Page 1

WILDLIFE REGULATIONS SPRING 2024 TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com Official Publication of the Texas Dove Hunters Association
OUTDOOR SUPERSTORE OUTDOOR SUPERSTORE 2114 US-84 Goldthwaite, TX 76844 855.648.3341 hpolaris.com hcanam.com We Carry the Utility Vehicles You Need and the brands you trust
AVAILABLE New lodge-23 beds, 5.5 baths, all-inclusive Waterfront property on the Nueces River CAST & BLAST 21 years of Corporate Upscale Wing Shooting in the Central and South Zones Elder • 830-317-0456 • joeelder@sbcglobal.net • Uvalde, Texas Elderado.net

Blake Jones designs and produces Handmade Hunting Gear and Luggage right here in Texas, U.S.A.

Our Hand Crafted Items have a classic, timeless quality. Traditional styling and construction with premium quality materials and components are the hallmark of Blake Jones Designs.

All of our finished products are designed and assembled by hand at our South Texas facility.


Feature Story

With an abundance of dove, the 2023 season was the best that Texans have seen in many years as most made unforgettable memories in the field.

Flushing a Covey

The heritage of quail hunting in Texas has run strong for many generations.

Dove Hunters

Official Publication of





Graphic Design


Contributing Photographers
















Advertising Sales




On the Cover:

11 year old black Lab, Kahle, on her most recent hunt. Photo by Nate Skinner

CALL 210-764-1189




6 | SPRING 2024 ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: 8 Founders letter 21 Texas BB Challenge 24 Ladies in the Field 26 Texas Outfitters 00 Ladies in the Field 32 Hunt with Heart 34 Families in the Field 38 Importance of Hearing Protection 44 Photos from the Field 42 TDHA Store 47 Recipe 49 Non-Profit FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Dove Fields Game Wardens are more interested in promoting safe and legal hunting practices than collecting fines. 28
Policing the
the Texas Hunters
MAGAZINE is published bi-annually by Texas Dove Hunters, LLC (Publisher). Reproduction in any manner in whole or part is prohibited without the express written consent of the Publisher. Material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher or its staff. TEXAS DOVE HUNTERS MAGAZINE reserves the right to edit materials for clarity and space and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors or omissions. TEXAS DOVE HUNTERS MAGAZINE does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertisements or editorial, nor does the Publisher assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Articles and photographs are welcome and may be submitted to our office to be used subject to the discretion and review of the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. © 2024 Texas Dove Hunters, LLC. 2395 Bulverde Rd., Suite 104 Bulverde, TX 78163 210-764-1189 texasdovehunters.com
exas Magazine


Just last month, Susan and I were lucky enough to be invited to attend a banquet for an organization focused on helping physically and mentally challenged individuals. While we were sitting and enjoying a fabulous meal and seeing so many people getting involved in the auction and games, I couldn’t help but notice the true benefit to such an organization. Some of the testimonies we heard were commendable of how valuable these non-profit organizations are to their constituents and the cause they represent. My call to you is this: when you hear of an organization that peaks your interests and it appears to exist for the sole purpose of helping others, take a moment to learn more about them and then see how you can get involved. Of course, many need money, but just as important, they need volunteers who are willing to hunt alongside others. You will not only be helping others, but you’ll find that you receive the greatest blessing of all. In many ways, this has been a fall hunting season to remember, especially for bird hunters, not just dove, but ducks and sandhill cranes too. I wasn’t able to get on a quail hunt this year, but my hope is the birds continue to make a comeback, slow as it may be. As for dove, we field so many calls throughout a season asking where to hunt and where the birds are. This year has been a little different; most calls were from outfitters telling us they have an abundance of birds, even in the second season. We had very few calls from hunters just needing to know where to go as they found ample opportunities from the outfitters listed on our website and those in this magazine without needing to make more than one call. Obviously, there were still some areas of the state where the birds were not as good as others, but for the most part, it was a very memorable season.

It’s not quite spring and already I find myself looking forward to next season. I hope that you had such a great experience this past season that you, too, are thinking about the next one. If you are new to the sport or if you just like trying different outfitters, let me encourage you to start doing your research now. Outfitters rely heavily on word of mouth to promote, and by doing so, if it was a good year, they tend to book up very quickly. Don’t procrastinate, pick a date and book it now.

If you’ve spent much time reading our magazine, you have heard me at one time or another talk about my faithful hunting companion, Briley. This past season, as good as it was, was not so good for him. Due to different circumstances with the groups or places I hunted, I was only able to take him to the field twice. Yes, I know, that’s sad and therein lies my problem, I feel so guilty. A season to remember and yet Briley wants to forget about it and get on with next season. If you find yourself in a similar situation, let me share the plans I have for him. We are going to spend much more time in the off season working on bumpers, hand commands and as a treat for him, lots of water retrieves, I can’t let him forget his role when we get to the field next season. As some trainers will tell you, if your dog enjoys retrieving, a day in the field is like play time.

Take a kid hunting,


8 | SPRING 2024
Texas Dove Hunters Association promotes strong family unity through hunting and outdoor programs. We are committed to research, education and habitat conservation.
TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 9 TEXAS DOVE HUNTERS ASSOCIATION CORPORATE OFFICE 2395 Bulverde Rd., Suite 104 Bulverde, TX 78163 Off: (210) 764-1189 Fax: (866) 233-0507 email: info@texasdovehunters.com texasdovehunters.com FOUNDER Bobby Thornton EDITOR
Thornton DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Myrna Hassfield SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Charlotte Schuster GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christine Sykes Designed to hold your daily bag limits, shells, cell phone, drink, and a sturdy space to lean your firearm. made in the USA 8gaugeoutdoors.com The Original Dove Cord The One That Started It All thedovecord.com


Photo by North Hodges


The young black lab was anxious. She wasn’t quite a year old, and I had high hopes that this would be the hunt in which everything would click and all of her training would begin to make sense. All we needed was for the doves to fly.

Finally, a bird flew within shotgun range, and I swung and fired. The second those lead pellets met feathers, the dog’s purpose in this world was fulfilled. Kahle bolted towards the downed bird as her instincts took over. This was what she was born to do. I’m not sure who was more excited as she completed her first retrieve in the field, me or her. That hunt took place over 10 years ago. The two of us have shared countless hunts together since that day. Kahle is 11 years old now, and although she moves a little slower and her coat is a lot grayer, she still loves dove hunting.

