By Gary Joiner
TFB Radio Network Manager
Texas dove hunters have a second shot this season at the Texas Banded Bird Challenge.
The challenge, sponsored by the Texas Dove Hunters Association (TDHA), is available to all dove hunters with a Texas hunting license to harvest a Eurasian collared-dove with a TDHA band on its leg from Sept. 1, 2019, to Jan. 23, 2020.
The 2019 Texas Banded Bird Challenge will be conducted throughout the state with 800 birds planned for release. Each entrant in the challenge has the chance to win one of several prizes.
An early-bird drawing is being held for entries received from June 1 and July 15.
TDHA co-founder Bob Thornton told the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network the first Texas Banded Bird Challenge that ended Jan. 31 was a success.
“We had more entries than what we had originally planned for, so we were excited about that,” he said.
Last year, TDHA released 463 birds that were trapped in the state and banded.
“Of those 463 birds, 16 were reported in a number of areas around the state, and then of those 16, four of them were qualified entries. Qualified entry means that the person who harvested the bird had entered the Banded Bird Challenge,” he said.
TDHA plans to release 800 birds this year, Thornton said.
“And the key thing about this is that last year’s birds, those bands do not expire. We want people, when they harvest one, to turn it in and to have won something, so that they will report the band,” he said.
Every band reported will contribute to a TDHA research program to study Eurasian collared-doves. Data is collected from the day the bird is banded to the day it is harvested.
Valuable information can be collected from the compilation of data over time to help study traits such as migration habits, climate preferences and ageing, among others.
“We did have one bird that had traveled well over 100 miles. That kind of information tells us a lot about where the birds are headed for food and that reliable food source,” he said.
The cost of an entry in the Texas Banded Bird Challenge is $20.
More information and contest details are available at www.texasdovehunters.com/tbbc.