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Dove hunting could be South Texas financial bonanza
Bill O'Connell 23.JUN.04

Zone change would turn region into prime hunting territory, group says

FLORESVILLE — A proposal to alter the state’s dove hunting rules could bring a financial boost to South Texas without harming bird populations, a local conservationist said.

Changing the South Zone dove hunting area to coincide with the North and Central zone seasons would benefit hunters and many others in the southern part of the state, supporters of the proposed change claim.

Hunting outfitters, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses would see additional revenues from hunters who used to pack their bags and leave South Texas when shooting starts in other parts of the state.

“Any chamber of commerce or business in the area would realize the benefits,” said Alton Moczygemba, president of the Sportsmen Conservationists of Texas, based in Austin.

The South Zone boundary extends southward from U.S. 90 and I-10 along a line that begins to the west in Del Rio and continues east to the Texas-Louisiana state line.

The South Zone lags behind the state’s other two major hunting regions by about three weeks. Bringing the seasons closer together or consolidating the South and Central zones into a single zone would give dove hunters in South Texas additional incentives to stay close to home and attract hunters from elsewhere.

The proposed 2004 South Zone hunting season for mourning doves and white-winged doves begins Sept. 24. Hunting starts Sept. 1 in the North Zone and Central Zone.

Dove hunters in Wilson, Karnes, Atascosa, and Medina counties should be able to go afield as soon as their counterparts in the Central Zone, said Moczygemba, who claims the flight patterns of migratory birds have changed over the past several years, rendering the current hunting regulations as somewhat outdated.

Nesting grounds for doves and many other birds have deteriorated because of the loss of agricultural land in the four-county region, Moczygemba said.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Executive Director Bob Cook will make a final decision on dove-season regulations in early July.

A proposal to change the boundary for the South Zone is under consideration, although it would not have much of an impact on hunting, TP&W officials said. If approved, it would bring part of southern Bexar County into the Central Zone region.

That would be enough for now, Moczygemba said.

“We have to take our first step before we can walk,” he said. “They [TP&W] are realizing what we’re telling them is the truth.”

Sportsmen Conservationists of Texas is encouraging hunters to contact TP&W and support the proposed change to the South and Central zone boundaries. Comments can be made online at by clicking on the “public comment” section on the left-hand side of the home page located under “Game Warden Field Notes.”

Feel free to contact the Wilson County News regarding content or any other questions/concerns.

1012 C Street, Floresville, Texas 78114
830-216-4519, fax 830-393-3219

Publisher’s Note: Opinions posted below DO NOT necessarily reflect the opinions of the Wilson County News, its staff, or its advertisers.

- Wilson County News

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