I can shoot a limit of doves and never leave my chair, as she’s still just as excited to retrieve each of them as she was over a decade ago. This past season proved just that.

Limits came often, and there weren’t too many hunts that I was part of in which she wasn’t completely worn out by the end of them.

Kahle and I have experienced excellent hunts and slow shoots together over the years but of all of our seasons together, the 2023-2024 dove season was definitely one to remember. Many hunters across the Lone Star State would also agree, as most enjoyed unforgettable moments in the field.

Outfitters in various regions of the state that have been in the game a long time confirmed that this past dove season reminded them of seasons of old.

Mark Katzfey of Katzfey Ranches in the George West area, said that that it was one of the best years his operatio has ever experienced.

“The birds were phenomenal, and our hunters enjoyed outstanding shoots throughout almost the entire season,” Katzfey said.

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 11
Photo by Matthew Jacques

Hunting guide for the Y Bar Ranch, Shawn Griffin, said that the birds around their properties near Fowlerton this past season did not disappoint.

“We ran more hunts than we have in a long time because we had so many more dove,” Griffin said. “On our full day hunts, our hunters never hunted during the morning hours because there were enough birds for them to harvest their limits during an afternoon session.”

At the G5 Ranch, Darrel Cox said that the dove hunting in the Pearsall area was about as good as it gets, especially during September and October.

“Our hunters were able to harvest limits throughout the entire fall season,” Cox said. “It was outstanding, no doubt.”

In Brownsville, Bonnie Elbert of White Wing Fields said the 2023-2024 season was nothing short of excellent.

“It was definitely one of the best seasons we have had in the last few years,” Elbert said. “We even had good bird numbers during the winter season, which hadn’t been the case in recent years.”

Owner and Operator of Full Throttle Outdoors, Jacob Salmon, said that dove hunting in the panhandle around

Lubbock was lights out.

“It was one of the best seasons we have seen up here in a long time,” Salmon admitted. “Hunter success was through the roof. We had tons of white wings in September, and our mourning dove numbers were impressive.”

Jason Schneemann of Down South Adventures said that crops and pasture conditions were great for the birds heading into this past season and that the doves in Uvalde, Medina, and Zavala Counties were thick.

“White wings and mourning doves provided our hunters with some incredible hunts,” Schneemann said. “Both fall and winter seasons held fast action wing shooting opportunities.”

According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Webless Migratory Game Bird Program Leader, Owen Fitzsimmons, 2023 breeding season surveys showed a 44% increase in the statewide Mourning Dove population from 2022 and a 20% increase in the statewide White-winged Dove population from 2022.

White-winged Dove numbers were at an all time high in 2023, at about 12 million birds statewide. The TPWD 2023 Special

12 | SPRING 2024
coastalplainslodge.com 210-264-8518 The Premiere Fishing & Hunting Lodge on the Texas Coast

White-winged Dove Days Harvest Summary indicated that white wing harvests during the special season were also at an all time record high. Total white wing harvests during the 2023 Special White-winged Dove Days were up 23% from the 2022 season. The Special White-winged Dove Season occurred on September 1-3 and 8-10, 2023. It was the third consecutive year that federal frameworks allowed TPWD six special season days versus the four days allotted prior to 2021.

“In 2023, every single ecoregion of Texas saw a significant increase in mourning doves, and most of them did with white wings as well,” Fitzsimmons said. “We saw a 130% increase in dove populations from 2022 in the Rolling Plains region. This represented the highest single year count of dove populations for that region of the state.”

Fitzsimmons said that doves across Texas had a very productive late hatch during the summer of 2022.

“A lot of the hatch year birds in 2022 grew up and carried over into the spring breeding season of 2023, which prompted another productive hatch throughout the spring and early summer of 2023,” Fitzsimmons said. “The combination of these two productive breeding seasons, back to back, resulted in a massive increase in our statewide dove populations heading into the 2023-2024 dove season.”

Fitzsimmons is optimistic that we will see our statewide dove populations increase, or at the very least, remain stable, as things are looking good for another productive breeding season to occur this spring and summer.

The peak breeding season for doves occurs during May and June. Fitzsimmons said some will start breeding as early as February, but most don’t begin until late March to early April. He said a small number of doves will continue breeding through August and September.

“Research shows that 95% of doves are done breeding by July every year,” Fitzsimmons said. “If conditions are right, the birds will nest multiple times during the breeding season. Mourning doves can have up to six clutches each year, while white wings can have two to four clutches per year.”

Fitzsimmons said that doves are fairly adaptable, but they prefer a happy medium between wet and dry conditions during their breeding season.

“As long as it’s not too wet or too dry, they tend to have successful breeding seasons,” Fitzsimmons said. “A breeding pair almost always produces two eggs per clutch, and on average at least one of these eggs is hatched and raised successfully. In a year where breeding conditions are good, and the birds can produce multiple clutches throughout their breeding season, they are able to increase their populations quickly.”

From the time a breeding pair begins courting and building a nest, Fitzsimmons said that they can have

14 | SPRING 2024
The best way to prevent hearing loss of any degree is to protect your ears. Texas locations in Bastro • Brenham • Katy • Plano • Texarkana padgetthearing.com You can easily protect yourself and your loved ones with earplugs, ear molds, headphones, or other hearing protection devices.

young fledged, or fully feathered and ready to fly, in as little as four to six weeks.

“There have been documented cases where the adult birds begin building a new nest while weaning their young from a previous nest,” Fitzsimmons said. “It’s easy to see how dove populations can make big jumps from year to year like they did this past season.”

With the number of birds found swarming across the Lone Star State during the 2023-2024 dove season, many hunters experienced incredible hunts. That being said, certain factors like water and food source availability and distribution resulted in slow action for some folks from time to time. The birds are going to concentrate in areas where there are ample food and water sources. If a particular area is lacking in either of these habitat features, it may not hold high concentrations of doves.

With springtime upon us, we can only hope that doves will have another successful breeding season. It won’t be long before September rolls back around. As for me, I’m hoping for one more memorable dove season with my K-dog. And I hope that you and yours will experience the same.

Here’s to a repeat of last season in 2024-2025. Like all of you, I’ll be counting down the days until opening day!

