Dog

Orange and White Dog in Blue Plastic Tub after Hot Texas Dove Hunting
Hot Texas Dove Hunting
September 1st starts Texas Dove Hunting and it is still very hot.  I’ve seen many casual hunting dogs come out to the field and get hurt really bad by the heat.  I make it a practice to take a small dog bath and fill it with water from my truck’s 15 gallon water tank each time I hunt with my dog.  This immersion in water, especially on her belly and paws, goes a long way to keeping my dog healthy, cool and performing on both ends of the day. Texas duck hunting provides more than enough water and cold weather to keep my buddy cool and performing.

Open Field Dove Hunting

Open Field with Green Grass and Blue Sky Hunting Texas Mourning Doves
Open Field Hunting Texas Mourning Doves
Texas has a wide variety of landscapes and our doves and ducks can be found in almost all of them.  I especially enjoy open field hunting for white wing and mourning doves because I can watch their antics for longer.  It also gives the doves an opportunity to see me and provide tougher shots.  I’ve come to understand that the biggest joy of Texas dove hunting is making the occasional spectacular shot.  My goal is not to fill my bag with a limit.  My goal is to have as many tough shots as possible and only have to quit when I reach the limit.  Yeah, I burn more shells but I also make more shots that I remember for man many years.

Sunrise Dove Hunt in the Texas Brush

Texas Whitewing Dove Hunting
Green grass pasture with light blue sky in background Whitewing Dove Hunting
I also like an early morning mourning dove hunt in the Texas brush.  The little grey rockets come zipping right at the tree tops and every shot is a reaction shot in poor light.  Fair warning though, don’t attempt this unless you have a good dog.  Trying to find the ones you hit in thick brush right at daylight can be more than a little challenge! Texas dove hunting for mourning doves is a tough sport!

Summary of Texas Dove Hunting Starts Again

Texas Dove hunting has started and Texas duck hunting is only a few weeks away. There is an abundance of pigeons and Eurasian Collared Doves in Texas.  They are both invasive species and there are no limits or seasons to hunt them. We’re fortunate to winter many thousands of geese and a morning sunrise over goose decoys is something to behold. Texas dove hunting is hot and keeping your dog cool in a water tank or bath will help your friend keep working for you on both ends of the day.  The terrain available in Texas for dove hunting is spectacular and the choices are rich.

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