And that begs the question: Where are these out-of-town visitors staying this year with so many motel rooms booked thanks to the Eagle Ford Shale?
We know for a fact that some regular opening weekend hunters from Houston were unable to find rooms in Beeville, so they had to postpone their hunt for another weekend.
It’s a nice problem to have, at least for motel, restaurant and other business owners and operators in the Bee County area.
But before you grab your 12-gauge and start heading to the nearest sorghum field or stock tank, remember there are some rules that you must know and keep.
First, you must purchase a current hunting license. Second, you cannot hunt from the road or in the city – you must either shoot at doves on your own property in the country, a lease or with the landowner’s permission on his or her place.
Also note, the South Zone dove season runs from Sept. 21 to Oct. 28, and then the second part from Dec. 22 to Jan. 22, 2013. The daily bag limit is 15 doves and possession limit is 30 – mourning or whitewing. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns must be legal and plugged to a limit of three shells.
If all that seems like too much hassle and you still want to sample what this hunting craze is about, head up Highway 181 to Karnes County for the 20th annual Lonesome Dove Fest.
The festival, scheduled Thursday through Saturday at the Karnes County Youth Show Barn grounds between Kenedy and Karnes City, hosts as many as 8,000 hunters and their families and combines education, outdoors activities and entertainment.
Some of the featured events include clay target shoots, youth day, parade, Birds of Prey, Aussie Kingdom and snake handlers exhibits, live auction and musical acts Emmerson Biggins and John Wayne Schulz.
Then again, if you don’t want to shoot guns or battle crowds, simply enjoy the cooler weather as autumn begins Saturday. And appreciate the large construction projects being completed around town and incredible sales tax rebates being reported for our county, made possible by the Eagle Ford.
– Chip Latcham