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 Dry Conditions Could Boost Dove Hunting Prospects

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Dan Gleason

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PostSubject: Dry Conditions Could Boost Dove Hunting Prospects   Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:43 pm

AUSTIN — Dry conditions don’t necessarily equate to bad dove hunting, wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department suggest. An extended drought across much of Texas could be beneficial for dove hunters as birds will have to rely upon limited resources.

Water, especially in close proximity to dove feeding areas, should be at a premium heading into the Sept. 1 dove season opener.

“Dove hunting over a water source should be excellent," said Corey Mason, TPWD dove program leader. "Additionally, dove may be concentrated on food sources, so if you can find a stand of sunflower, goat weed, etc., hunting should be productive. Native food sources are going to be more important this year because agricultural crops aren’t as good as years past."

Biologists say the drought will have some impacts on dove populations, with the greatest being on juveniles. However, they do not expect significant impacts to what hunters will see this fall. Texas boasts fall dove populations in excess of 40 million birds and its 300,000 dove hunters harvest about 6 million birds annually or roughly 30 percent of all doves taken in the United States.
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