16 | SPRING 2024
The all new CORDIA® Polo Shirt with COOLING Technology Breathable Lightweight Moisture Wicking Quick Drying Cool Yarn Four Way Stretch Founded by South Texas Hunters for South Texas Hunters BE THE COOLEST DOVE HUNTER IN THE FIELD 20% OFF with discount code TDHA20 at HuntCordia.com


18 | SPRING 2024
Photos courtesy of Venatura Excursions

There was nothing quite like the crisp snap of copper buttons on my Carhartt jacket paired with the heavy hanging weight of full-length leather chaps. For a suburban kid like myself, it was the closest thing I ever experienced to living as a real Texas cowboy, but on this South Texas December morning we were chasing Blue Quail through the black brush.

White tails were king in my family. I don’t think I have one core memory from fall or winter when I wasn’t with my dad at the deer lease. I would be willing to bet most, if not all, of my foundational life lessons stemmed from those weekends. On the years when it was right after the morning hunt, we would all pile in the truck to drive the roads and look for quail at midday. Other than getting startled half to death by a flushing covey while walking to and from the deer blind, this was the extent of my quail experience. I don’t think I ever told my dad, but many weekends, those midday bailouts from the bed of the truck were what I looked forward to the most.

Quail Culture

The heritage of quail hunting in Texas runs strong and has seemingly, since the beginning of hunting. From the rolling prairies of the panhandle to the mesquite thickets of South Texas, hunters of all genres seem to find their common ground at the heel of a pointing dog and tracking the fleeing tail feather of a flushing bobwhite. As sought after as the wild quail is, their hardiness does not always reflect the strong desire hunters have in pursuing them.

Wild quail are considered an indicator species in that their presence and prevalence within an ecosystem reflect the overall health of that environment. Quail are fickle, and their populations year-to-year are relative to multiple factors within the

quail bird equation. In speaking with John McLaughlin, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Upland Game Bird Program Leader, we were able to give a 30,000 foot view of a few of the main factors that contribute to wild quail populations:

n Rain, and rain at the opportune time centered around quail nesting season from April through October.

n A recently mild winter puts less stress on the population going into nesting season.

n Carryover vegetation from the previous year enables good nesting.

n A long nesting season with good rain spread out that extends into the later months of the nesting season. In good years, a Bobwhite hen can nest up to four times and has the potential to raise multiple clutches.

Populations of wild quail eb and flow seemingly year to year. Currently, the prognosis for 2024 is trending in the right direction.

“Quail in Texas, as of right now, are in their best place since 2019,” said McLaughlin.


Fortunately for the Texas quail hunter, there is a plethora of hunting opportunities across the state for both wild and liberated quail.

Established in 1883, the Y Bar Ranch near Fowlerton has been under a strict wildlife management program with a heavy focus on quail and quail habitat since the 1990s. At the Y Bar hunters can chase wild and liberated quail over two or three days on nearly 26,000 acres. These trips are all-inclusive, but the emphasis and reason hunters return to the Y Bar is for the excellent hunting.

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 19
Photo by Chase Phillips


Texas is home to four different species of quail. The Northern Bobwhite and Scaled (or Blue) are the most common and the species most hunters focus their effort towards. The Gambel’s quail and Montezuma (or Mearn’s) quail reside in the far reaches of West Texas, and while you can hunt the Gambel’s, there is no open season for Montezuma quail. Bag limits for quail are generous and the season begins around the end of October and extends to the end of February.


Upland Game Bird Endorsement Required



Oct. 28, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024

Bag Limits

Bobwhite quail, Scaled quail (blue quail), and Gambel’s quail. No open season for Mearns (Montezuma) quail.

Daily Bag Limit: 15 birds

Possession Limit: 45 birds,

Upland Game Bird Endorsement is required to hunt quail

Sean Griffin has been guiding quail hunters for 38 years and is the resident “Quail Master” working out of the Y Bar. “People come because the hunting is good, very good. 95% of clients are return guys. There are some guys I have been hunting with for almost 30 years. We are about hunting.” said Griffin.

Venatura Excursions, located in Hondo, is one of the top-ofthe-line quail hunting destinations in the state. The hunting program at Venatura focuses on liberated birds, enabling the staff to offer consistent action, steady dog work, and more liberal seasons and bag limits. The vast majority of hunters are return clients, and most marketing is by word of mouth from happy hunters, the purest form of advertising.

Grant Christopher, Venatura Hunting Program Manager, began his experience with Venatura in a different light than he harbors now. Once a contract guide for Venatura, Christopher fell in love with the operation and the opportunity to work his bird dogs on a consistent and fast-paced hunt basis. His transition from part-time dog handler to full-time program

manager grew from pure passion in watching his dogs do what they love, something any quail hunter can empathize with. Currently, Venatura has a mix of German Shorthaired Pointers, English Pointers, English Cocker Spaniels, and Labradors in their arsenal, and the dogs continue to be the main reason hunters return year after year.

While the hunting is top tier, visitors to Venatura will have access to a private chef, complete 5-star accommodations, and the option for fully customizable packages. I asked Christopher what set Venatura apart, and he said, “It really is the whole experience. The service. The staff. The dogs. The quality of your experience here is all top of the line.”

Legacy is a difficult topic to justly describe, yet for many Texans, the quail is a large part of one’s legacy. Dustin McNabb is the current Regional Representative for Quail Forever in Texas, and it was his grandfather who first introduced him to quail hunting.

“We hunted everything growing up, but when quail season rolled around there was a difference in the air. We hunted every day my grandpa had. It was through quail hunting that he taught me so many valuable life lessons.” said McNabb

He explained that his grandfather’s legacy was quail hunting, one that lives on through McNabb.

The Texas culture of quail hunting is deep and multifaceted. To some, chasing a covey of bobwhites behind a pointer with a double barrel is the epitome of a gentlemen’s hunt. While for many, the pursuit is more traditional and simple. However different, nearly all quail hunters I have encountered harbor a distinct mindfulness towards conservation, a passionate and specific desire to maintain tradition and a rich love for their quarry and the entire process that comes along with hunting quail.

20 | SPRING 2024
you to our Texas BB Challenge Sponsors PHOTOS BY JAY SCHWISOW


The 2023 Texas BB Challenge is in the books. The seventh year of collecting data and giving out prizes has continued providing Texas Dove Hunters Association (TDHA) with data and made for some happy winners! The data compiled supports previous years' expectations and continues to get better. The 2023 season was excellent for most hunters around the state. More people made it to the field this year than last, resulting in more banded birds reported than the previous year. We also had more non-hunting bands reported than any other season. Two were called in by people who said their dog showed up at their door with the bird in its mouth. Another person reported three bands after the dove smashed into the window of his house and died instantly.

