Taking Aim at a Coo
Published Thursday 23, 2003.
The Saginaw News, Editorial.
A covey of pro-hunting groups are again pressuring the Legislature to allow a mourning dove hunt in Michigan.
Lansing narrowly shot down similar proposals in 2000 and 2001, as birders flocked to the designated songbird's defense.
One opponent called the 2001 bill "live skeet legislation." Hunters generally don't eat mourning doves, and allowing a season would do little more than provide live target practice.
The birds are plentiful, but they aren't pests. They don't destroy crops and, well, clay pigeons aren't that expensive.
Supporters of the dove hunt legislation, House Bill 5029, also claim opponents are using the issue as a springboard to eliminate other forms of hunting.
Michigan has outlawed dove hunting since 1905. To say that not allowing a mourning dove hunt now could mean an end to hunting other games birds slices the baloney pretty thin.
Our other objection to the legislation is that it shifts authority to designate game species from the Legislature to the unelected Natural Resources Commission. In 1985, the commission attempted to establish a mourning dove season, but the courts ruled that it was the Legislature's responsibility.
That's where the accountability should remain.
The legislation shouldn't make it off the ground. There's no reason to allow a mourning dove hunt -- other than a few shooters' desire to take aim at a beloved, gentle songbird.
The Saginaw News
- Songbird Protection Coalition