Migratory Bird Hunting Report No. 5 Print
Written by Texas Outdoors   
Thursday, 06 October 2011 16:22

Migratory Bird Hunting Report No. 5

Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.

North Zone Dove: Grain fields of milo and corn have been the best producer in the Panhandle north of Amarillo. Mourning doves have been best in the afternoon on the edges of fields. Abilene hunters have had fair shoots in sunflowers. Red River hunters near Paris have seen fair shoots in milo, corn and soybeans. Many doves have found water around cattle troughs in the afternoon. Drought conditions have limited the amount of wet tanks and ponds, so any hole with at least a puddle of water have produced. The season runs through Oct. 23. Prospects are fair.

Central Zone Dove: Whitewings continue to dominate San Antonio fields of corn and milo in the afternoon as hunters have shot near-limits around treelines. High-flyers have trickled from South Zone fields near Uvalde. Katy, Hockley and Brookshire fields have been fair at best, and hunter participation has been scarce. Waller hunters saw better shooting this weekend as nearby South Zone fields were hunted, pushing mourning doves north to Central Zone fields. More whitewing showed around Sealy and Columbus over the weekend. Dayton and Beaumont fields have given up half-limits. The season runs through Oct. 23. Prospects are fair to good.

South Zone Dove: Best hunting came from traditional South Texas haunts in the Rio Grande Valley where whitewings have been good in milo, corn and wild sunflowers. Devine, Big Foot, Three Rivers, Fashing and George West enjoyed limit shoots. Hunters along the northern boundaries of the South Zone reported losing most of their birds just before the opener as high winds and rain blew through Wharton and Matagorda county fields, sending the brunt of the whitewing population to other pastures. The opener there was a lackluster one, but birds began trickling back by the end of the weekend. Mourning doves were solid near Palacios, Beasley, Lissie and Eagle Lake. The season runs through Oct. 30. Prospects are fair to good.

Waterfowl Migration: Teal season along the coastal prairies was arguably the best most hunters could remember, if you had ponds brimming with fresh water. Many hunters reported seeing more birds than ever throughout the entire 16-day season. A new wave of bluewings arrived last week which made the last weekend of the season just as fast as opening weekend. The largest concentration of birds were seen in Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties. Marsh hunting suffered due to low tides and a hypersaline environment brought on by the drought. The first trickles of specklebellies appeared this week. Teal hunters said they saw noticeably more big ducks like pintails and shovelers during teal season. Regular duck and goose season is set to open Nov. 5.