Each year, we look forward to seeing the results of the data collected from the bird's consistent tendencies. The one fact that has continued to surprise us is that they are staying in Texas. To date, not one band has been reported from outside of the state. We realize that this does not mean that every one of the more than 4,500 birds that have been banded since 2017 has stayed in Texas. They just haven't been harvested or reported. The bands do not say Texas only on them, so it seems that general curiosity would cause anyone who found a band to call and inquire about it. As with the federal bands,

they need to be reported whether they are harvested or found. The surrounding states only account for less than 25% of the total birds harvested in Texas (not including Mexico).

This season, a record was set for the longest days a dove was afield after being released. A 2020 band was also reported, giving it 1,225 days since it was released. When we looked up the banding information, we determined that it was harvested in the same field where it was released three years ago. We don't know what the bird has done or where it has traveled between release and harvest, but it is still excellent data to note. The furthest travel by a TDHA banded bird remains at 647 miles.

The 2023 season produced the most re-captured birds since the BB Challenge began. Nine birds have been re-captured since 2017, and six of those were trapped and banded in 2023. To this point, we have not been able to take advantage of the technology that places small trackers on the birds, so we only know the bird froam point A to point B. and nothing about the activity of the birds in between points. This is why we are so excited when we get a re-capture. For instance, one of the birds this year was

22 | SPRING 2024
TOM LEBLANC, New Caney, TX Polaris Ranger Donated by Hoffpauir Outdoor Superstore

originally trapped in the Lubbock area in 2020, then banded, and released in Alamo, Texas. That same bird was trapped again at the exact same location in 2023. What makes this interesting is that of the other five birds re-captured in 2023, all but one were found in the same place where they were trapped the first time. Migrating birds generally go back and forth from one place to another over the course of a year and are usually weather-driven. The difference here is that these birds traveled here to Texas and aren't leaving. Since the birds we trap are released all over the state, they aren't relocating by choice. We take them. Yet, they seemingly want to go back to where they were trapped.

In the data we collect, we also study directional travel. We have trapped birds in the panhandle, and along the southern border. Of the birds trapped in the panhandle, 76% were headed back north, northwest, and west. Of those trapped in the deep south, over 50% headed south again. These birds are simply showing signs more consistent with homing than migrating. Hopefully, one day, we will have beacons small enough to attach to the birds with prolonged battery life so know more about their true travels, whether they be migrating or homing.

The contest closed on December 31 with forty-one total birds reported. Of those forty-one, eight were entered in the contest and five were non-hunting bands. Once again, our sponsors came through in a big way. We had seven prize winners and one First Flight scholarship winner.

The early bird contest opens for the 2024 season on April 1 and runs through July 15. Everyone who enters between April 1 and May 31 will double their chances of winning a shotgun in the early bird contest.

This year's contest will run from September 1 to December 31. It is open to anyone hunting dove in Texas with a Texas hunting license. You must be entered by August 31 and willing to submit a polygraph if asked. The contest has three different divisions: the prize division, the First Flight high school division, and the First Flight youth division.

A huge thank you to our sponsors, and congratulations to the 2023 winners!


Aaron Arnold Longview, TX

Scimitar Horned Oryx Hunt

Donated by Record Buck Ranch

Wyatt Deans San Saba, TX

TDHA Lifetime Membership

Donated by Blake Jones Designs

Vernon Breaux Aransas Pass, TX (2)


Dove Caddies

Donated by Aluminum


Julie FraedrichHamilton, TX Hybrid Sheep Hunt

Donated by G2 Ranch

Paul Greer Warren, TX

TDHA Field Package

Donated by Blake Jones Designs

Joseph Pargas D’Hanis, TX

Trophy Trout Fishing trip and Poncho shirt: Donated by Baffin Bay Rod & Gun and Poncho Outdoors

Jorge Antonio Salcines Edinburg, TX

Chris Weeks Leander, TX

Early Bird Prize: Set of Müller Choke Tubes Donated by Müller Chokes and a Mossberg shotgun

Donated by Mossberg

First Flight High School Division: $1,000 Scholarship

Each prize winner also received a Dove Cord, donated by Dove Cord, and a Cowboys Game Washer, Donated by Cowboys Wild Game Washer

All thirty-six hunters who reported band receive a one-year membership to the Texas Dove Hunters Association and a certificate with the history of the bird with the band that they had harvested with details on that particular bird.

Every year, more birds will be trapped, banded, and released in Texas. Bands do not expire from one year to the next, increasing the odds of winning. Hunters must enter annually to be eligible to win. The entry fee is $20. The 2024 Texas BB Challenge entries can be purchased online at bandedbirdchallenge.com or by calling the office at 210-764-1189 beginning April 1 Don’t go to the field without your entry in the Texas BB Challenge!

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 23


llen Singleton has a strong passion for hunting, and he has passed along this passion to his daughters. Not many fathers who enjoy hunting make it a priority to educate their little girls about hunting, gun safety, and respecting nature and the harvest. That is usually a rite of passage that is saved for the boys, but, for Charlotte Schuster, and her sister, Paige, it was simply a way of life growing up in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Charlotte lights up when she reflects upon her unique, camoclad upbringing. Her childhood was an adventure, and from an early age, her father fostered a life-long love of hunting and shooting sports. She learned how to handle a gun, how to track

animals, and how to humanely and responsibly harvest what they shot.

Charlotte says, “My dad is my hero. He never let having two girls phase him. He didn’t think twice about taking his little girl on a hunt ,and sometimes, I would be the only kid out there with the adult hunters. These experiences are cherished memories, and now that I’m an adult with a little girl of my own I understand the bigger lessons that growing up in this way have taught me.”

The memories that stand out the most for Charlotte are those where her family spent time together, experiencing nature and all the beauty that Texas has to offer. She says that it was during those hunting trips when she felt most at peace and connected to God’s creation growing up because she was surrounded by people she loved and knew that her dad was there to teach and protect her. Her mother, Beth, didn’t hunt, but she was always there with them, enjoying the outdoors and cooking up whatever her husband and the girls brought home.

As Charlotte got older, she realized just how special her bond was with her father and how unique their relationship had been. There weren’t many girls she knew growing up who had the same experiences she and her sister had, but to them, it was just a way of life, and it taught her some important lessons. Charlotte says, “Hunting with the men, being considered just ‘one of the boys,’ taught me how to handle myself and interact with adults on a mature level. I feel like I can have a


seat at any table and hold my own, and I have my dad to thank for this.”

