On September 1, Minnesota’s first mourning dove hunting season in 58 years opened. The state banned dove hunting in 1946, but a law passed in May of this year made Minnesota the 40th state to create a mourning dove season.
The Associated Press reported that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects 30,000-50,000 hunters to participate in the 60-day mourning dove season. There are an estimated 10-12 million mourning doves in Minnesota.
Rep. Joe Hoppe (R) introduced the Minnesota House version of the bill authorizing the hunt and also turned up on opening day with shotgun in hand to participate in the hunt. Hoppe told the Associated Press,
If hunting hurts the dove population, the DNR certainly will step in and do something about it, and I’ll be the first one to say we shouldn’t hunt doves if that happens.
Animal rights activist Linda Hatfield, however, told the Associated Press that there was no need for a mourning dove season,
There’s no need for it. It’s strictly a target bird. No one claims they need to control mourning doves.
Hatfield’s group, the Animal Rights Coalition, held a vigil the evening before the start of the seasons “to show your opposition to this needless bloodshed and to memorialize the innocent birds who will die this year in Minnesota’s first Mourning Dove hunting season in 56 years.”
Minnesota opens first mourning dove season in 58 years. Associated Press, September 2, 2004.
Mourning For Mourning Doves Vigil. Animal Rights Coalition, August 2004.
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