- - Tuesday, July 4, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) just voted in favor of a proposal to open a shooting season on mourning doves in our state (“Michigan hunters take aim at sandhill cranes, mourning doves,” Web, July 1). Mourning doves have been protected in Michigan for over a century. There is no reason to shoot them. They have very little meat on them, and they have no overpopulation issue. The only reason to shoot them is target practice. Mourning doves are hard-to-hit targets, so there is a high (30 percent) wounding rate. Doves do not need to be “managed” by a shooting season since they have a natural mortality rate of 50 or 60 percent.

Mourning doves are beneficial for farmers, since they eat weed seeds. In 2006, Michigan voters overwhelmingly voted against shooting Michigan’s bird of peace, yet MUCC decided to ignore the will of the voters. MUCC also voted in favor of killing sandhill cranes even though they are a recovering species.

There are over 115 species in Michigan hunters can shoot. MUCC needs to leave the mourning doves and sandhill cranes alone.

WILLIAM MCMULLIN

Royal Oak, Mich.

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