Hunters in Texas are eyeing September 1st and hoping that this year's dove season is just as good as last. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, it will be.

According to TPWD, the September 1st start date is falling at just the right time as it's been hot and dry across the state. That means dove should be concentrated around feeding and watering areas.

A hot, dry landscape heading into the season can concentrate dove around feeding and watering areas, making for excellent hunting, according to wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In addition to prime conditions heading into the opener, dove populations have thrived this year thanks to the amount and timing of spring rains across most of the state that kicked habitat into high gear for dove breeding season.

“With the abundant highly-preferred dove foods available on the landscape this year, we’re seeing excellent production,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, TPWD dove program leader. “White-winged dove production, in particular, has been very high in the southern half of the state. Plus, many of the states to the north had similar spring habitat conditions, which should result in a strong influx of migrant birds for Texas later in the season. I’m excited about the prospects this season, it should be fantastic.”

Dove season is big in Texas. According to TPWD, over 300,000 Texans hunt dove each year and take in an estimated 10 million birds. More than any other state.

The regular dove season in the North Zone runs Sept. 1-Nov. 12 and resumes Dec. 20-Jan.5, 2020. The regular season in the Central Zone is Sept. 1-Nov. 3, then resumes Dec. 20-Jan.14, 2020. The regular season in the South Zone is Sept. 14-Nov. 3 and Dec. 20-Jan. 23, 2020. The Special White-Winged Dove Days in the South Zone are Sept. 1-2 and 7-8.

Texas hunters should note the Sunday start to the season in the North and Central Zones, as well as for the Special White-Winged Dove Days this year due to calendar shift, but, hopefully hunters will be able to take advantage of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 2, too.

South Zone hunters should also be sure to double-check their calendars this year for what is an unfamiliar Saturday start also due to calendar shift and federal restrictions on opening dates that prohibit starting the South Zone season prior to Sept. 14.

For more information about dove season in Texas, check out TPWD's website.