House passes dove hunting resolution

spectr17

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Mourning Doves Have a Lot to Be Sorry About

March 06, 2002

Fox News
   
WASHINGTON — They don't call them mourning doves for nothing. The migratory birds that lose 40 million of their ranks each year to the hunter’s bullet may be in for further losses if Congress can convince the Bush administration to expand the hunting season another week.

Pressed into action by hunters in 35 states, the House passed a resolution Wednesday urging President Bush to open hunting season on mourning doves a week earlier than its current Sept. 1 date, arguing that the birds have already flown south by time hunters can take aim.

“All hunters should have an equitable chance to harvest this tasty but apparently thin-skinned little bird,” said Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah. “This is a commonsense solution to a problem that has frustrated northern hunters for years.”

The resolution directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to renegotiate the 1916 Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia for the extra week.

That is no small feat, according to Bob Blohm, head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service division for migratory birds.

Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes no position on expanding the resolution, Blohm said the agency needs to study the impact of a longer hunting season on the bird population.

Blohm said 400 million mourning doves — named for their mourning cooing during the spring and summer seasons — live in the United States today, but their numbers have rapidly declined since the 1960s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 



Hogskin

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Great article, Jesse, thanks.  I've been saying for years that they should open the season August 1 before the storms can scatter them all down to Mexico (where there's no limit and they shoot them by the hundreds).   I hope it happens.

Regards,
Paul
 

songdog

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Now it will just start raining August 23rd instead of August 31st :wink-yellow:

Seriously, this would make for a lot better hunting and maybe spread the crowds out a little bit since it won't always be on Labor Day weekend.
 

limit7

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Boy would that mess up Blythe and Yuma.  Things that make sense rarely happen.  Like California duck hunting should be from Nov 1 to Mid Feb.  Southern Ca duck hunting is a waste of time after opening until mid Nov.
 

QALHNTR

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<font face="Comic Sans MS">If it passes, you know the once-a-year hunters wouldn't find out right away.  Maybe the opener would be a safe place? - NAH!</font>
 

foulshot

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<font face="Book Antiqua">I think the only safe place on opener will be in my backyard with the bbgun.  It would be great to see the dates moved up though, will they do this with waterfowl?</font>
 

rlwright

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I wouldn't care if it passed, but I don't think its a good idea for the south. My reason is that most of the birds that make up my limit on the CRIT reservation at least are juvenile birds. Some are even so young they don't have a full head of feathers or full tail feathers yet. Also with the increased population of dove hunters on the reservation there would be more quail poached, which is something that goes on every year, now it would be earlier. But it's only one week, so either way.....
 

JustBob

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Why the heck would we have to renegotiate a treaty with Russia and Japan?
Mexico doesnt care about any treaty.
Dont know if there are many dove in Canada are there?
Seems like a waste of time negotiating for an extra week even though I am for it.
 

Pasco

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That article says 35 states have pushed for this, looks to me like this will make for more dead birds in Washington and Oregon and fewer birds in California by Sept 1.  I would bet that if this change were made, California would not be affected as we are mostly a southern state and already get more than our 'fair' share.  Do you think they would stagger openers for the northern states?  Thank goodness we have such a pro-hunting bunch of legislators back in DC fighting for us.:raise-eyebrow:
 

Hogskin

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Any idea on how long this will take to go into effect?

Regards,
Paul
 

EL CAZADOR

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Here is the text of the resolution . . .


CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Whereas the vast majority of mourning doves that hatch, fledge, and nest in States north of 37 degrees north latitude migrate south beyond the boundaries of those States before the national hunting season opening date of September 1, thus denying hunters in those States an equitable opportunity to harvest this species;

Whereas mourning doves are the most widely distributed and harvested game birds in North America;

Whereas current regulated hunting for mourning doves has been conclusively found to cause no significant effects on recruitment of fledglings in mourning dove populations;

Whereas sportsmen have a strong commitment to the health, conservation, and enjoyment of wildlife, as demonstrated by the millions of dollars they have voluntarily paid over the past 70 years into the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund established by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669 et seq.);

Whereas mourning dove hunting has been a cherished and honored tradition in the United States for generations;

Whereas migratory bird hunters provide millions of dollars to wildlife conservation and local economies; and

Whereas millions of hunters in States north of 37 degrees north latitude are currently unable to experience hunting conditions similar to conditions in other regions of the country with respect to game availability because of the current unfair hunting season restrictions: Now, therefore, be it


Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, to provide a fair and equitable opportunity for individuals to hunt for mourning doves--

(1) the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 should be modified to allow for mourning dove hunting during the last week of August in areas north of 37 degrees north latitude, as approved by the parties to the appropriate international agreement;

(2) such an extended hunting season will--

(A) improve hunting opportunities in the United States without causing negative impacts on mourning dove populations;

(B) through the sale of hunting permits, generate additional revenue that may be used for the better management and conservation of mourning doves and other wildlife species; and

© continue to provide for the conservation and enhancement of mourning dove populations;

(3) the United States should take immediate steps to begin discussions with the appropriate parties to ensure that all Americans have an opportunity to harvest migratory mourning doves in an equitable manner; and

(4) hunters in all States located north of 37 degrees north latitude and the wildlife management agencies of those States should support an earlier opening date for the mourning dove hunting season.
Passed the House of Representatives March 6, 2002.

Attest:

Clerk
 

Pasco

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If I remember my geography correctly, I believe SF is about 37 degrees N.
That reads like an early northern CA opener, huh?
 

EL CAZADOR

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Here is a comment made by Underwood (D-Guam)


. . . Nevertheless, if a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I think it is worth repeating that even if this legislation were to pass, several important issues would have to be addressed nationally and internationally before the intent of the resolution becomes reality.  Amending the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the underlying Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds would not be routine.  In fact, no one should underestimate the potential difficulties.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the underlying Convention agreed to by the United States and Great Britain in 1916 are two of our Nation’s earliest and most enduring conservation agreements; and, as I have noted in previous discussion, the Convention and MBTA has been amended only once since 1916, and that change was to allow for the subsistence taking of birds and eggs in Alaska and northern Canada.  Additionally, that amendment was agreed to only after 20 years of negotiation.

Opening the Migratory Bird Convention on the MBTA amendment for amendment for a single species would require the administration, the States, and our international partners to investigate the status of the entire continental mourning doves population.  No one disputes that the population of mourning doves remains abundant across its range, and for many people, including hunters, that is indeed good news, because the bird is a species favored by sportsmen and women.
 


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