Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report – 10/15/2008
North Zone Dove: Rain throughout the Panhandle from a stalling cool front put a damper on the dove flight. Waterfowlers are welcoming the rain as it recharges playa lakes. Doves have been best in milo and sunflowers near Abilene, Amarillo, Dumas and Knox City. More doves have moved into the areas north of Fort Worth. Fields around Paris have been fair to good in the afternoon. Expect more birds in the area with the front. The season ends Oct. 30. Prospects are fair to good.
Central Zone Dove: Lack of hunting pressure has allowed doves to build in Central Texas fields. Brownwood, Stephenville and San Saba have taken birds around watering holes in the afternoon. San Antonio fields have been best in the afternoon on the full moon. Many of the whitewings have been staying in town early then leaving late in the afternoon to feed. Milo and sunflowers near Uvalde and Del Rio have been good for near-limits. Brookshire and Sealy fields of goatweed saw an influx of birds with the recent fronts. Outfitters said few hunters are in the field which has allowed birds to build. The first split of the season ends Oct. 30. Prospects are fair to good.
South Zone Dove: Best hunts in South Texas have come around water in the afternoon. The full moon and dry conditions have been a factor in the evening flight. Forecasted rain this week with the approaching front could put more water on the parched ground. Good hunts have been posted near Laredo, Harlingen, Freer and George West for mourners and whitewings. In the northern portion of the South Zone, El Campo continues to produce limit shoots in fields of sunflowers. A few more birds are showing around Bay City and Collegeport as well. Prospects are fair to good.
Waterfowl Migration: Despite the mild conditions, significant numbers of specklebellies continue to find the rice prairie. Many are finding wet second-cropped rice fields. With rice prices up, quite a bit more rice acreage was farmed on the prairie this year. This bodes well for all waterfowl. Pintails, teal and shovelers are showing on bay flats and marshes. Expect another push of birds with the front moving through Texas this week. Conditions look good in the High Plains Mallard Management Area. The region has received heavy rains during the past two months which has playas in good shape. The youth season in the HPMMA runs Oct. 18-19. The regular seasons runs Oct. 25-26 and Oct. 31-Jan.25, 2009. Duck season for the rest of the state opens Nov. 1.