Dove Season Texas 2023: Latest Dates, Bags & Hunting Zones!

Texas is a recognized state for dove hunting, and this forthcoming hunting season should be thrilling for all shooters. Hunters can chase these swiftly gliding game birds during the season, typically in autumn. As the 2023 hunting season draws near, many hunters are preparing for their forthcoming exploits by storing supplies, scoping out potential hunting grounds, and reviewing hunting laws. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s rules and laws regarding the dove hunting season will be covered in depth in this piece, along with specifics on the kinds of protected shooting birds allowed in Texas.

Texas Dove Season 2023

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has released information about the forthcoming pigeon shooting season in Texas. Each of the three shooting zones—North, Central, and South—has its own set of particular times for the season. The Central and South Zones each have six Special White-Winged Dove Days. Hunters must adhere to daily load restrictions, have a current hunting registration, and have the migrating bird certification.  

Regular Season

Texas Regular Dove SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates
NorthFriday, September 01, 2023Sunday, November 12, 2023
NorthFriday, December 15, 2023Sunday, December 31, 2023
CentralFriday, September 01, 2023Sunday, October 29, 2023
CentralFriday, December 15, 2023Sunday, January 14, 2024
SouthThursday, September 14, 2023Sunday, October 29, 2023
SouthFriday, December 15, 2023Sunday, January 21, 2024

Special Season

Texas Special Dove SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates
White-winged Dove Days (South)Friday, September 01, 2023Sunday, September 03, 2023
White-winged Dove Days (South)Friday, September 08, 2023Sunday, September 10, 2023

Falconry Dove Season

Falconry SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates

Bag Limit

Falconry SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End Dates

Texas Legal & Protected hunting bird types

legal and protected game bird species in Texas
Legal and protected game bird species/Image Credit:
SpeciesDescriptionHunting Status
Mourning DoveBrown with black spots on wing, pointed tailLegal throughout Texas
White-winged DoveWhite bar on wing, rounded tailLegal in South Texas, increasing statewide
White-tipped DoveRust-colored wing linings, rounded tailLegal in South Texas
Eurasian Collared-DovePale gray body, black bill, narrow black collar on nape of neckUnprotected
Rock DoveGray, brown or white, plump body, small headUnprotected
Band-tailed PigeonYellow bill, white band on neckProtected - Do Not Hunt
Inca DoveScaly-looking, small, brown bodyProtected - Do Not Hunt
Common Ground DoveSandy brown color, dark spots on wings, short round tail, short thin billProtected - Do Not Hunt

Hunting Regulations

  • Anyone wanting to pursue migrating game birds must have a hunting license.
  • Hunting license purchases require hunters to declare their purpose for migrating game birds and provide basic information to become HIP certified and qualified to hunt such birds.
  • Hunters in Texas must possess a migrating Game Bird Stamp Endorsement to pursue migrating game birds like doves legally.
  • A shooter should notify birds with leg bands by going to the website

Dove Hunting Licenses

License TypeCost (Resident)Cost (Non-Resident)
Annual License$47 $315
One-Day License$7 $47

Locations & Dove Zones

The state of Texas has three shooting zones to regulate and handle the activity of dove hunting. The North Zone covers the northern portion of Texas, the Middle Zone covers the middle portion, and the South Zone covers the southern and coastal portions. Dates and weight restrictions for the dove season vary by zone. While the Central Zone has public areas open for shooting, the South Zone is customarily regarded as the finest zone for dove hunting. To determine which zone they are in and to make hunting excursion plans appropriately, hunters can use the shooting zones chart provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Hunters can also locate public shooting areas in Texas using the Texas Public Hunting Map.

Texas Dove hunting map
Texas Dove hunting locations/Map Credit:

Central Zone

The region of the state that lies between the North and South Zones

North Zone

Starting pointInternational Bridge south of Fort Hancock
North boundaryFM 1088
West boundaryState Highway 20
North boundaryState Highway 148
North boundaryInterstate Highway 10 at Fort Hancock
East boundaryInterstate Highway 10
Northeast boundaryInterstate Highway 20
Northeast boundaryInterstate Highway 30 at Fort Worth
Ending pointTexas-Arkansas state line

South Zone

Starting PointEnd Point
International Toll Bridge in Del RioU.S. Highway 277 Spur in Del Rio
U.S. Highway 277 Spur in Del RioU.S. Highway 90 in Del Rio
U.S. Highway 90 in Del RioState Loop 1604
State Loop 1604Interstate Highway 10
Interstate Highway 10Texas-Louisiana Line

FAQ related to Texas Dove Hunting Season

When is the regular dove season in Texas?

The regular dove season differs by zone in Texas. It continues in the North Zone from September 1 to November 13 and then restarts on December 17 until January 1, 2023. It continues in the Central Zone from September 1 to October 30 and then restarts on December 17 until January 15, 2023. It continues in the South Zone from September 14 to October 30 and then returns on December 17 until January 22, 2023.

What are the bag limits for dove hunting in Texas?

Doves are subject to a daily bag restriction in Texas of 15 birds per day, of which no more than two may be white-tipped, white-winged, or mourning doves.

Are there any special dove hunting days in Texas?

Yes, Texas will have six Special White-Winged Dove Days from September 2-4 and September 9–11, 2023. Only white-winged doves may be taken during these times, and a daily weight restriction of 15 birds is imposed.

What is the bag limit for common pigeons (rock doves) in Texas?

Texas has no weight limits or restricted seasons for shooting common pigeons (also known as rock doves). To help identify, it is advised to leave the birds’ feathers intact.

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