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19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized #7490113 04/17/19 09:03 PM
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takemking Offline OP
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And so the countdown begins...

TPWD Finalizes 2019-20 Migratory Game Bird Seasons
AUSTIN – Texas wingshooters can begin marking their calendars for the 2019-20 hunting seasons, with minimal changes over last year’s schedule.

The only change from last year to upcoming migratory game bird seasons adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be a reduction in the pintail bag limit to just one per day.

Following is the season calendar and framework for 2019-20:

Dove

North Zone: Sept. 1 to Nov. 12 and Dec. 20 to Jan. 5

Central Zone: Sept. 1 to Nov. 3 and Dec. 20 to Jan. 14

Special White-winged Dove Days (entire South Zone): Sept. 1, 2, 7, 8

South Zone: Sept. 14 to Nov. 3 and Dec. 20 to Jan. 23

The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit 45.

During the early two weekends in the Special White-winged Dove Days, hunting is allowed only from noon to sunset and the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. During the general season in in the special area, the aggregate bag limit is 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.

Ducks/Geese

Early Seasons

Statewide Teal — Sept. 14 to 29 with a daily bag limit of six teal

East Zone Canada Goose Only – Sept. 14 to 29 with a daily bag limit of five Canada geese

Regular Duck

High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Oct. 26 — 27 and Nov. 1 to Jan. 26

North Zone: Nov. 9 to Dec. 1 and Dec. 7 to Jan. 26

South Zone: Nov. 2 to Dec. 1 and Dec. 14 to Jan. 26

Bag Limit: 6/day in the aggregate to include no more than 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens, 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 canvasback, 1 pintail, 1 “dusky duck” (mottled, black or Mexican-like) may only be taken after the first 5 days of the season in the respective zones. Mergansers: 5/day with no more than 2 hooded mergansers. Coots: 15/day. Possession limit is 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory game birds except snow geese which have no possession limit.

Regular Goose

East Zone: Nov. 2 to Jan. 26; conservation order Jan. 27 to March 15

Bag Limit after the Early Canada Goose: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese).

West Zone: Nov. 2 to Feb. 2; conservation order Feb. 3 to March 15

Bag Limit: 5 dark geese, to include no more than 2 white-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit on light geese).

Sandhill Crane

Zone A: Oct. 26 to Jan. 26. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9

Zone B: Nov. 22 to Jan. 26. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9

Zone C: Dec. 14 to Jan. 19. Bag Limit: 2, possession limit 6

Snipe

Oct. 26 to Feb. 9. Bag Limit: 8, possession limit of 24

Woodcock

Dec. 18 to Jan. 31. Bag Limit: 3, possession limit 9

Falconry

Statewide Dove: Nov. 16 to Dec. 2

Statewide Rails, Gallinules, and Woodcock: Jan. 27 to Feb. 9

Ducks North and South Zone: Jan. 27 to Feb. 9


Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: takemking] #7496611 04/25/19 04:47 PM
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What is the reasoning for the “1 dusky duck may only be taken after the first five days of the season” restriction and what does it mean?

Only one per season or per day? Why do they have a five day grace period?


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


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Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: Duck_Hunter] #7497077 04/26/19 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Duck_Hunter
What is the reasoning for the “1 dusky duck may only be taken after the first five days of the season” restriction and what does it mean?

Only one per season or per day? Why do they have a five day grace period?

The mottled duck or Mexican duck or black mallard. They all look like a hen mallard. Populations at risk. State wants to give them a chance. Someone will know better than me, but I think they are, or used to be, concentrated closer to coast. Basically, the first five days of the season you should be really careful about shooting a hen. Here is copy and paste from an old TPWD waterfowl pamphlet.
DUSKY (MOTTLED) DUCK HARVEST OFF-LIMITS FIRST FIVE DAYS
Duck hunters in Texas will have to keep an eye peeled for dusky ducks and fingers off the
trigger during the first five days of the season again this year, as concern about the
mottled duck populations have forced a delay in harvest. A dusky duck is defined as a
mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding Texas and Louisiana to a harvest reduction
of West Gulf Coast Population of mottled ducks, citing a need for additional conservation based on estimated population declines resulting from major storms in recent
years and continued habitat loss.
Due to similarities in appearance, all dusky ducks will be off limits during the first five
days of the season with a daily bag limit of one starting

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: takemking] #7497412 04/26/19 02:18 PM
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Thanks for the explanation.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


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Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: Duck_Hunter] #7497648 04/26/19 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Duck_Hunter
What is the reasoning for the “1 dusky duck may only be taken after the first five days of the season” restriction and what does it mean?

Only one per season or per day? Why do they have a five day grace period?


