Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Stop Michiganís Mourning Dove Hunting Bill

Sent to capquestion@lansing.gannett.com

 

8/20/03

 

Wildlife Watch, Inc. is an animal protection organization that educates the public about the mismanagement of wildlife by state and federal wildlife agencies, and the destruction of wildlife and ecosystems in the name of sport hunting and game management.  On behalf of our more than two-thousand members and supporters throughout the state of Michigan, we wish to make it known that the bill put forth by State Representative Susan Tabor which would legalize mourning dove hunting is dangerous and should not be voted into law.

 

Since 1905, mourning doves have enjoyed protection from hunters under state law, and this most cherished of Michigan's songbirds has been for more than 5,000 years an internationally recognized symbol of peace.  There are no legitimate reasons to use these birds as little more than moving targets, since they are truly as benign as any species can be.  Mourning doves eat seeds that would grow into unsightly weeds, pose no threat to other species or plant crops, and regulate their own population very efficiently without the interference of man.

 

Over the past 37 years, hunting has contributed to the significant declines in mourning dove populations that have been recorded in the Eastern, Central and Western Management Units which comprise the states where mourning dove hunting is legal. (Dolton, D.D., and R.D. Holmes. 2002. Mourning dove population status, 2002. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Laurel, Maryland. 30 pp.)  Michigan does not need to add to these infamous statistics.

 

A similar bill to legalize dove hunting in New York was defeated with help by the telephone company.  Mourning doves like to sit on the phone wires and AT&T could foresee the result if the bill had passed.

 

We join the Lansing State Journal and millions of Michigan residents and stand in opposition to this bill what so clearly panders to violent special interest groups.  Surely Representative Tabor must have more important things to do than lobby for the passage of a bill that will encourage the destruction of peaceful doves.

 

Joe Miele

Wildlife Watch, Inc.

P.O. Box 562

New Paltz, NY 12561

201-368-8271

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