Hunt Texas – August 2020

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Dove hunting gear

First-Rate Dove Season Draws Near

dove being banded, video link

Texas has been called the "dove-huntingest" state in the union, and for good reason – about 15 million white-winged doves and 25 million mourning doves are expected to be on the wing when Sept. rolls around. Read the dove forecast to learn how weather can affect your hunting success.

Dove season opens on 9/1 in the North and Central Zones, and the South Zone's Special White-Winged Dove Days start 9/5. During regular season the daily bag limit is 15, with no more than 2 white-tipped doves. For all regulation information, refer to the updated Outdoor Annual, and look over the Dove Season Checklist to be sure you're ready for a successful season.

Dove banding is used to manage dove populations, and hunter-reported band information is necessary to estimate dove harvest and survival rates. Check your harvest for doves with bands, and if you find one, report it using the information on the band. Learn more about this program by watching our short video, Banding Doves in Texas.

Buy Your License Online and Use It Right Away

When you buy a license online, you can use your emailed receipt, or the record of it found in the Outdoor Annual app, to hunt any legal game that doesn’t require a tag – like dove.

Are You Ready to Hunt Over 1 Million Acres?

3 people shooting at dove in a field, video link

Are you looking for an affordable spot to hunt or maybe a change of scenery? Explore over 1 million acres of walk-in hunting lands – access it all with a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit.  

These are lands we make accessible to the public by leasing it from federal and state agencies, private landowners and industry for your year-round hunting enjoyment. To find a new hunting spot, do a search by area or type of game. For the most up-to-date information on availability of public lands, follow us on Facebook.

Paperless check-in is now an option for many public hunting sites – just use the free My Texas Hunt Harvest app for on-site registration. Download the app in advance, so you can still register if there's no cell signal. To see how it works, watch the short video, How Public Hunting Access Just Got Easier.

Creating Safe Zones of Fire

2 men in safe zones of fire, video link

The "safe zone of fire" is an area where a hunter can shoot safely. Establishing safe zones is a safety necessity when hunting in a group. Before starting the hunt, each hunter should establish their safe zone of fire. Do this by imagining a clock and facing 12 o’clock – the standard safe zone of fire would then be from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock.

Swinging on game outside a safe zone is the #1 cause of hunting accidents in Texas, so it's essential everyone in your group understands and sticks to their safe zone. Watch the short video, Safe Zone of Fire, to see safety in action. 

Methods for finding your safe zone of fire are taught in Hunter Education. Anyone born after Sept. 1, 1971 must complete Hunter Ed and carry proof of certification while hunting. If you've misplaced your certification card, get a free copy online. And keep that proof in your pocket!

Outdoor Annual Goes All-Digital This Season

Outdoor Annual on screens, video link

The Outdoor Annual is your go-to source for all Texas hunting regulation information. You can refer to it for new regulation changes, season dates and helpful tips. There will not be a printed version of the Outdoor Annual for the 2020-2021 season due to economic impacts of the pandemic. 

There are 2 ways to access this year's regulations:

The most convenient way to access it is with the mobile app, which is free for both Android and Apple devices. Even if you’re hunting in an area without internet service, you can still access the regulations if you’ve already downloaded the app or updated to the latest version. Get the app today so you're ready to hunt tomorrow! 

From Field to Fork

Jalapeno dove poppers

As a hunter, it feels satisfying to harvest and prepare game for your table. Serving your wild harvest creates a way for you to share your enjoyment of the hunt with friends and family. 

Visit Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine's new Locavore section, a first-of-its-kind collection of hunting and fishing stories – and the recipes that go with them! Don't miss TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith's recipe for dove poppers, and his story about the joys of dove hunting, "Fields of Dove."

3 Tips to Help Beef Up Your Shotgun Skills

man practicing shooting with a shotgun, video link

Many hunters believe the 3 best things you can do to improve your shotgun skills are practice, practice and practice. And they may be right! But we have a few other tips that should help you build your skills.

1. Know your shotgun – handle it as often as you can, especially if you can't get to the range regularly. When at home, practice (unloaded, muzzle pointed in a safe direction) your stance, rising up to take a shot, your swing and follow-through. 

2. Perfect your gun mount – the goal is a fluid, smooth motion to the shoulder and cheek, eyes aligned down the barrel and focused on the target. Practice until you can do this without having to think about it.

3. Stay focused on your target – any distraction will interrupt the information your brain is processing about your moving quarry. As you mount the gun, do not glance away from the target and at the barrel, which can easily cause a missed shot.

To build these skills, try the exercises found in our magazine story, Patience, Practice, Persistence. And to help keep your firearm at peak performance, watch How to Clean Your Shotgun.

Win Big With the New Powderhorn Cast and Blast

Exotic deer and man fishing, video link

We're excited to introduce the Powderhorn Cast and Blast, our newest Big Time Texas Hunt (BTTH). It's our first package with hunting AND fishing, and it's an outdoor experience like no other! The lucky winner and a friend will hunt and fish at the pristine Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the Texas coast.

This amazing package includes hunting white-tailed deer, exotics and waterfowl, along with a bay fishing trip for redfish and speckled trout. Like all BTTH hunts, you'll be provided with experienced professional guides as well as food and lodging. Don't miss the chance to win this one-of-a-kind experience – enter today. Read more about this package in the story, Powderhorn WMA to Host the Cast and Blast of a Lifetime.

BTTH offers 9 other exclusive, guided hunt packages. Each online entry is only $9. There's sure to be more than one that's your dream hunt, so enter as many times as you'd like, but do it by Oct. 15

New Game Warden Field Notes

Game Warden Field Notes link

Responsible hunting practices graphic

Toyota truck ad, link

The Hunt Texas e-newsletter is made possible in part
by the generous support of Toyota.