Today, Charlotte is in corporate communications for a government agency and feels confident speaking to and working with professionals at any level. She earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Communications at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she played collegiate softball as a catcher. She then moved closer to the Hill Country to earn her master’s degree in mass communications from Texas State University, where she met her husband, Cameron, and the two eventually settled in San Antonio. Together, they have an energetic 2-year-old daughter named Sadie, who is already learning to hunt from her parents and grandpas. Charlotte is excited to pass on the family tradition of teaching her children to respect the hunt and says, “Kids need to learn about, and respect, where their food comes from. I feel that I have a responsibility to share my love of hunting and to teach the social responsibility that goes with it. It’s so important to teach the next generation how to hunt safely and the importance of eating what you harvest to respect the animal.”

and taught us how to respect nature responsibly. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for my dad’s love, trust, and companionship. The only thing better than growing up the way I did is knowing that my daughter will have the same opportunity with her daddy, making those same memories. It’s this full-circle tradition that makes passing those skills and passions down to the next generation so special. I’m so proud to be my daddy’s hunting buddy.”

Although Charlotte has had the unique opportunity to experience many different types of hunting, from dove hunting to deer hunting, she truly loves to hunt wild turkeys in the spring. She gets excited when she describes how much she loves to be out in nature when the weather is beautiful, hearing her guides (usually her dad, husband, or father-in-law) calling in the birds, sometimes from miles away. She says, “It’s an awesome feeling to hear the birds getting closer and closer, coming toward the calls, and when they pop out just a few feet away, it gives me goosebumps every time.”

She also loves dove hunting because it brings back fond memories of celebrating her dad’s birthday every year. He was born on August 31, so the family always celebrates his birthday and the opening day of dove hunting season at the same time. She remembers how much fun it was to celebrate her dad and to watch him celebrate doing something he loved so much while surrounded by his family and dearest friends.

When asked what advice she would give other hunting families, Charlotte says, “Don’t be afraid to take your little girls hunting with you. It sets the example that you believe that they can do anything. There is no limit to what women can do when given the respect to learn something usually male-dominated. I was so blessed that my dad included us on his hunting trips

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 25

Katy / Waller County El Campo, Texas Whitewing and Mourning Dove



Weekday hunts $100 per gun

Weekend hunts $125 per gun

Over 40 thousand acres to hunt

Travis Spring 806-584-1900 Jokreedoutdoors.com

650 NE 2000 Andrews, Texas 79714

Bonnie 956-551-9960 956-838-5222 info@whitewingfields.com



White Winged and Mourning Dove Hunts

Located on the Rio Grande River East of Brownsville

400 acres - black oil sunflowers corn and sorghum

2 lakes surrounded by mesquite trees

Supplies and Services, Inc.

• Upscale Wing Shooting

• Uvalde Dove Mecca

• Central and South Zones

• Mourning and White Wing

• Corporate Retreat

• Rustic Elegance/40 Beds

• Fine Dining

• Impeccable Service

830-317-0456 • joeelder@sbcglobal.net

• Corporate and Group Package Hunts

• All Hunting Packages include Meals and Lodging

• Lodging for 12 at Each Location

• 7 Stand Skeet Range

Guided Sandhill Crane, Goose, Duck, and Dove hunts

Lubbock and surrounding areas


(214) 263-4604 Jacob@fullthrottlehunting.com

210-264-8518 tcsouthtexashunts.com


Castroville & Brackettville

Central & South Zones

Your South Texas Hunting Adventure Headquarters

• Sunflower, Milo Fields, Water Holes

• Gourmet Southwestern Cuisine

• Trophy Whitetail, World Class Exotics, Turkey

Nueces River Lodge, Uvalde TX

Now Available NEW LODGE

• 23 beds, 5.5 baths

• Kayaking, Swimming & Fishing on constant level springfed river

• 25 acre dove hunting field


830-317-0456 • joeelder@sbcglobal.net

26 | SPRING 2024
Fields: Winters, Clyde, Abilene, Potosi
Native Sunflowers, Wheat, Haygrazer,
Milo Fields
Bow Ranges
Pistol, Rifle &
& Lodging
to book 832-374-4468
for more info

• White-Winged & Mourning Dove Hunts

• Sandhill Cranes

• Hunting in Uvalde, Medina, Kinney and Zavala Counties

• Lodging in Concan, Knippa and Uvalde

• Day, Corporate and Package Hunts

• Sunflowers, Sesame, Milo, Tanks, Fly ways

Premier Dove Hunting
Schneemann D’Hanis, Texas 78851 (830) 741-1717 If you are are interested in being included in our Outfitters pages, please email info@texasdovehunters.com or call 210-764-1189 HUNT WHERE THE BIRDS WANT TO BE The Pinnacle of Bird Hunting Entertainment within the Most Unique Regions of Texas Luke Bledsoe (830) 688-3641 SPECKOPSWATERFOWL.COM


As environmental factors contributed to ideal breeding and nesting scenarios for White Wing and Mourning Dove in South Texas in 2023, there was not only a jump in hunting numbers but also notable increases in violations. Texas Game Wardens share their experiences on one of Texas’ finest seasons and how to better prepare for the next.

The Texas Dove Season hunting numbers are in, and by all accounts it wasn’t just good; it was record-breaking.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the 2023 Special White-winged Dove Days saw a 23% increase in hunting activity from the previous year. Stretching through 27 South Texas counties, the six-day special-season is often a good indicator for the general dove season. While the first weekend in September enjoyed more hunting activity, hunters reported an even success rate across both weekends.

“This year, environmental factors supported robust mourning dove and white wing dove populations,” said Texas Game Warden Stormy King, Assistant Commander of Wildlife Enforcement. “Preliminary reports from our Wildlife Division coupled with anecdotal evidence from game wardens in the field suggest that Texas’ special dove season experienced a rise across the board in dove harvest and hunting activity (a possible indication that new hunters are hitting the field). Of course, with such a positive boost in hunting activity come more contacts with

hunters and a heightened need to educate folks on the applicable regulations,” noted King.

With the majority of White-winged and Mourning dove-related citations for the season now reported by Texas Game Wardens, Hunting without a License and Hunting without Hunter’s Education remain the most common violations during this dove season, as was the case in most other seasons. According to King, those violations tend to run a bit higher during dove season because it’s a more accessible hunting activity for beginners. Probably the biggest takeaway from this year’s violation data is that, with some analysis yet to be completed, it appears incidences of Hunting over a Baited Area increased.

