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Dove season in Texas is around the corner and despite the brutal heat seen across the state of Texas, Dove season is expected to be incredible with huge numbers of dove around the state.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the cool and rainy spring that Texas had this year should mean that Texas hunters will see an increase in the dove population as the season opens on September 1st.

Texas Parks and Wildlife reports an estimated 28.3 million mourning doves in the state which would be an increase of about 44% according to the report.

Spring surveys conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff found an estimated 28.3 million mourning doves in Texas, a 44 percent increase from 2022.  White-wing dove populations have increased 20 percent, tying the record high with an estimated 11.7 million this year.

“This spring was about as perfect as it could be, with steady rains and cool weather,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, TPWD Dove Program Leader. “Given the population increases this year and the excellent breeding season conditions that persisted through the first half of the summer, hunters should expect to see a lot more birds on the landscape this September.”

As daily temperatures top 100 degrees with no relief in sight, hunters will likely find larger concentrations of birds at watering holes, and doves may be feeding earlier and later than normal to avoid the mid-day heat.  In areas where agriculture has suffered from the heatwave, look for stands of common sunflower, croton and other native annual forbs and grasses.

Texas is home to seven species of native doves and pigeons, including the three legal game species- mourning, white-winged and white-tipped doves. Texas accounts for 30 percent of the total mourning doves and 85 percent of the total white-winged doves harvested in the U.S. each year, far more than any other state.

Dove season begins September 1.

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