Fire Concerns Increase As Dove Season Opens

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dove season is officially underway and in addition to gun safety state park officials are warning hunters about wildfires.

With record heat this summer and drought conditions all across the state the threat of wildfires has never been greater.

“All the grass and shrubs are just at record lows in terms of moisture, so any spark will start a fire,” explained Jan Amen, with the Texas Forest Service. “Any fire that gets going… it’s not even necessary to have a strong wind to push it along it’s what they call ‘fuel driven’.”

Experts say hunters will have to do more than just take the ‘normal precautions’. “You need to take the risk of fire more seriously than you normally would,” said Amen. “We haven’t had good rains in so long everything is just really, really dry, so everybody needs to be very careful.”

Texas Parks & Wildlife has a list of 10 ‘Shooting Safety Rules’ that include – treating every firearm with the same respect you would show a loaded gun, unloading firearms when not in use and handling firearms ammunition carefully.

Amen also stressed the importance of the number one item on the list. “When shooting close to the ground be sure there isn’t any dry grass in front of your muzzle,” she said.

Firearms aren’t the only way a blaze can be sparked. Amen is also reminding hunters to only drive in designated areas.

“These hunters are out, running around on 4-wheelers and [in] pickup trucks and they just, by their very nature, drive through dry grass and that’s not a good idea right now.”

Hunters are also being asked to use extra caution with cigarettes and matches and to never start a campfire for any reason.

Texas dove season is broken into two parts – the first running from September 1 until October 23, the second from December 23 through January 8, 2012.

  • darrell

    raised in the country, hunted lots of dove, quail, deer, hog, coons and more. never seen a shotgun blast ignite a dove in flight to send it in a flaming streak into a field and set it on fire. sounds like fun to watch though.

  • mike

    It’s not the guns-it is the inconsiderate smokers and vehicles going over dry grass (catalytic converters) that cause the fires. Cancel the season!

  • Bill Haley

    Meh…you’re both off the mark. It is the dove, blasted out of the sky, hurtling to earth in a fireball of feathers; that is the cause of potential fires! I’m applying for a $400k federal grant to prove or disprove this theory.

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