“Dove hunting is a great experience for young hunters and adults learning hunting basics,” said King. “Dove hunting tends to require limited equipment and preparation time, so we see

28 | SPRING 2024
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 29

a lot of Texans invite friends to an afternoon of dove hunting for what may be their first outdoor experience. That can mean there are a lot of people out there without much experience or who may not have taken the time to familiarize themselves with the regulations. Many times, this can lead to issues with compliance.”

King recommends that before any hunter invites someone out to a day of hunting, they take a minute to ask their buddies if they possess a current hunting license and have completed the required hunter education course. It’s also important to remember the Migratory Game Bird Endorsement and Harvest Information Program survey requirements. Game Wardens historically follow very strict enforcement practices regarding Hunter Education requirements. This is due, in part, to the fact that the charge and potential fines are dismissed upon verifying to the court that the course has been completed. “As an agency, we are more interested in promoting safe and legal hunting practices through the completion of the appropriate training than we are in collecting a fine.”

As the state’s primary enforcers of wildlife-related law, Texas Game Wardens issued a significant increase in Hunting over a Baited Area citations in 2023. Witnessing the trend unfold, wardens vigilantly followed up on tips, investigated abnormalities, and enforced codes across hunting areas.

During opening weekend of regular dove season, Matagorda County Game Warden Randy Peña traveled to Webb County to assist with patrols and training. Warden Peña had been stationed in Webb County for a few years at the beginning of his career. He remembered a pasture where he often found milo but never any hunters. Accompanied by Probationary Game Warden Toby Humphries, they returned to the area to find bait but, again, no hunters. Upon leaving the ranch, the wardens

30 | SPRING 2024 TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 30

encountered four hunters with plenty of birds in tow. While the hunters gathered their licenses, the wardens noticed cracked corn, milo, and a grain spreader in the back of their truck. The contents of the spreader matched the grain from the field. The hunters confessed that they baited the fields in the morning and hunted that afternoon. After writing citations for Hunting over Bait and others, Peña seized 61 doves.

“Honestly, I don’t write many Hunting over Bait citations because it’s not common in the communities I serve,” said Peña. “ “This was a special case because I knew someone had been utilizing that field for an easy hunt for years, and I finally found them.”

Discussing the rise in baited-related citations, Peña thinks location has a lot to do with it. “Baiting is more accepted and expected in certain areas of the state. The wardens in those areas work diligently to discuss regulations with their communities. There is also a concern among hunters to get their money’s worth. If someone pays high fees to hunt on a specific ranch, they may be more willing to bait the area in order to bag their limit.”

Peña argues that, no matter how discreet the baiting may be, wardens are familiar with every trick in the book. His advice to fellow dove hunters is to hunt as far as possible from the deer feeder, and if in doubt, call your local game warden. “The law is clear, anything that influences the natural flight path of a bird is considered baiting, so, make sure you aren’t using the feeder to your advantage.”

Just a few counties over, Peña’s counterpart agrees. Serving the same community for over two decades, La Salle County Game Warden Ryan Johnson knows the ins and outs of a South Texas dove season better than anyone.

“This was definitely the best season I’ve seen in years,” said Johnson.” “And when hunting is good, it’s hard to stop. If you get 15 birds in the first 30 minutes of your trip, you are going to be tempted to keep shooting because you want to enjoy the afternoon with your family and friends.”

Despite near-perfect conditions, Johnson warns against hunting past the bag limit. Without divulging his methods, Johnson was

clear that after 20 years of experience, he has developed investigative systems for catching those that double dip and bait.

Most recently, Johnson focused on a small farm in his county that previously only served as a family hunting spot. In 2022, he noticed hundreds of birds flocking to the area. Curious, he looked into the area but never made contact with hunters or found seed on the ground. This past season, he made the ranch a priority. A week before dove season, he found the pasture littered with milo. He waited. When opening day came around, he watched about 50 hunters enter the property. As the hunters enjoyed the good shooting, Johnson contacted an outfitter who recently contracted with the landowner for hunting season. He denied baiting the field. A quick walk around the property revealed that seed remained in the field from the previous baiting. Johnson revealed his evidence and the outfitter confessed. Despite the obvious citations, the warden noted that the outfitter considered the hit to his wallet the worst part of the crime.

“I told him to send all the hunters home. I am sure they requested refunds. He asked if he could bring another batch of hunters the following weekend. I explained to the outfitter that he had to wait until the milo was gone. Once I determined the milo was gone, he still had to wait ten days to return to the field because that is how the law is written. Technically, he lost out on 3 weekends of revenue,” Johnson said.

Warden Johnson considers this latest case a cautionary tale for hunters to remember the 10-day waiting period between bait and hunting. “The law says you may hunt 10 days after the bait is gone, not 10 days from laying it down.”

Known for bringing in the bigger hunting cases, Johnson attributes his success in the field to laying down roots in La Salle County. After twenty years, he knows the hangout spot for every dove and deer in the area. More than that, he is an avid hunter himself and approaches his contacts as a fellow hunter.

“Checking hunters in the field, I don’t sweat the small stuff. If I investigated every tiny issue, I’d be writing tickets all day and never cover any ground. I’d much rather help a fellow hunter find their migratory bird certification online so that I can keep looking for the bigger case down the road.”

With the 2023 dove season wrapped up, Texas Game Wardens pull more lessons from the robust seasons than the difficult ones. Record numbers of hunters translated into high contacts in the field assisting wardens in understanding the current state of hunting in Texas and its future. According to Texas Game Wardens, it looks good!

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 31


Once again TDHA teamed up with Daniel and Valerie Hernandez of Double H Outfitters in Lytle for the 8th annual Hunt with Heart (HwH) event. The hunt took place on October 28, and as usual, was one for the books. HH Outfitters provided the ten HwH youth, their parents, and the guides with an amazing meal at the lodge and and enough birds for everyone to get plenty of shooting. Two young ladies got their first ever dove, and the satisfaction on their faces made the entire day unforgettable.

Hadley and Grace were completely taken by the excitement and the thrill of shooting their first dove! Grace was ecstatic to be out in the field with her dad because of her recent health issues. Anytime she can participate in an outdoor activity like this hunt is an absolute joy to her, and other kids with heart conditions.

