For many dove hunting is a fun family pastime that has been passed down for generations. Many children hunt dove before moving on to hunting deer. Lots of children in Texas grow up thinking that opening day of dove season is a state holiday. Many a memory has been made out in the fields or at an evening dinner around a campfire enjoying the day’s harvest, dove wrapped in bacon. It’s priceless time in the field spent with dads, moms, uncles, aunts, grandparents, brothers & sisters, cousins and friends. But, everyone in Texas doesn’t grow up hunting. Many people have just never had the opportunity. The purpose of the Dove Hunting 101 is to provide our youth and parents an opportunity to experience hunting and the great outdoors. It is our desire that these children and their parents develop a love for hunting, respect for guns and a better understanding of wildlife and that they will become hunters for life who will pass it down to their children and grandchildren thus fulfilling the TDHA mission of Growing the Next Generation of Hunters and Wildlife Ambassadors.
Texas Dove Hunters Association and Texas Parks & Wildlife have partnered together with the help of Dave Miller from CZ-USA to develop a DOVE 101 class that is now being offered to youth and adults throughout the state. These classes are geared specifically to dove hunting and to enhance what is taught in the required TPWD hunter education classes. Each class encompasses everything from bird identification, gun and field safety to hunting tips and field dressing, hunting etiquette and ethical harvest. DOVE 101 emphasizes SAFETY FIRST introducing the participants to their “safe zone of fire.” TDHA is working with 4-H, FFA, shooting clubs and other groups of “youth” and their parents to offer a 4-5 hour workshop that includes class time as well as fun interactive safety drills and field hunting scenarios. The focus of TPWD’s workshops is geared more towards individual hunters and are slightly longer. They are also offering 101 classes for small game and upland game.
DOVE 101 will be through its pilot phase by fall 2017 when interested participants and groups will be able to sign up online for classes throughout the state. Students will receive a DOVE 101 booklet, a dove call and a “collector” dove coin for completing the course. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will be offering “collector coins” at each of their species workshops aside from the dove class. There are at least 4 DOVE 101 classes scheduled this summer and fall including classes in Grand Prairie, Hondo and San Antonio. In Texas, hunting isn’t just a sport it’s a way of life. It’s where lessons are learned and kids are taught to respect and care for nature and wildlife. This is why it is so important to promote and preserve the sport of hunting for future generations.
If you have a youth group interested in a Dove Hunting 101 class, contact Susan at the TDHA office; 210-764-1189.