Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Capital Times :: LOCAL/STATE :: 2A
Saturday, August 16, 2003
By JR Ross Associated Press
The Supreme Court rejected a request Friday to delay the start of Wisconsin's first-ever mourning dove hunt while it reviews a larger question over whether officials have the authority to establish a hunt for the state's symbol of peace.
Wisconsin Citizens Concerned for Cranes and Doves successfully sued to stop the mourning dove hunt in 2001. But an appeals court overturned that ruling earlier this year, clearing the way for the hunt to begin Sept. 1. The group appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which accepted the case this summer.

Pat Fisher, co-founder of the citizens' group, said she didn't understand why the court would allow a hunt before it decided whether it was legal first. The group was formed to oppose the hunting of mourning doves and sandhill cranes

"This isn't over yet," she said. "I just feel bad they're going to shoot doves before they decide the legal questions."

Keith Warnke, wildlife ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources, said the agency has been preparing for the hunt since the March appeals court decision.

"We were working under the assumption this was going to go on after the appeals court decision," he said.

Dane County Judge Daniel Moeser stopped the hunt two years ago when he sided with the citizens' group in its lawsuit. He ruled the definition of "game" in state statutes that give the DNR authority to establish hunting seasons is ambiguous, and there was evidence the Legislature did not intend for mourning doves to be considered game birds.

But the 4th District Court of Appeals reversed that decision in March and lifted the injunction. The court ruled that although state statutes do not specifically list the mourning dove among the game birds that can be hunted in Wisconsin, the DNR still has the authority to establish a hunt for them.

The DNR has since been preparing for a 60-day hunt to begin Sept. 1.

The DNR expects some 20,000 to 30,000 hunters for the inaugural hunt and will limit each to 15 birds a day. Warnke said the hunt is not expected to threaten the state's population.

The mourning dove, known for its soft cooing call, is a common visitor at backyard feeders.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates 4 million to 5 million mourning doves migrate from Wisconsin each fall and are considered one of the most abundant birds in North America.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.