Outdoors briefs, calendar: Special dove season expanded for hunters

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is expanding the four-day special white-winged dove season to include the entire south zone. That season is Sept. 2-3 and Sept. 9-10.

Dave Morrison, TPWD Wildlife Division deputy director, said Texas dove hunters will have a 90-day season for the second consecutive year.

“For the first time ever, the expansion of early white-winged dove hunting during the first two weekends in September creates early September hunting opportunities statewide,” said Morrison.

The north zone dove season is Sept. 1-Nov. 12 and Dec. 15-31. The central zone season is Sept. 1-Nov. 5 and Dec. 15-Jan. 7. The regular south zone season is Sept. 22-Nov. 8 and Dec. 15-Jan. 21.

During the expanded special white-winged dove season, shooting hours are from noon to sunset, and the daily bag limit is 15 birds with no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. The statewide daily bag limit is 15 doves, and the possession limit (following three hunting days) is 45.

Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD’s dove program leader, said the expansion of seasons must be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is largely the result of data gathered by the TPWD dove-banding program.

D-FW Boat Expo wraps up this weekend

This is the final weekend for the DFW Boat Expo at Market Hall (2200 Stemmons Freeway). Times and ticket prices are at dallasboatexpo.com. Texas ranks second to Florida in recreational boat sales. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 2016 U.S. recreational marine expenditures totaled $36 billion, up 3.2 percent from 2015. New boat sales totaled $9 billion in 2016, up 7.6 percent from the previous year.

Two Lone Star lakes among nation’s top 12

Bassmaster magazine changed its top 100 bass lakes format this year into more of a regional ranking. There is a Top 12 Bass Lakes list that includes Sam Rayburn Lake in second place and Falcon Lake in 10th. Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota is ranked No. 1 nationally and also ranks first in the Central Division Top 25, which includes Texas.

Eleven Texas lakes made the Central Division Top 25. They are Sam Rayburn (2), Falcon (3), Toledo Bend (4), Lake Palestine (5), Lake Ray Roberts (8), Lake Amistad (10), Lake Fork (11), Caddo Lake (13), Squaw Creek Lake (14), Lake Texoma (16), and Lake Waco (19).

Bird Dog Hall of Fame trainer dies at 89

One of the great bird dog trainers, W.C. Kirk, died July 15 in Wichita Falls. He was 89. Though Kirk trained many good dogs in his career, he’s best known for winning the National Bird Dog Championship Field Trial in 1970 with Johnny Crockett, a 34-pound male setter that Kirk called “Boy”. It was the first time an English setter had won the national, a competition dominated by English pointers, in 28 years. It would be 43 years before another setter won. Kirk and Johnny Crockett, a dog owned by Hank Sheely of Dallas, are enshrined in the Bird Dog Hall of Fame.

Training to teach dogs to avoid snakes offered

Speaking of bird dogs, the Lone Star German Shorthaired Pointer Club is hosting its 35th snake avoidance training session on Saturday, July 29. Location and other details are at lsgspc.com. Call Tony Miller at 405-206-4173 for reservations. The training costs $55 per dog. Shock collars are used to teach dogs to avoid live rattlesnakes (defanged). It works for most dogs.

Rattlers are rebounding from the 2011 drought. At the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Fisher County (near Sweetwater), rattlesnakes have eaten a record five research quail equipped with telemetry transmitters.

CALENDAR

THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 23 – DFW Boat Expo at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway. Details: dallasboatexpo.com.

SATURDAY, JULY 29 – Lone Star German Shorthaired Pointer Club 35th annual Snake Avoidance Training, 619 Hosford Road, Ovilla. $55 per dog. Reservations by calling Tony Miller, 405-206-4173. Details: lsgspc.com.

FRIDAY, AUG. 11-SUNDAY, AUG. 13 – Texas Trophy Hunters Association Extravaganza hunting show at Fort Worth Convention Center. Details: ttha.com.

TUESDAY, AUG. 15 – Hunting and fishing licenses for 2017-2018 become available.

THURSDAY, AUG. 31 – Most hunting and fishing licenses for 2016-2017 expire.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 1 – Dove season begins in north and central zones.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 2-SUNDAY, SEPT. 3 – Special white-winged dove season in the entire south zone.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 9-SUNDAY, SEPT. 10 – Second weekend of special white-winged dove season in the entire south zone.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 9-SUNDAY SEPT. 24 – Early teal duck season statewide.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 30 –Archery season begins for deer and Rio Grande turkey.


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