KKK defends pigeon shoot; 2,000 protest Labor Day bird massacre but 5,000 support it. Time for new tactics?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:
HEGINS, PENNSYLVANIA — A pigeon hit point-blank by a shotgun blast looks
like a spreadeagled angel for just a split second, until the pellets tear her white breast and wings
to pieces and she flaps to the ground, awaiting the trapper boys who will wring her head off.
Wounded angels to some, doves of peace to others, and flying rats according to the
human participants, 5,000 to 7,000 pigeons are shotgunned each Labor Day at the Fred Coleman
Memorial Pigeon Shoot in Hegins, Pennsylvania. Held annually since 1934, the shoot was
reputedly dying of disinterest a half century later; but no more. Two thousand protesters turned
out this year, nearly double last year’s then-record number. Lured by the chance to heckle, be
on TV, and maybe see someone get killed dashing in front of the guns to save pigeons, the
crowd of shoot supporters doubled as well, to an estimated 5,000. Among them were several
motorcycle gangs and two robed and hooded Ku Klux Klan members from Ephrata, Penn., who
explained that they saw the event as a good chance to recruit.