Las Palomas Wildlife Manage-ment Area wildlife biologist Sam Patten and hunter Dana Frosch stand over a map. In a parking lot at the end of Kornegay Road north of San Benito, they talk about finding white-winged doves and about a series of strong storms moving through the area.
But the first question Patten asked Frosch, the first dove hunter to arrive for a special hunt Sept. 1 at the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area—Carricitos Unit, was whether he had an annual public hunting permit.
Such a permit costs $48 and provides access to several units of Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area, encompassing nearly 3,000 acres of public hunting land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Frosch had his permit, and that’s all Patten needed to know.
And that’s also why Frosch, a manufacturing engineer, made a six-hour trip to the Rio Grande Valley from his home in Pearland, which is south of Houston. This year’s public hunting permit was the fourth or fifth he’s bought over the years, he said.
“I wanted to take a trip and I got to looking around on Texas Parks and Wildlife (website) and saw a few places here,” Frosch said as dark clouds rolled overhead. Thunder rumbled distantly.
The permit is cheap, Frosch said, adding that it makes a hunting trip to Deep South Texas more economical because he didn’t have to pay $100 to $150 for a dove lease, plus other expenses. He arrived a day early and explored areas as time ticked toward noon Sept. 1, the start to that special white-winged dove hunting season, which ended the following weekend.