September always starts with a bang—if you are a dove hunter! With the first of the month past and dove season well underway, many dove hunting reports have been filed. It was reported at the Gerbert and Plum dove leases in Fayette County that 4 hunters managed to harvested 12 mourning doves. Not limits at that public hunting unit, but the hunters did enjoy the hunting experience. At Plum, 5 hunters harvested 1 bird.
Having checked out the Plum lease before, it looks like it should be good at some point because it is a recently harvested corn field with second growth milo located just across the road. Looks to be good dove habitat. Dove hunting reports from Limestone County fields showed a good number of hunters hit the ground on opening day and that there were quite a few whitewing doves flying and lots of shooting. Observers reported that fields sounded like battlefields! Harvest per hunter average 3 to 5 doves with some hunters getting limits.
One hunter at a public dove field in Limestone County (Unit #2400) reported harvesting 14 doves by mid-morning. He also said there were 4 other vehicles parked in the lot and that 35 to 40 hunters were using the public dove lease units that comprise the Limestone County Complex.
In Bastrop County, the Paige Unit had hunters reporting that no birds were flying. The field looked good this year with food and cover for birds, but nothing there. Maybe it will get better with some new doves get pushed south. In Lee County, the Turkey Creek Unit was slow, with a single hunter reporting no other hunters, or doves for that matter, in the area.
A hunter located in the Hamilton County Complex said there were about 20 hunters in each field, but doves were scattered across the real estate even though they were flying. Public hunters harvested a few doves considering the weather was cooperative on opening weekend. All in all, the dove opener from year to year is good when it’s good and bad when it’s bad. Dove hunting reports indicate central Texas was better than bad this year.