Doves under fire
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1995:
AKRON––Ohio’s first dove season in 19 years and only the
third in 79 years opened slowly on September 15, with reportedly few
participants. “This is all new to our sportsmen,” Division of Wildlife official
Jeff Herrick told Akron Beacon-Journal hunting writer Tom Melody.
“Truth is, they don’t know what they’re missing.”
Hunters who don’t know what they’re missing or where the pellets
go are of course one reason why the majority of Ohioans, according
to polls, still oppose a dove season, which squeaked past the state legislature
through a concentrated display of political muscle by the gun lobby.
And even if a hunter does catch a dove with a shotgun blast, there often
isn’t anything left of her to eat.
“Dove hunting is all about a lot of shooting,” hunter Mark
Kennedy said. “Just a lot of shooting.”
The Great Lakes office of the Humane Society of the U.S. is
reportedly preparing petitions in an attempt to prevent future dove seasons
via public referendum.
A bill to open a dove season in Michigan, already passed by the
state house, was before the state senate for a critical vote as ANIMAL
PEOPLE went to press.
The Fund for Animals charged on August 24 that recent U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service policy amendments “allowing state agencies to
dictate what constitutes dove baiting allow Dracula to guard the blood
bank. State wildlife agencies have an economic interest in maximizing
dove hunting opportunity and success, regardless of the potential legality
of their decisions or the potential impact to dove populations.”