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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 24 October 2003 Issue

Save Michigan's Doves From Hunters' Bullets
By Judith Marie Gansen


- TIME SENSITIVE!!!!!!!   Save Michigan's Doves From Hunters' Bullets ASAP!!!!!!!

Several months ago I was driving down a deserted country road about 10 a.m.  In the middle of my lane standing facing my car was one of my favorite songbirds, a Mourning Dove.  It didn't move but just stood there--even as my car continued to approach.  I did everything I could think of to get the dove to move.  I was concerned another driver might hit it.  It was either already stunned from being hit by a car or injured or perhaps blind and deaf. 

As I began to exit the car to see if I could help, there was a flash of wings as a second Mourning Dove swooped down past me to the bird on the road.  In an instant they both took off and I watched as they both then flew gracefully in unison to the safety of a limb on a nearby tree.  They sat very close together, like they belonged with each other.  As tears welled up in my eyes, a sudden feeling of spirituality and closeness to nature came over me as I realized I witnessed something very special.  There was no doubt in my mind that the second dove came down to rescue the first one.  It was just so awesome!

I told our vet of my experience and he said there have been accounts of situations just like this reported before.  He agreed it could have been stunned by a car or been born with some physical problem and its lifetime mate was coming to guide it to safety. The anti-bird people might say that it was a coincidence or that they have witnessed acts of cruelty between birds so what I saw could not have been caring as we think of it.  They might also say that why don't all doves assist each other if what I witnessed was an act of protection or love?  My answer to that is that every human is different and so is every non-human--a vast mix of genetics, intelligence and life experience.  We are limited only by our own prejudices in coming to conclusions about animal behavior. 
Michigan's Doves In VERY SERIOUS Trouble--PLEASE HELP!!! 

As I write this, I am told Rep. Susan Tabor in Michigan is spearheading the campaign to make it legal in Michigan to hunt a long protected songbird, the Michigan Mourning Dove.  Former rocker Ted Nugent plans on holding a rally in Lansing, Michigan on Nov. 4, 2003 to try to get HB5029 passed in spite of the fact that the majority of the people in Michigan want doves protected as they have been for many, many years.
The majority of hunters in Michigan have also been against hunting doves until now.  The doves dress out to 2 oz of "meat" and some hunters feel that they will be subject to ridicule if they hunt a small songbird (and rightly so).  However there has been pressure on these hunters lately to join in on pushing for the hunting of doves with the more radical hunters using scare tactics that if they don't pass this ludicrous bill, their hunting rights will be taken away.  Of course this is silly.
I will spare our readers the outrageous details of the underhanded tricks being committed in Michigan by this fringe element who it seems will stop at nothing to be able to blow away this small bird of peace.  These people threw democracy out the window and want their own way no matter what.  What kind of Americans do this kind of thing or conduct themselves in this manner?  Even many hunters are embarassed by their tactics.  Rep. Susan Tabor and Nugent should be ashamed of themselves!!  Their behavior reminds me of very spoiled children who have never matured.  The majority of newspapers in Michigan have even come out against dovehunting.  This issue has been fought before many times with the same result--Michigan doesn't want them hunted!!  Duh!
This gentle bird mates for life and will not take another mate if one is killed.  Studies have proven they are such a small target that many are wounded and left to suffer.  Many people I have spoken to from Michigan complain that their own property rights are being violated  by both legal and illegal hunters and they don't want to give hunters more opportunities to cause problems.  Also, since doves like to sit on power lines if the shot is missed it can take out a power line or transformer--this drives up the cost of your energy bills, something no one needs!
Furthermore, the original part of the bill included a section that would put ALL OF MICHIGAN'S WILDLIFE under the jurisdiction of the hunting interests rather than keeping wildlife in the hands of the state legislature (i.e., the people of Michigan)--that is like letting the "fox guard the chicken coop."  It would mean the hunters would decide what species is hunted, when and how. This shows you how desperate, unpatriotic and ungodly these people are.  Integrity is obviously not part of their vocabulary.  The last I heard they were taking that part out of the bill as being too controversial.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are more members of humane societies all over the United States than there are people who want to blow animals away for fun.  All we need to do is MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD FOR THESE GENTLE BIRDS!!!   What I find interesting, is that people such as Mr. Nugent who claim to be so patriotic and pro-America always talk about our Second Amendment having to do with gun ownership.  Now I am not a lawyer or Bill of Rights expert, but what about the Tenth Amendment to our Constitution?  It reads:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."   What's the matter Ms. Tabor and Mr. Nugent, don't you like that amendment??????????????????????????
*     *     *     *     *
OK, friends of doves--one bird taking off moves a small amount of air--but a whole flock makes alot of waves--LET'S MAKE WAVES!!!! 
If you live in Michigan:  contact your state representative and state senator and tell them to VOTE NO AND WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION ON HB5029.  If the bill passes, ask Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm's office to please veto this bill. 
If you are soon moving to Michigan or have a job that causes you to move around from state to state (like a contract computer programmer for instance):   same as above and explain if you will be soon living in Michigan.  You can also remind legislators that unless they aren't planning on running for office ever again (unlikely), most people who care for the doves will remember when they run for another office.  Animal people have long memories!
Non-Michigan Residents:  You can still make your voices heard too--will you ever travel to a state and spend your tourist dollars where the government goes against the will of the majority of its own people?  Do you live in a state where doves are hunted and can you pass on any personal negative experiences that dovehunting caused on your property?  And how about supporting the basic democratic principle that our country was founded on--the rule by the majority!
More info:
The dove bill is scheduled for hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 29th and will be immediately voted on in the House on Tuesday, Nov. 4th

Representative Tabor, chair of the House Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Committee, intends to hold a "stacked" hearing on October 29th on HB 5029.  The hearing, however, has been reduced to a "technical formality" since Tabor has confirmed that the bill will be put to a House vote on November 4th, the same date she coordinated weeks ago with radical out-of-state interest groups to hold a "rally" at the Capitol to push the dove bill under the guise of expanding "hunter" rights.

Tabor has kept this committee schedule secret and only four days ago told a reporter [Kurt Madden of the Community News] that absolutely "no timetable exists for it to be reported to the House" for vote. This of course was not true and she has kept this long-planned date off the official committee calendar and quiet as long as possible, to gain advantage and avoid concerned citizen input and participation.


1) CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY, find your rep here or call 517-373-0135 and ask to be connected with your Representative.

2) Call and/or Email the members of the House Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Committee. Request that they VOTE NO and WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION on HB 5029. See link to committee below for email contact info.

THIS IS OUR COUNTER TO THE RALLY! Get your family and friends to call as well...each "vote" counts separately. We will also send you a reminder that day - check your email often.

Committee web page

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