Opposing the Shooting of Mourning Doves in Michigan
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Opposing the Shooting of Mourning Doves in Michigan

Newspaper Editorial Excerpts Opposing the Shooting of Mourning Doves in Michigan


The Ontonagon Herald – Editorial

Mourning Doves Are Not Game Birds - October 19, 2005

“The real issue is what we value as a society, and the ballot results in November of 2006 will determine how Michigan residents view the Mourning Dove. Voters are urged to vote “NO” on the hunting of doves. As this is a referendum rejecting an existing law which legalized the hunting of this bird, voting “NO” is the appropriate response to maintain the current policy banning the hunting of this unique Michigan songbird, the designated Michigan bird of peace.”


The Daily Mining Gazette – Editorial

Dove Hunting Ban Should Be Restored - October 15, 2005

“The hunting of mourning doves seems especially cruel considering that the birds mate for life and when one parent dies, the other is unable to raise the offspring on his or her own. In addition, mourning doves are also the only birds allowed to be hunted during their nesting season. Mourning dove hunting is simply unnecessary with so many other game birds available for sportspeople to hunt.”


Huron Daily Tribune – Editorial

Dove Hunting Ban Should Be Restored - October 15, 2005

“So how did the mourning dove get on the hit list of a small group of hunters in the first place? Thanks to some fast work by a downstate representative in a 2004 session, a bill allowing dove hunting passed the Legislature by a narrow vote and was signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The public outcry was immediate and loud.”


L’Anse Sentinael

Dove Hunt Suspended…Issue Draws Citizen Fire - Published October 12, 2005

“… the state’s hunting lobby has shot itself in the foot by pushing the dove hunt which simply raises the hairs on the necks of many, many people...They are simply beloved songbirds and backyard friends for many people. It’s hard to dispute that, and puts other forms of hunting in jeopardy to do so...Michigan’s dove season is all done. Voters will overwhelmingly shoot it down.”


The Clare County Review – Editorial

Dove Fight is About Right to Hunt - September 16, 2005

“It isn't us versus them. We [hunters] are not a solid monolithic block that wants to kill anything the State of Michigan allows us to kill…The majority of the public doesn't hunt. They do vote. The people that they vote for make the laws that allow hunting to exist. If hunters ignore the tastes of non-hunters and regard them as enemies because, like PeTA, they don't like killing doves they're picking a fight they can't win.”


Huron Daily Tribune

Are Mourning Doves Fair Game in Michigan? – September 11, 2005

“We're not among those who sit on the fence. Fences are for the birds. But we have been known to jump the fence in recent years on some issues that involve the "sport" of hunting. With age, we seem to have become more dovish than hawkish...So as I see a mourning dove under one of the backyard feeders, I see a soft-spoken, family -oriented bird that is a peace with itself and its surroundings…not a target for shooting.”


The Oakland Press – Editorial

Higher Prices at Gas Pumps Mean More Money for Lansing - September 6, 2005

“The (dove) hunt has been opposed in this space on the basis, among others, that it amounts to little more than target practice.”


The Bay City Times – Editorial

Tasty Bird or Tweety Bird – Michigan Voters will Decide - August 5, 2005

“The first dove-hunting season last year in six southern Michigan counties was the result of some particularly stinky politics in Lansing.”


The South Bend Tribune – Editorial

No More Need for Doves to Duck - June 15, 2005

“The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the vote to place the issue on the ballot in November 2006. The coalition against dove shooting collected 275,000 petition signatures -- 73 percent more than the 159,000 required. The shooting ban will be reinstated pending the referendum and then, we hope, permanently affixed.”


The Kalamazoo Gazette – Editorial

Settle Dove Hunt Dispute at the Ballot Box - June 6, 2005

“We could back dove-hunting if mourning dove populations were growing at an exponential rate, were damaging crops, befouling golf courses and parks or leaping out in front of semis on the interstate at dusk…But mourning doves are little more than live target practice.”


The Lansing State Journal – Editorial

Dove hunts: At long last, voters may make final call - May 24, 2005

“For the record: We believe there are enough game birds already on Michigan’s hunting list…In any event, Michigan voters will have the last say on doves. As they should, at long last.”


The Midland Daily News – Editorial

Let Voters Decide on Mourning Dove Hunt - March 30, 2005

“In a state that already allows the hunting of duck, geese, pheasants, quail, woodcock, snipe, coots, rails and grouse, we've often wondered why state sharpshooters need another, albeit tiny, airborne target to shoot at. And we've often wondered why, after being a protected songbird since 1905, the mourning dove showed up in the sights of hunters just in the past few years. We believe it is time for Michiganders to weigh in on the issue.”


The Lansing State Journal – Editorial

Going Dovish: Lawmakers Fueled Petition Drive - March 27, 2005

“Since elected leaders have acted in an untrusting fashion, it only made sense for opponents to cut them out of the process. And that means a referendum – and that means a statewide vote.


The Macomb Daily – Editorial

In Our Opinion: Battle to Ban Dove Hunting - January 7, 2005

“There is plenty of legitimate game to hunt. Using birds for target practice simply is unjustifiable.”


