Hunting season is around the corner
It’s amazing how one feeling seems to hit a group of people all at once. High school football players begin to get anxious as the first scrimmages and games are a matter of days away. The long summer is slowly coming to an end and with that many folks begin to look ahead at what is one of the best times of the year. In just a few days Texas hunters will begin the 2013-14 hunting season as the North Zone opens up dove hunting on September 1st. The beginning of the hunting season is perhaps the adult equivalent of Christmas morning as hunters of all shapes and sizes know that the long awaited and much anticipated day is finally upon us.
Dove hunting is without a doubt one of the most social and enjoyable things an outdoorsman will ever partake in. The ability to just relax in the company of good friends and be able to talk while hunting is perhaps the greatest draw to the sport. A hot dove field can provide hours of quality shooting and fellowship that only teases hunters until the opening of the full blown regular season arrives in November. The early opportunity to get some shooting in as well as put some excellent meat on the table is hard to pass up. At the present time many areas wrapped up in drought conditions and that works in the favor of hunters as the birds are extremely concentrated. These conditions are typical for this time of the year but seldom last, especially for those who will have to wait a few extra weeks to hunt in the south zone. Almost like clockwork every season the south zone opener is plagued with some heavy rains that completely change the patterns around. Only time will tell if the weather and the birds will cooperate.
Now dove hunters are not the only ones getting antsy right now as September gets closer, waterfowl hunters are starting to prepare for their early season opener as well. The early Teal season opens on September 14th and runs 16 days until the 30th. Waterfowl hunters during early season will be rewarded with the opportunity to take 6 birds per day instead of the normal 4 as the feds decided to up the limit this year as a result of strong population of teal in all species. The added 2 birds to the limit put a smile on most hunters’ faces as it’s rare that any limits are increased.
Both dove and teal hunters will undoubtedly have plenty of heat to deal with and that means there will be plenty of critters out there to contend with. Snakes and alligators tend to top the list of “villains” for early season hunters and they can certainly turn a good time into a tragedy in a hurry. Most waterfowl hunters tend to leave their dogs at home during teal season unless they are hunting ultra-shallow water in agricultural fields. Marsh hunters seldom tempt fate as there are plenty of alligators out there on the prowl and a wayward dog is always in danger. Dove hunters will have to contend with snakes, especially those that hunt the hill country or farther south where rattlesnake populations are greater. If you plan to hunt with a dog please take the proper precautions, it’s not worth losing a dog.
A couple of precautions to remember during the early season hunts is to be prepared for the elements. Bring plenty of water for you and your dog, the heat will be tougher than you think. Also bring quality bug spray along to combat mosquitoes and other insects including ticks because they will be out in full force. One last thing, don’t forget to renew your hunting and fishing licenses because nothing starts off the season on the wrong foot like a ticket