Hunt Texas – August 2023

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Dove Numbers Soaring This Season

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The doves are back, with many regions of the state seeing record high numbers – mourning doves are up 44% over last year, and white-winged doves are up 20%. This is not the season to sit out! 

Summer's dry heat means you'll find concentrations of doves near water. Bring plenty of water for yourself and take shade breaks to stay cool. Think twice about bringing your dog into early-season heat.

To hunt dove, you'll need a license, and anyone born after 9/1/71 must complete hunter education. A Migratory Game Bird Endorsement and free HIP certification are also required. Look over the dove identifier before you head out, or access it in the field in the Outdoor Annual app

Regular season opens 9/1 in the North and Central Zones, and the South Zone's Special White-winged Dove Days start 9/1. Bag limit is 15. While you wait for September, check out our video Dove Hunting Las Palomas

From Field to Fork: Dove Empanadas

Dove empanadas, video link

You've probably had more than one empanada in your life, they're half-moon shaped hand-pies with a sweet or savory filling.

This tasty empanada recipe was inspired by Argentina, and it uses a 50-50 mix of ground pork and dove. Try it! You'll find the full list of ingredients in the description section of the video recipe Dove Empanadas

Public Hunting Opportunities Abound

Walk-in hunt, video link

Looking for a new place to hunt? Check out the 1 million+ acres of walk-in hunting lands available to you with a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit. 

These are quality TPWD sites or acreage we've leased from private landowners, industry, plus federal and state agencies to give you more hunting access. Find a spot to hunt by doing a search by area or type of game or use the interactive map. Check out one of the newest public hunting areas in our video Acres of Access for Hunters

Annual Public Hunting Permit holders are also exclusively eligible to apply for 2 types of Drawn Hunts: E-postcard Hunts and US Forest Service Antlerless Deer Permits. Keep an eye on Drawn Hunts deadlines – better yet, apply today!

CWD is a real threat, with link

Be Smart, Don’t Let a Wildfire Start

Wildfire in wooded area

Wildfires have been rearing their ugly heads around the country this summer, reminding us to be smart and don't let a wildfire start. Use these safety tips in the field this fall if dry conditions persist:

  • Don't idle or park over dry vegetation – a hot catalytic converter can ignite it.
  • Don't shoot into rocks that may spark or into tall, dry grass.
  • Don't use full metal jacket or tracer ammunition.  

Don't take any action that might start a fire. See our blog post Protect Your Texas Lands from Wildfire for other ways to prevent wildfires while hunting, 

3 Ways to Warm Up Your Wingshooting Skills

Woman with shotgun, video link

Keeping up your shooting skills is an ongoing process, and practice exercises can help you become a safer, more efficient hunter. Plus, you'll waste less ammunition = saving money.

Get in some training before the season starts using these 3 simple exercises demonstrated by Hunter Education Specialist Heidi Rao in the video Improving Your Shotgun Skills – no ammunition needed. 

Just as practice is a skill of patience, safety is a skill of restraint. Pass up shots which have the slightest chance of being unsafe, and you'll make the field a safer place. 

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What's Happening in the World of Game Wardens

Game Warden Field Notes, with link

Enter for a Chance to Win Your Dream Hunt

2022 Grand Slam winner with mule deer harvest

Imagine you and your buddy on a premium hunt with a guide, lodging and meals included. Enter Big Time Texas Hunts (BTTH) and that dream may become a reality. 

BTTH offers 10 different hunt packages, including the Grand Slam, which is 4 separate hunts for bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, pronghorn and mule deer. NEW this year, the Exotic Safari winner will also receive a YETI Limited Edition Red Tundra 65 hard cooler.

Enter as often as you'd like, the deadline is Oct. 15 and each entry is $9 if purchased online. All proceeds go directly to support wildlife conservation and public hunting in Texas. Conservation projects funded by BTTH include bighorn sheep restoration, grassland restoration and brush control that benefits quail, pronghorn, mule deer and many other species. Participants like you have helped raise more than $19.5 million in the last 26 years. Thank you!

A Century of Outdoor Memories

Child and adult at window, with link

For 100 years, countless Texans have experienced wild wonder by visiting our state parks. And for generations of hunters, our Texas State Park system has provided access to invaluable hunting grounds through TPWD’s public hunting and drawn hunt programs.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is raising $2 million to fund much-needed projects for all state parks across Texas. From new archery programs to portable hunting/wildlife viewing blinds, these and many more projects will help harvest excitement and awe for a new century of park explorers.

Learn more and give back to the park closest to your heart.

New CWD Public Awareness Campaign

CWD awareness billboard

As part of our ongoing efforts to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the fatal disease affecting deer and other cervids, we kicked off a public-awareness campaign that includes billboards, gas pump toppers, online ads and a redesigned CWD webpage. Take a look at it to learn the facts about the disease, how and where to get your harvest tested, and the role hunters and landowners play in protecting our most popular game animals. 

Find out more about the awareness campaign in our press release Chronic Wasting Disease Is a Real Threat to Texas Deer. Protect Texas deer. Learn the Facts.

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

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by the generous support of Toyota. 

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