HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Dove season is officially underway in Texas and it is an exciting time for hunters in the Rio Grande Valley. 

With a public land permit, McAllen resident, Manny Castillo, has been hunting doves at Las Palomas for three years. 

Castillo said his hunting journey began at a young age. 

“I started when I was, I want to say nine years old and my dad he’s the one that showed me everything,” said Castillo. “Every time, every year we come out here with the family and have some fun, kill some doves.”

Calvin Atkinson, a Cameron County Game Warden said he is a hunter and fisherman himself. 

Atkinson said the hunting lands of the RGV are a preferred destination.

“We do have people from out of town that have been coming and doing this for years,” he said.

Atkinson said all hunters are required to have a license, hunting education, endorsements, and follow firearm safety. 

“Make sure your firearms are plugged. For migratory birds, we do require shotguns with no more than three rounds for shotgun,” said Atkinson. “Basic firearm safety, basic hunting safety, and we require that for anybody hunting; we want people to be safe, we want people to go home to their families, and we just want them to recreate out here and, you know, be safe about it.”

Atkinson advises hunters to stay up to date with laws and take advantage of electronic licensing.

“You can get on one of our apps and tag the animal electronically and you get a confirmation number, then you place that on the actual animal, for one it saves paper, and sometimes some people don’t like going into the stores or having a physical license to carry around,” said Atkinson.

As for tips when hunting for doves, Castillo said there are only a few things you need to do.

“Stay quiet and stay still; lead the bird a little but that’s all you can do,” said Castillo.

CLICK HERE to see the 2022-2023 hunting dates in Texas.