Joe Drescher of Hunt with Heart said, “The real joy in being a guide on this hunt is the fellowship and the story telling at the hotel after supper. The kids and families go on and on about how they were able to come together and have so much fun in the field and how exciting it was to hunt dove.” The ultimate goal of the annual hunt is to provide an opportunity for these kids to hunt alongside their families in the field.

This year, for the first time on the hunt, we had the pleasure of hosting Toby Kroeger, the founder of Hunt with Heart. It was easy to see his passion and love for these kids, treating each one like they were the first to ever go through the program. For the kids who were attending for the first time, it was a great experience, and for the returning hunters they were once again treated to a hunt that sent them home anxious for next year’s hunt.


This year’s TDHA guides had many years of experience as well as a firearm instructor and a medic for first responders to assure a safe outing for everyone. We appreciate our volunteers who give of their time to help. Without the continued support of these volunteers, days like this in the field would not be possible. We owe our deepest gratitude to everyone who works so hard to make everything run smoothly. The partnership between Texas Dove Hunters Association and Hunt with Heart continues to provide a positive experience for everyone involved. “Hunt with Heart is an amazing organization. They are extremely well managed and organized and provide awesome experiences for these kids, coordinating hunting opportunities for many different species of animals,” said Texas Dove Hunters founder, Bobby Thornton.

As for so many people, dove hunting provides a first-time hunting experience that usually leads to hunting other species of game continuing to grow the sport through our youth.

Hunt with Heart is a non-profit organization founded in 2012. They serve over 100 children battling severe, life-threatening illnesses, most with congenital heart defects, through camps outdoor activities, and family assistance. These adventures provide a perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the outdoors while forming life-long friendships, which is especially meaningful during times of crisis. Hunt with Heart is devoted to assisting them as they encounter life’s challenges of ongoing medical visits. They also help with lodging, parking, and food during extended medical visits. For more information, go to huntwithheart.org.

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 33
34 | SPRING 2024 FAMILIES IN THE FIELD FAMILIES IN THE FIELD Send your dove hunting photos to: info@texasdovehunters.com
TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 35 FAMILIES IN THE FIELD
texasdovehunters.com MUST BE ENTERED BY AUGUST 31, 2024 Double Your Chances to Win the Early Bird Shotgun EARLY BIRD ENTRY OPENS APRIL 1 PHOTO BY JAY SCHWISOW


The importance of hearing protection in shooting sports

What? What’s that? Pardon?

As we grow older, our hearing isn’t what it used to be. If we’ve participated in shooting sports without hearing protection, we know all too well the consequences over time. Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing), high-frequency hearing loss, or both can make hearing and understanding the world and people around us more difficult. With that said, many hearing-protection options are on the market and can save your hearing, or at least slow the progressive nature of hearing loss. More importantly, you can prevent the damage from occurring in your children. It’s important to start kids early and get them used to wearing hearing protection. Hopefully, it becomes a habit for them and as routine as bringing shells for their shotgun. If they ruin their hearing at loud concerts, you’ll know that you did all you could while they were under your watch.

As a teen in the ‘70s, I worked at a skeet and trap range where we wore foam earplugs all day. But when I went dove, duck, or deer hunting, I wanted to hear the doves’ wings whistling to alert me, the ducks calling, or the deer approaching behind me, so I wore no hearing protection. Over the years, it has taken its toll. I’ve lost about 50 decibels (dB) of the high-frequency hearing in my right ear and have tinnitus, which sounds like an angry swarm of cicadas is following me everywhere I go.

If you shoot a shotgun right-handed, your left ear faces the target more and will take the brunt of the sound and vice versa. I shoot lefthanded, so as a result, my right ear has been affected to a greater extent. Shotguns are much louder than people realize. For example, a chainsaw emits about 120 dB, a jackhammer emits 130 dB, and shotguns vary but usually fall between 150 and 160 dB near the muzzle. For every additional 10 dB, there is a 10-fold increase in sound energy levels and a doubling of the perceived loudness. Aaron Gonzales, President of Padgett Hearing Center, reminds us, “People need to know that once the auditory nerve is damaged, it cannot be restored. Exposure to loud noises like gunshots can cause irreparable damage. Hearing protection is imperative.”

38 | SPRING 2024
Deer Blinds • Deer Feed • Bulk Feed • Purina Feeds • Wildlife & Bird Feed • Pet Food & Supplies • Animal Health Horse Tack • Feeders • Accessories • Guns & Ammo • Benched Knives • Beer, Wine, & Ice • Yeti, Bison, & Pelican Coolers • Clothing by Game Guard & Carhartt • Western Wear • Jewelry, Gifts, & Home Decor We Carry the Supplies You Need Ranch & Supply hranchandsupply.com 512.556.5444 Your premier Pro archery out tter Specializing in tuning, set-up, equipment, and gear Archery ho yarchery.com 512.564.1000 Hoffy s 1189 N. Hwy 281 Lampasas • Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm and the brands you trust • White-Winged & Mourning Dove Hunts • Sandhill Cranes • Hunting in Uvalde, Medina, Kinney and Zavala Counties • Lodging in Concan, Knippa and Uvalde • Day, Corporate and Package Hunts • Sunflowers, Sesame, Milo, Tanks, Fly ways Jason Schneemann | D’Hanis | (830) 741-1717 | downsouthadventures.com

So, what are the options? We all know about the old foam earplugs, and they work great. But, if you want to hear the environment, carry on a conversation without yelling at each other, or most important, hear the birds around you, the electronic options are a great choice. There are a few options in the electronic category: electronic earmuffs, electronic molded earplugs, or electronic earbuds. I bought my first pair of electronic earmuffs in the 1990s. They were relatively new to the hunting scene. Today they are technologically better, and some models are less expensive than in the ‘90s. These types of ear muffs will allow you to talk and hear normally. Still, once the decibel-level threshold of 75-85 dB is reached the earmuffs will shut off all electronic audio to your ears within just a few milliseconds and restore audio instantly after the noise has subsided. Once you use them, you will find that the comfort of sound attenuation is a must-have. You can pay more for added features like Bluetooth for answering phone calls or listening to music while shoot-

ing. Some objections to the electronic earmuffs are that some shooters say they can be uncomfortable in hot weather, and others can’t mount their shotgun without hitting the muffs with the stock. Manufacturers offer some slimmed-down models to help alleviate the latter.

