• Texas Dove Hunts | Central Zone

There’s lots going on in our hunting areas right now, here’s the first update:

On the big place near Kyle, our farmer has really helped us out. Like two years ago, he planted milo in the 130 acre field on the south end. It has been harvested and the birds are coming in some but not like they will later. Doves aren’t crazy about milo stubble but they really like it if the field has been disced or if the milo has been baled for hay. Last year there was wheat in this field that was long gone by dove season. The year before it was in milo and we had lots of birds after he disced it, which he’ll do in a couple of weeks.

The same farmer is also harvesting corn in a 350 acre field on the NE end of the farm, closest to Kyle, and the birds have already found it. He usually doesn’t do this until the middle of September so this is great news. To make it even better, I have another guy that will rake the husks out of the field and bale it. This process not only exposes the seed, it also knocks kernels off of the leftover cobs. On this same place, they have converted two of the sand and gravel pits into ponds and have opened up big areas for us to put hunters. They have also created two new pits with water in them. I also made a deal with the farmer to not plant strips in strategic areas so we can put hunters there. In short, we have doubled our hunting area.

In the same area, we have picked up 80 acres where we planted wheat and then overseeded with Peredovik sunflowers that did quite well due to the late rains. These fields also have a substantial number of native sunflowers in them that are still in the flowering stage. Doves are coming to these native sunflower fields right now but many of them are dropping seeds and will play out before the season opens. We have also added another 50 acres of corn that will be raked and baled and 40 acres of milo that will be baled.

In the New Braunfels area, the 240 acre field at the edge of Marion is in milo this year and the 60 acre field adjacent to it is in corn. The whitewings really liked this field last year and should again. The field on the south end of town is in corn again and we expect it to draw some birds from Cibolo like it did last season. We picked up a new 40 acre field about a half mile north of there that was planted in wheat but then grazed instead of harvested. This allowed native sunflowers to come up and create a nice stand for us to hunt. We also picked up a nice milo field about 6 miles east of New Braunfels that will be baled for hay about 10 days before the season. There is lots of milo in this area but most of it will be turned under when the season starts so our field should produce well.

In addition to these areas, we are also outfitting a new property this year west of San Antonio that is reserved for large groups (20+) only. This 350 acre ranch is just minutes away from Castroville and the subdivisions on the west side of San Antonio where thousands of whitewings live. It is a mixture of fields, creek bottom and brush that holds lots of mourning doves as well. There are three different fields, all planted in wheat that we will start shredding strips in soon. The fields are separated from each other by brush that provides shade for all of the hunters in each group. The size of the group determines the field you’ll hunt and the entire ranch can be reserved if so desired.

We don’t provide meals, but can provide facilities for the use of guests who book the whole ranch and want to bring in their own caterer. We will only hunt this property a limited number of times each season and will not overcrowd the fields. This is the perfect location for companies, especially from San Antonio, that want an easy drive and plenty of space and privacy for their guests.

You may have noticed that we are a little different from most outfitters. We don’t have any huge fields and no hay bales. We also don’t have many black oil sunflowers. We don’t have anything against them and are adding some every year, but you need to remember that doves have been prospering for years without them. Before they became all the rage, whitewings primarily ate corn and milo and mourning doves made a living on native sunflowers, croton, milo and sometimes wheat, which is like crack to them. In most of our areas, that is all they have. We just make sure our fields are managed to provide them the easiest access to the seed.

As for the rest of the operation, our philosophy is as follows: have lots of fields sized right for smaller groups of hunters and don’t overcrowd them, have areas left open so we can move shooters around if they are not seeing enough birds, if at all possible, make sure everyone can sit in the shade if they want to, scout like crazy so we not only know if we have birds but also where they are flying in each area and above all, be honest about bird numbers. Those of you that got my weekly Bird Reports last season know that most of them said Got. No. Birds. Last year was terrible, not just for me but many other outfitters I know. Let’s all hope that’s behind us.

We’ll be sending these out all season long to keep you up the speed about where I’m seeing birds and if there are enough for a good shoot. If there are, we hope you’ll come out. One last thing, shotgun shells have been hard to come by lately so don’t wait until the last minute to stock up. There were some at Academy the last couple of times I have been there and I heard some Walmarts had them. If you find some, get a case for your buddies too. If you don’t, you might be hunting by yourself and we all know that’s no fun.

Texas Dove Hunts offers the best dove hunt in Central Texas near Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. Enjoy central zone dove hunting in the shade with no crowding! Contact us today to book your Classic Texas Dove hunt or call 830-914-2313.