The Oakland Press – Editorial

Dove Alert! - August 26, 2004

“The point of opposing the hunt is not so much to prevent the elimination of the species, as with passenger pigeons a century ago. The concerns are the wounding and leaving in the field of a large percentage of birds, damage to the power liens from shooting at perching birds and the mistaken shooting of similar but protected species.”


South Bend Tribune – Editorial

Unfortunate Dove Hunt - August 13, 2004

“The voters should decide. What we expect them to decide is that mourning doves are songbirds that should not be hunted. That would be the right decision, in any case.”


The News-Herald

Governor Signs Dove Hunt Legislation - June 27, 2004

“...there is no compelling reason for hunters to set their sights on doves. There are no concerns with overpopulation and mourning doves aren’t known to do damage in the state.”


The Oakland Press

Dove Issue Shows Granholm is a Pushover - June 23, 2004

“A public opinion survey in 2000 found that two-thirds of Michigan residents either opposed or were indifferent to a dove hunt. In other words, there has been no grass-roots clamor for a hunting season for what is a songbird.”


The Saginaw News – Editorial

An Albatross in Dove Bill - June 15, 2004

“...there is no compelling reason to allow a dove hunt. There are plenty of other sport birds to kill, and if 40 other states allow the hunts, out-of-state hunters aren't’ likely to flock to Michigan. Besides, Michigan’s ban on dove hunting extends back to 1905. And there’s something unseemingly about using backyard birds for little more than target practice.”


Traverse City Record Eagle – Editorial

Granholm Must Honor Vow to Veto Dove Bill - June 11, 2004

“Tabor and her backers try to paint dove hunting opponents as radical PeTA types who hate all forms of hunting. It’s nonsense of course. The truth is, the vast majority of Michigan residents simply see no need to add this delicate songbird to the state’s list of huntable critters and fowl. That’s why Tabor and her special interest cronies are loath to travel the democratic route and let voters decide. They know it doesn’t stand a chance at the ballot box.”


The Oakland Press – Editorial

Granholm Should Do What’s Right and Veto - May 12, 2004

“There is no overpopulation. They are no threat to the environment or to other birds and animals. And, as with the death penalty for humans, Michiganders banned the killing of doves more than a half century ago, when the possibility of putting them on the table must have meant more than it does now.”


The Daily Oakland Press

Wishy-Washy Governor, Stop Punting - May 3, 2004

“...it’s simply not necessary to put another animal in the sights of hunters.”


The Daily Press and Argus – Editorial

Governor Needs to Make Up Her Mind - May 2, 2004

“In our opinion, we don’t need dove hunting in Michigan.”


Traverse City Record Eagle – Editorial

Dove Hunting Backers Take Aim at Voters Too - April 6, 2004

“How can an elected official defend a vote to deny everybody else a vote? Why do they feel a greater obligation to the special interest groups backing the dove hunting measure than to the people who elected them?”


The Flint Journal – Editorial

Veto Dove Hunt Bill - April 2, 1004

“Some hypersensitive hunters wrongly assume that anyone who opposes dove hunting must have a broader agenda, such as a wish to ban all forms of hunting and perhaps gun ownership as well. That’s demonstrably untrue for most who favor continuing the state protection for the songbird, including our own view that the mourning dove should not become a hunting target. Michigan’s game list already offers plenty of targets. We can afford to leave the mourning dove alone.”


The Lansing State Journal

Voters Lukewarm on Death Penalty, but Not on Mourning Doves - March 2, 2004

“A new poll suggests that Michiganders would rather kill murderers than mourning doves. For certain, Michigan voters don’t approve of shooting doves, according to the poll of 600 voters by EPIC/MRA of Lansing.”


The Bay City Times – Editorial

We Don’t Love the Proposal to Hunt Doves - February 20, 2004

“Put it on the ballot. And we’ll send it down in flames, once and for all. We don’t do dove-hunting here.”


The Kalamazoo Gazette – Editorial

State Has Enough Game, Don’t Legalize Hunt - February 17, 2004

“...we fail to understand the need for it. Mourning doves, songbirds that are frequently seen around neighborhood bird feeders, are not a menace. These small birds don’t yield much in the way of meat. And it isn’t as if Michigan has a shortage of other, legal wild game – four legged, swimming and on the wing. It would be a shame if the state Senate demoted the mourning dove from protected bird to live target practice.”


The Oakland Press

Meeting May be Last Chance to Stop Dove-Hunting Measure - February 3, 2004

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates a third of the doves shot elsewhere are not retrieved, much less dressed and eaten. They’re simply blasted for the fun of it. We don’t need this in the great state of Michigan.”


The Times-Herald

Doves Just Don’t Look Like Game - November 29, 2003

“I’m trying to figure why the great sportsmen of Michigan would like to see this small bird as a target for no other reason than to shoot and kill. Shucks, they are no prizes. And the way they swoop in flight makes them an easy target. Do you think anyone is going to eat them?”