Among the more exciting innovations in hearing protection are the electronic earbuds or molded, custom-fit electronic earplugs. They offer the same hearing protection as most muffs but aren’t as bulky. You can wear a wide-brim hat, which is difficult with earmuffs. Like electronic earmuffs, they shut down when dangerously high noise levels occur and offer Bluetooth connectivity. They are comfortable, don’t get in the way of your stock when mounting your shotgun, and you’ll barely know you have them on. You can also wear them when listening to music or a podcast at the gym, jogging, or on walks, where hearing protection isn’t needed. They are more expensive than electronic muffs but offer advantages the muffs don’t. One more thing to consider, if you don’t use hearing protection and have a pesky flinch, it is just as likely that it is due to the anticipation of the sound of the shotgun as it is the recoil. So, if you tend to flinch, hearing protection could help.

Gonzalez adds, “You are investing in quality of life. Once your hearing is gone, it’s gone forever. No medication, therapy, or surgical intervention can reverse noise-induced hearing loss. The only option will be hearing aids.” So, always practice safe shooting, save the hearing you’ve got, and teach your children or grandchildren habits that will protect their hearing for a lifetime. Insist they wear hearing protection while shooting, and if you possess parenting superpowers, at loud music concerts as well.

40 | SPRING 2024
TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 41 TRAVIS SPRING 806-584-1900 • Jokreedoutdoors.com Andrews, Texas 79714 OFFERING DOVE HUNTS Over 40,000 acres to hunt shop for more!
42 | SPRING 2024 TDHA STORE TEXAS DOVE HUNTERS ASSOCIATION STORE Order Texas Dove Hunters Merchandise at: texasdovehunters.com texasdovehunters.com/shop-tdha
available: Caza (Camoflauge), Meteor, Dried Herb, and Savage Green
TDHA logo Pnuma Shooter Shirt
Meteor LS Dried Herb SS Savage Green SS Meteor SS
TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 43
Loden/Black Richardson 112...$25.00 Heather Grey/Black Richardson 112... $25.00
12” decal...$15.00
Heather Grey/Navy Blue Richardson 112... $25.00
Max-1 Camo Richardson 112... $25.00 Brown/Khaki Richardson 112...$25.00
44 | SPRING 2024 PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD Send your dove hunting photos to: info@texasdovehunters.com
TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 45 PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD
46 | SPRING 2024 Visit Us! We have locations in Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, & Florida! elite-shotguns.com southtexasbucksnbows@yahoo.com | 806-441-3655 We have fields in La Pryor, Knippa and Crystal City We hunt over sesame, milo, big sunflowers, croton and native sunflowers and stock tanks We also have lodging available.


Holly Hearn

Game Girl Gourmet


Meat from 15 doves (See note below)*


1 tsp corn starch

4 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

2 cloves garlic grated

1/2 in ginger grated



1/2 white onion, diced

2 carrots, grated

3 green onions, whites and greens divided

2 eggs

3 cups of rice cooked

2 tbsp mayo and 2 tbsp butter or ghee for frying

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 Mix together all the ingredients for marinade and place dove breast, sliced into cubes, in the marinade and set side for 30 minutes.

2 In a large wok or skillet with steep sides, melt butter and mayo over medium high heat until fully melted together. Add onions, green onion whites and carrot to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft.

3 Add the rice in an even layer to the bottom of the pan and stir every minute for 3 minutes (you want the rice to develop a tiny bit of crust between each stir but not burn).

4 Make a well in the center of your fried rice and add in 2 cracked eggs. Stir vigorously in the well until fully scrambled, then thoroughly mix in the rice from the sides of the pan until fully incorporated.

5 If using raw dove meat, make a well in the center of your rice dish and add dove meat and marinade and stir for about 3-4 minutes, then stir to incorporate into the rest of the rice. Add in your soy sauce and stir until fully absorbed.

5 Top with remaining green onion greens and enjoy.

*Alternatively, if you have the time, this is a great recipe to utilize whole smoked dove meat. Marinate meat as directed and smoke whole doves on a pellet smoker at 180 degrees for about 2 hours. Pull the meat off the bone and add to your fried rice at step 4 and proceed with adding your soy sauce, no need to wait for the meat to cook.

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 47 WILD ABOUT DOVE RECIPE
48 | SPRING 2024 FULL THROTTLE OUTDOORS LUBBOCK TX HUNTS Duck Doves Geese Sandhill Cranes Jacob (214) 263-4604 Jacob@fullthrottlehunting.com

It is early October, and a large group of hunters gather in Donna, Texas for the Annual Challenged Sportsmen Wing and Water weekend. The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas is the perfect area for hosting physically challenged individuals for a weekend of fishing and hunting. For 29 years, a group of dedicated volunteers has sponsored a family-style weekend for physically challenged hunters. From shooting clays, fishing the Laguna Madre, or hunting doves, it is an event they look forward to every year.

The Challenged Sportsmen of America (CSA) is a non-profit organization based in McAllen. David Brown and his son Mark founded the CSA in 1993. After Mark was left wheelchair bound at the age of sixteen, Mr. Brown said: “I just didn’t feel right hunting and fishing without my son.” He knew that there were other people like his son Mark who had mobility problems. So, Brown dedicated his life to making it easier for physically challenged individuals to enjoy the outdoors. With the help of a few friends, they did just that. In 1995, Brown held the first “Wing & Water Weekend” in the Rio Grande Valley. Since then, the numbers have grown every year.

The event is held in the Rio Grande Valley, where the CSA hosts a challenged sportsman and their able-bodied companion. Most hunters face mobility issues from accident, injury, or disease. Most who attend are by invitation and are usually friends and family of the previous guests. CSA picks up all the costs for our guests for the entire weekend, which includes food, lodging, shotgun shells, and fishing gear. CSA costs are met through fundraising efforts made by many volunteers. Generous landowners donate valuable hunting rights to their land. Local businesses and individuals donate time and money to make the weekend possible. CSA also

holds raffles and a sporting clay tournament annually that is open to the public.

The CSA board recognizes that in the southern region of Texas, hunting and fishing is a way of life for most. For physically challenged individuals, opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are hard to come by. That is why we do what we do. Our volunteers share a love for the outdoors with our guests, so it is our mission to provide the best possible experience for everyone involved. It is four days of smiles, laughter, camaraderie, and anything else we can fit in a short weekend. For more information, challengedsportsmenofamerica.org.

TexasDoveHuntersMagazine.com | 49 NON-PROFIT
JOIN OR RENEW TODAY texasdovehunters.com 210-764-1189 Standard • White Wing • Life Memberships Available
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.