Friday, November 03, 2006

Dove Hunters: A Bunch of Sissy-boys

Let me say that again so that you know I'm serious. Only a sissy-boy, a make-up and glitter wearin' nancy-boy, would shoot a tiny bird for fun. Vote NO on Proposal 3 to ban dove hunting.

Look, I've got no beef with legitimate hunters, real MEN who go out and get whitetails or an elk to feed their families. I'll drink a beer with any of those guys any day of the week. We could crack open a few cold Pabst Blue Ribbons and discuss the best tree-stands or argue about the best scope to mount on your rifle. But it turns my stomach, it really makes me truly ill, to think of some yahoo getting drunk and blasting away at tiny birds because it's fun. That isn't fun, my friends, that is an act of depravity. Killing small animals for kicks or just for target practice is an obscene act. I don't give a rat's ass what Ted Nugent says.

Be a real man and put down the gun, then go to a bar or restaurant and actually try talking to a real-live woman for a change. Am I wrong? Is killing little birds all you've got to do fella? Then you aren't thinking about the ladies much. Are you wearin' Victoria Secret lace panties under your camo-pants?

Here are the facts:

Hunting doves is unnecessary and serves no wildlife management purpose. There is no reason to open a shooting season on doves. Mourning doves are ground-feeding birds that eat pest weed seeds; they pose no threat to agricultural crops, homes, or anything of value to people. Other northern states also have long-standing policies of protecting doves. There are no management problems within those states and no one has suggested that doves are overpopulated.

Mourning doves have significant economic value as live songbirds. Doves are beloved backyard birds and are an important part of the multi-billion dollar bird watching and feeding industry in Michigan. As a backyard songbird, scientific research studies show the mourning dove as "the second most-frequently reported bird at feeders." More Michigan residents participate in wild bird watching and spend more doing it than any other outdoor activity ­ including all forms of hunting combined.

Doves are not a viable human food source. As small birds, even if shot properly, doves have very little "edible" flesh on them. During the 60-day shooting season of September and October, doves are actually at their lightest body weight for the entire year. However, doves are an important source of food for protected birds of prey such as eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls.

Shooting doves is known to produce orphaned young. Doves are scientifically known to still be nesting during the 60-day shooting season of September and October. Doves mate for life because both parents are required to successfully fledge squabs. The killing of one parent is known to cause unnecessary suffering of dependent young who will die in the nest of starvation.

There is an unacceptably high wounding rate for dove hunting. Scientific research studies confirm an average wounding rate of 30 percent in hunted areas - meaning that nearly one in three birds is wounded and not retrieved after being shot. In Michigan, where there is no tradition of dove hunting and where few Michigan hunters have had the experience of shooting at doves, we can expect an even higher wounding rate. If shooters kill 300,000 mourning doves a year, we can expect they will wound and fail to retrieve nearly 100,000 others.

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