The Rochester Essentric – Editorial

Keep target Off Mourning Doves - November 13, 2003

“Adding docile doves to the list of animals facing lethal force won’t do much good to improve the public’s perception of hunting and may only inspire ill will. If our state’s hunters really need to shoot mourning doves, let them go to Ohio or Indiana or Illinois or Wisconsin. No one is trying to deprive them of this pursuit of happiness. But Michigan has protected these birds since 1905 and is none the worse for it. Our lawmakers in the Senate should respect this tradition and keep the bull’s-eye off this particular target.”


Traverse City Record Eagle – Editorial

What Budget Crisis? House Has Bigger Game - November 13, 2003

“They [the Michigan State Legislature] tried to clip the public’s wings and voter-proof this bill by tacking a $350,000 “appropriation.” That money from the state’s Game and Fish Fund would pay for a Department of Natural Resources brochure on the mourning dove. And the expenditure would also make the bill immune to a citizen referendum. What a brilliant way to spend money during a budget crisis and be accountable to constituents.”


The Grand Rapids Press – Editorial

The House’s Dirty Bird Ploy Disgraceful - November 7, 2003

“This newspaper is opposed, finding that Michigan doesn’t lack for game birds and that cause for ending the state’s 99-uyear protection of doves hasn’t been shown. Among other reasons, doves aren’t pests or troublesome predators. They aren’t overpopulated and adding them to the target list isn’t going to bring a rush of high-rolling dove hunters into the state.”


The Oakland Press

House Vote for Dove Hunting Comes Down to Politics, Cash - November 6, 2003

Opponents of dove hunting are not necessarily opposing hunting or guns. To go after doves is to go after a target only because it is living, not for the meat, bone and hide that have been the quest of hunters since time immemorial. It is time for Lansing to just say no to the lobbyists and special interest groups. They represent narrow interests, not the people in general.”


The Flint Journal – Editorial

Senator has Smart Idea for Dove Hunting - November 6, 2003

”As ever, arguments for dove-hunting range from the unconvincing to the ridiculous. One raised at a recent National Riffle Association rally in favor of the dove-hunt bill holds that one can be sedentary and still shoot these birds…so the argument goes.”


Detroit Free Press – Editorial

Keep These Birds Off State Game List - November 4, 2003

“There’s something unsettling about adding any bird to the game list mostly to provide target practice. And it seems almost unfair to track mourning doves by their gentle coo.”


The Saginaw News – Editorial

Take Aim at a Coo - October 23, 2003

“Michigan has outlawed dove hunting since 1905. To say that not allowing a mourning dove hunt now could mean an end to hunting other game bird slices the baloney pretty thin.”


Jackson Citizen Patriot – Editorial

No Dove Souffle Here - October 10, 2003

“So why reverse a public policy that has been in effect for nearly a century, since 1905? If lawmakers are listening to the public on this issue, there is no hue and cry for change. There is, rather, a growing impatience with the hunters’ insatiable demand to hunt a songbird that poses no threat to anyone and is cherished symbol of peace and contentment.”


The Oakland Press – Editorial

Our Opinion - October 8, 2003

“Experience in states in which dove hunting already is legal show that many non-doves are shot. Protected birds of a similar size and profile are targeted by mistake.”


The Grand Rapids Press – Editorial

Hold Fire on the Doves - September 26, 2003

“But not everything that is feathered and furred should be made a target. The people of the state are right in expecting that lawmakers will demand sound reasons for adding any bird or other critter to the game list. So far, no such cause justifies opening fire on mourning doves.”


Clair County Review – Editorial

Doves Again – Songbirds for Sport - September 9, 2004

“Doves are a songbird. They're symbolic of peace in the way hawks are of war. People like to watch them, listen to them and feed them in their backyards. They have a value beyond being targets. Every time the State has tried to make hunting them legal there is a powerful negative public reaction and they stay protected. We don't need to kill songbirds for "sport". We do need to show the public that you can be a hunter without wanting to kill everything that flies, runs or crawls.”


The Gaylord Times – Editorial

Off the Record: Hunt Doves? - September 1, 2003

“Have you ever seen one of these birds? They’re not very big. If you sit down to a meal of doves, you better not be hungry.”


Ann Arbor News – Editorial

Public Should Shoot Down New Bid - August 23, 2003

“The tiny, quick-moving prey would often not be retrieved after being shot, so would be left to suffer and orphan their young. What possible pleasure is there in that for recreation, or for that matter for lawmaking”


The Flint Journal – Editorial

Public Should Shoot Down New Bid - August 20, 2003

“People who oppose needless suffering on innocent creatures, just to add to opportunities to shoot at something, should come out on this one.”


The Lansing State Journal – Editorial

Enough with Mourning Dove Bill - August 17, 2003

“Our sense of the issue remains the same: 1. There are plenty of game birds already on the state’s hunting list. 2. Surely, Tabor and fellow lawmakers have more important things to do than paint bull’s-eyes on mourning doves.”


See: Michigan Mourning Doves in Danger
See: Mourning Doves: Bonded Pairs and Family Life

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