2009/09/09 – Texas Weekly Migratory Bird Hunting Report
North Zone Dove: Dove hunters saw fair to good shoots around the Panhandle over cut corn and milo. The region has received rain during the summer so there are plenty of watering holes and playa lakes. Lubbock and fields north of Abilene were good for morning shoots of mourning doves. Fields along the Red River enjoyed steady flights of mourning doves near Paris and Bogota. Soy beans, sunflowers and corn fields have been the ticket. Treelines and watering holes have seen the best flights in the afternoon. The region has enjoyed above-average rainfall amounts for the year. Prospects are good.
Central Zone Dove: Generally, opening day of dove season was lackluster around the state, unless you were situated around the San Antonio township and feasted on the local flight of whitewings leaving the city to feed in agricultural fields outside of town. Sunflowers and corn yielded quick limits of whitewings in the morning. Castroville hunters also reported good shoots. Sabinal, Hondo and Uvalde saw good shoots as well. Afternoon hunters saw a steady flight as well. Sunflowers fields in Navarro and Freestone counties was fair to good. Hunters there reported seeing more mourning doves before the recent cool front. Public hunting fields near Liberty and Beaumont saw fair at best shoots for mourners. Fields north of Houston in the Cypress area saw better flights of doves last week. Fields near Waller saw limited flights as well. Fields north of Brenham enjoyed high flights of whitewings. Hunters situated around ponds and tanks took good numbers of mourning dove near Marlin and Waco. Sealy hunters saw their best action around treelines and cut rice fields — hunters reported excellent numbers of whitewings there. Katy, Brookshire and Hockley hunters saw slow action. Fields near Marshall and Longview saw half-limit shoots — many hunters there said they lost most of their birds after the last cool front. Prospects are fair to good.
Teal Update: The wettest areas of the state are in the Panhandle and Northeast Texas. Teal are beginning to show on playa lakes along the High Plains and on lakes and reservoirs in the northern reaches of the state. The coast is dreadfully dry. Freshwater marshes are parched flats of cracked earth. Salinity levels in brackish marshes are as salty as ocean water in most areas. Tidal flats should hold enough water for the opener with swelling tides prior to the Sept. 22 Equinox. Coastal prairies are dry as well, except for second-cropped rice fields. The good news is rice prices are favorable for most farmers to try and yield a second-crop harvest, therefore there should be more water on the prairies. Outfitters have begun to pump leveed ponds and fields and the bluewings have found the sweet water. Since the region is suffering from a severe drought, any watering hole is prime during the 16-day season, which runs Sept.12-27.