Duck, goose season dates set as your licenses expires
The good news is that dove and teal seasons will be open before you know it. The bad news is that our hunting and fishing licenses will expire on Aug. 31. That means a new license for 2014-15 is needed prior to going hunting or fishing.
Licenses can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, TPWD Law Enforcement offices, online through the TPWD website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/buy or by phone at (800) 895-4248. Call center hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there is a required $5 convenience fee for each phone or online transaction.
“The online transaction system is available 24/7,” says Steve Lightfoot, with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “For online and phone orders, a physical license will be mailed within three business days. During that time period, a transaction receipt will be provided via e-mail that will be sufficient proof of hunting license that can be used for dove hunting, though it will not be allowed for the take of fish or wildlife that require a tag.”
Hunting and fishing regulations for the new season can be found in the 2014-15 Outdoor Annual, available at license retailers and online at www.txoutdoorannual.com. A new app now available enables hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. To download the free app, visit www.txoutdoorannual.com/app or search the iTunes App Store, Amazon App Store or Google Play for Outdoor Annual – Texas Hunting and Fishing Regulations. The new app was developed by Texas Monthly Custom Publishing in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is compatible with iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets.
Dove season opens Labor Day
Most folks don’t usually look forward to Mondays, but Texas dove hunters will be making an exception this year. The traditional Sept. 1 dove season opening day in the North and Central Zones falls on Labor Day this year.
Dove hunting this season should be good, according to wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as both mourning and white-winged dove populations are seeing an increase over last year.
The Texas dove season is divided into three hunting zones to take advantage of migration trends across the state, and the season is split over two segments to maximize hunting opportunity. The first segment closes statewide this year on Monday, Oct. 20. The season will reopen Friday, Dec. 19, and run through Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, in the North and Central Zones.
The South Zone opens Friday, Sept. 19, and runs through Monday, Oct. 20. The second segment will run Friday, Dec. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.
The Special White-winged Dove Area is restricted to afternoon only (noon to sunset) hunting the first two weekends of September. Hunting in this area will reopen concurrent with the South Zone on Friday, Sept. 19 and continue through Monday, Oct. 20, and then reopen Friday, Dec. 19, and run through Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. During the early two weekends, the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. Once the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit will be 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.
The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit is 45.
Texas sets waterfowl seasons for 2014-15
“Duck populations are the highest since North American surveys began in 1955, and as a result Texas will enjoy for the 20th consecutive year the most liberal waterfowl hunting season framework allowable,” says Lightfoot.
TPWD has retained a staggered split between the North and South Zones to allow for the opportunity of an additional week for those duck hunters who travel between zones.
In the only change in bag limits this season Texas waterfowlers can take only one canvasback daily.
The possession limits for all migratory game birds is three times the daily limit. For ducks, including teal during the early Sept. 13-28 season, the possession limit is 18.
Here are the adopted season dates and limits for the 2014-15 migratory game bird seasons:
• High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Youth: Oct. 18-19; Regular: Oct. 25-26 and Oct. 31 — Jan. 25; “Dusky” Duck: Nov. 3 — Jan. 25.
• South Zone: Youth: Oct. 25-26; Regular: Nov. 1-30 and Dec. 13 — Jan. 25; “Dusky” Duck: Nov. 6-30 and Dec. 13 — Jan. 25.
• North Zone: Youth: Oct. 25-26; Regular: Nov. 1 — Dec. 7 and Dec. 20 — Jan. 25;”Dusky” Duck: Nov. 6 — Dec. 7 and Dec. 20 — Jan. 25.
Bag Limit: 6/day in the aggregate to include no more than 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens, 2 redheads, 2 pintail, 1 canvasback, 1 “dusky duck” (mottled, black or Mexican-like) after the first 5 days. Mergansers: 5/day with no more than 2 hooded merganser. Coots: 15/day
• East Zone: Light Geese Nov. 1 — Jan. 25, Canada Geese Nov. 1 — Jan. 25; White-fronted Geese: Nov. 1 — Jan. 11; Light Geese Conservation Order Jan. 26 — Mar. 22.
Bag Limit: 3 Canada geese, 2 White-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit).
• West Zone: Light Geese Nov. 1 — Feb. 1; Dark Geese Nov. 1 — Feb. 1; Light Geese Conservation Order Feb. 2 — Mar. 22.
Bag Limit: 5 dark geese with no more than one white-fronted goose, 20 light geese (no possession limit).