Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On the wings of a cold, dead dove ...

Course I'd never say I told ya so, but the Iowa Senate on Tuesday authorized 30-18 a mourning dove hunting season; the House now will pass it, too; and what currently passes for a governor has said he'll sign it.

So Iowa will become the 40th state where these little birds can be used for target practice. Although a few proponents say they'll actually dress, cook and eat the doves they kill, most freely admit target practice is what it's all about --- the thrill of the kill. There's hardly enough meat on a dove to eat, especially when it's full of shot.

Like I've said before, I have no particular problem with hunters --- who stalk game with the goal of putting it on the table. Those of us who do our hunting in front of meat case at HyVee have little cause to be uppity on this score. But killing just to kill is another matter.

Can't blame the Republicans for this one either, darn it. Most of 'em still are works of the devil, but this was a bipartisan effort.

It's been illegal to hunt doves in Iowa since 1918, although a bill authorizing it passed both houses in 2001. Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, vetoed it that time.

Now we can kill the suckers --- now that's a mighty legislative achievement.


Ken said...

Oddly enough, one of my earliest memories is wondering why anyone would want to shoot a dove -- the symbol of peace and one of the stars of the Noah story. I guess I eventually stopped wondering (never having been a hunter myself), but your observation makes as much sense as anything. People will do some funny things for a thrill.

Charles M. Wright said...

In an e-mail to my State Senator Jack Whitver Monday morning urging him to vote no on Senate File 464, I called to his attention a 2009 statewide poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. which revealed that 53% of Iowans oppose dove hunting while only 27% support it and that the poll shows that a majority in every demographic group and party affiliation oppose dove hunting. His reply? "As this bill comes up for debate, I will be sure to keep your strong opposition to a hunting season in mind." Before I could respond "not just my strong opposition, senator -- the opposition of a majority of Iowans!" -- he voted yes, and The Des Moines Register reported "the long-disputed issue [was] OK'd in a blink."

It was particularly painful to this Russell boy to read that "Rep. Richard Arnold, R-Russell, introduced a dove-hunting amendment Tuesday to a raccoon-hunting bill in the House, allowing the dove-hunting issue to skirt the House committee process and be debated today."

Sadly, there's reason to call them mourning doves now.

Charles M. Wright said...

Let's see if I got this right: Iowa's Supreme Court Justices are expected to make decisions based on how the majority of Iowans feel about an issue before the court. Legislators may ignore the will of the majority.

Funny, I can't remember being taught that.