The Texas Banded Bird Challenge

by | May 26, 2020 | 2020 Spring, Current Issue, Hunting

The Texas Banded Bird Challenge (TBBC) completed its second year. Open to all licensed hunters, the opportunity to harvest birds with TDHA bands increased when 800 additional Eurasian Collared Doves were banded and released in August, bringing the total of banded birds in the field to 1,300.

“The bands don’t expire from one year to the next, increasing the odds each year of harvesting bird with a TDHA band,” said Bobby Thornton of Texas Dove Hunters Association.
The Texas Banded Bird Challenge was developed as a means of tracking Eurasian Collared Doves to learn more about their migration patterns, habitat preferences, age, and other information. The more data collected over the years, the more we can learn. The 1,300 birds that have been trapped and banded were released all over the state of Texas by members of the TDHA release team. Each year these banded birds are harvested and reported. “The data collected annually will give us more information about these birds that now call Texas their home” said Thornton. It is important that once these bands are recovered that they are reported to TDHA. A phone number and band number are printed on every band.

“Look Dad, this bird has a bracelet on his leg.”

Having completed two years of collecting data on the Eurasian Collared Dove, preliminary studies are showing a preference in habitat for these birds is driving their reason to relocate. One of the harvested birds reported traveled 286 miles from where it was released before being harvested. Another bird was harvested this past season only about one-half mile from where it had been released in 2018. TDHA will wait until after the third year of collection of data before the biologist formulates any quantitative results from the ongoing study.

The TBBC is a season-long contest open to anyone who hunts dove in Texas. This year’s challenge ran from September 1, 2019 to January 23, 2020. If a hunter harvested one of the birds with a TDHA band and was entered in the Texas BB Challenge before harvesting the bird, they were eligible to win one of many amazing prizes.

This past season, 46 banded birds were reported with 12 harvested by hunters that were entered in the contest. Last year, the first year of the program, there were 16 bands reported of which four were qualified entries including one qualifier in the Outfitter’s Division.

“The Texas Banded Bird Challenge was developed as a means of tracking Eurasian Collared Doves to learn more about their migration patterns, habitat preferences, and age. The data collected on these birds will give us more information about these birds that now call Texas their home”

The winner of the Outfitters Division receives a trophy trout fishing trip in Baffin Bay with Baffin Bay Rod and Gun Club. The First Flight Youth Division included a hunting trip for one youth and an adult as well as a First Flight High School Division for a $1,000 scholarship for a student wanting to attend college. Neither prize in the Youth division had a qualified entry this year.

All 46 hunters that reported bands received a one-year membership to Texas Dove Hunters Association. In preparation for the 2019 event, TDHA initiated a pilot program with the introduction of retail sales allowing select hunting and fishing supply stores to sell entries alongside their sale of hunting and fishing licenses. This year’s retailers included Hoffpauir’s Ranch & Supply in Lampasas, Oasis Outback in Uvalde, and Ranger Firearms in San Antonio. This program proved to be highly successful and plans to expand to other hunting and fishing supply stores around the state are currently in the works.

Additional prizes were introduced this year with scheduled social media promotional opportunities offering incentives to enter within designated periods of time.

This year, the chance to win a new truck provided by Hoffpauir Auto was added to the list of prizes. Unfortunately, the bird with the winning number was not harvested. Hoffpauir Outdoor Superstore is a strong supporter of TDHA and the Texas BB Challenge, donating our grand prize Polaris the last two years.

Each 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 in order to be eligible to win. The entry fee is $20. The 2020 Texas BB Challenge entries go on sale June 1, and can be purchased online at bandedbirdchallenge.org or by calling the office at 210-764-1189. Don’t go to the field without your entry in the Texas BB Challenge!

2019 TEXAS BB CHALLENGE WINNERS

Polaris Ranger:
Jimmy Carter
Donated by Hoffpauir Outdoor Superstore

Scimitar Horned Oryx Hunt: Michelle Davis 
Donated by Record Buck Ranch

Ultimate Dove Hunting Package:
Shawn Sayers
Donated by CZ-USA,Chama Chair, Chippewa Boots, Frio Cooler, Blake Jones Bird Bag, Bird Down Brand, and Cowboys Wild Game Washer

Ultimate Gunrest, Dove Decoy
TDHA Custom Fire Pit:

David Machac

TDHA Custom Frio Cedar Ice Chest: Frank Messina
Donated by Frio Ice Chests

TDHA Lifetime Membership:
Taylor Smith

Outfitters Division

Trophy trout fishing trip in Baffin Bay:
Geri Keller of Valdina Ranch
Donated by Baffin Bay Rod & Gun Club

Ultimate Gun Rest:
Carlos Fernandez, Arnaud Guillard,
Mark Etheredge, Orlan Zepeda,
Marco Rangel, Edward Yim 
Donated by Bird Down Brand

Early Bird Prize

TDHA logo CZ-USA Supreme Field shotgun:
Cody Martin 
Donated by CZ-USA

Social Media Promo Prize

Chama Chair:
Juan Ochoa 
Donated by Chama Chair

Social Media Promo Prize

Ultimate Gun Rest:
Adam Glazener
Donated by Bird Down Brand

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