Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Mourning

Dove hunting started September 1st in Iowa. For the first time in 93 years it is now legal to kill mourning doves in the state. The Des Moines Register had a huge article the very next day glorifying a group of hunters who bagged dozens of birds yesterday. And not surprisingly, I couldn’t be more pissed.

Now I’m not a hunter as you all know. Hell, I don’t even eat meat much less go out to kill the creatures that provide it. I don’t know the emotions that come with hunting. But dove hunting is particularly loathsome to me. Mourning doves have some of the most beautiful calls of any bird in our area. Their soft coos and owl-like calls are a constant in my neighborhood. Since I feed the birds I get to listen to the beautiful whistling their wings make when they take off. They are surprisingly pretty birds. But that’s not what really makes dove hunting unsportsmanlike to me.

The reason I’m pissed is that doves are relatively easy pickings. Doves tend to be the last to leave an area after all other birds are startled. They cannot silence their wing whistles so they are easy to track as they fly away. I will admit that they aren’t the brightest birds on the block (if hunters really wanted a challenge they should gun for crows). They can be downright stupid sometimes. Instead they are beautiful gentle birds who are going to see their population drop very significantly in the next couple years. Like the passenger pigeon (which was exterminated in less than 50 years) the dove I think will start to see a serious decline. And I’m saddened that I won’t be hearing their calls or their wing whistles. Like most times when humans and creatures mix, the creatures have lost. And very few are mourning them.


Laughing Disaster said...

Very sad stuff. It saddens me to hear of such things. They sound like mythical creatures and quite magical.

Cat B said...

I agree completely Laughing Disaster. They are beautiful birds with a beautiful sound. I hate to see anything hunted but these are magical.