I can not remember the exact number but I believe it was >70% of the total mottled duck harvest for the year occurred during the first five days of the season before they migrate out of the area and/or find a sanctuary area. When TPWD first publicized the harvest data I was amazed. Mottled duck populations have been a serious concern in recent years due to loss of habitat along the coast. It's a good rule I think to help protect the long term sustainability of a species that nests along the gulf coast.

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: Gulfgoose] #7501109 05/01/19 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Gulfgoose
Originally Posted by Duck_Hunter
What is the reasoning for the “1 dusky duck may only be taken after the first five days of the season” restriction and what does it mean?

Only one per season or per day? Why do they have a five day grace period?


I can not remember the exact number but I believe it was >70% of the total mottled duck harvest for the year occurred during the first five days of the season before they migrate out of the area and/or find a sanctuary area. When TPWD first publicized the harvest data I was amazed. Mottled duck populations have been a serious concern in recent years due to loss of habitat along the coast. It's a good rule I think to help protect the long term sustainability of a species that nests along the gulf coast.


Makes more sense. Thanks.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.


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Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: takemking] #7506986 05/08/19 03:44 AM
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anyone have any idea why the last couple/few seasons, they released dates and limits awful early? They got it pretty backwards with the pintails the last couple because of this. Since duck numbers per hatch counts were off last year, and the pond count isn't that great. What else is there that they could be determining seasons and hunting dates off of?

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: takemking] #7507334 05/08/19 04:40 PM
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I believe they release dates early so hunters can plan trips. PTO and such. I think that was part of a questionnaire from a few years back and hunters wanted/requested dates released early instead of guessing when seasons would start. No idea on the limits, but they probably need to communicate all info at the same time. Lots of knuckle heads can't even find the start of dove season even though that starts on Sept 1 every year.

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: woodduckhunter] #7507515 05/08/19 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by woodduckhunter
anyone have any idea why the last couple/few seasons, they released dates and limits awful early? They got it pretty backwards with the pintails the last couple because of this. Since duck numbers per hatch counts were off last year, and the pond count isn't that great. What else is there that they could be determining seasons and hunting dates off of?


This, along with the change in the split, are my biggest issues I have.

First, the dates and bag limits used to be set after the summer pond counts were done. Season dates and limits were determined by the counts each year. They, being USFWS, changed this and use last year's counts to set dates and season for the following year. We knew that pintail limit would change the following year as soon as the counts were available. Seem to be backwards, as you mentioned. To me it is not very smart to set seasons and bag limits based off of last year, but the biologists/flyway councils seem to think it's ok. Like you said, the pintail limits were backwards compared to the counts. We were able to kill 2 when it should've been 1 and visa versa the previous season.

Next, the change in the split from a 2 week split to a 5 day split really chaps me. Used to be that the 2nd split opener was like another opening weekend. Birds had rested and congregated, relaxed and it provided a great hunt. Now with the 5 day split, they get no rest (they don't get shot at, but people still scout during the week pressuring them). This came about because a lot of uninformed folks in the North zone asked for a later season start thinking that extra week or so would get added to the end of the season. These folks didn't understand that the Federal frameworks won't allow for a season to run past Jan 31, no matter what.

So, TPWD listened to the people and gave us a later start date, but wanted to maximize the allowable total number of days to hunt. The only way to have a later start and maximize days was to shorten the split.

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: takemking] #7507651 05/08/19 10:10 PM
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no more good than the five day split mon-fri does, why can't we push the north opener back another week and not have a split?

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: woodduckhunter] #7508344 05/09/19 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by woodduckhunter
no more good than the five day split mon-fri does, why can't we push the north opener back another week and not have a split?


So, you are advocating not giving the birds any rest during the season?

Why not just go back to North zone opening first weekend of Nov and bring back the 2 week split? I have seen many on here wanting to push season opener later, but most of the time it is because they think we could add that week or two to the end of the season and run into february.

What is your reasoning on opening later?

Re: 19-20 Migratory Bird Seasons Finalized [Re: takemking] #7508591 05/09/19 11:21 PM
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I don't know the statistics, but I would guess that there is a lot more hunting pressure on the ducks on the weekend vs during the week...excluding holidays. So how much of a break do they really get anyway giving them mon-fri off? Statistically there are more ducks holding in the north zone the later in the season. Along the coast always gets a push of calendar ducks that make their season for them that basically last the first 2-3 weeks. I want it to start as late as possible and end as late as possible, although I understand why it can't run into February. I've never held good huntable number until about nov 17-18th usually, sometimes its the thanksgiving week. Once out of about every 4 seasons we have a good hunt or two before then. Therefore, I would rather not have to waste any of the precious 74 days before there are typically huntable numbers of ducks.

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