Animal rights activists — funded by $100,000 from the Humane Society of the United States’ lobbying arm the HSUS Fund for Animals — apparently managed to collect more than enough signatures to place a measure to overturn Michigan’s recently approved dove hunt on the 2006 ballot.
In 2004, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation making Michigan the 41st state to allow hunting of mourning doves. The first hunt was held in September 2004. The initial hunt was limited to just six counties, to be expanded after at least three years if studies of the hunt prove to be consistent with good wildlife management policies.
HSUS canvassers needed to collect 159,000 signatures from Michigan residents to place the issue on the 2006 ballot, but collected about 275,000 according to the HSUS.
The HSUS’s Michael Markarian said in a press release,
The dove hunters brought this fight to Michigan after the state’s gentle and inoffensive mourning doves were protected here for several generations. The overwhelming statewide support for the petition drive shows that mainstream Michiganders want to restore the century-old ban on shooting doves. They don’t want the state’s official bird of peace blasted into pieces.
Remember, this comes from a group that claims it does not oppose hunting — apparently it just opposes the killing of animals by hunters!
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance president Bud Pidegon said in a press release,
National animal rights groups have invaded Michigan to spread their anti-hunting, anti-animal use agenda while attacking generations of sportsmen. They want to ban all hunting.
This should set up a very interesting showdown in a state where rural hunters are an important political bloc.
More Than 275,000 Signatures Collected to Allow Vote on Restoring Michigan’s Century-Old Dove Shooting Ban. Press Release, Humane Society of the United States, March 28, 2005.