ISSUE: Opponents of mourning dove hunting charge that this species is not edible and or not a viable source of food due to its size.
This article demonstrates that mourning doves, as a food source, compare favorably with other sources of protein obtained in retail markets and by sport fishing; in the contexts of practicality, nutrition, conservation policy, and environmental wellbeing.
1.It is common knowledge that over one million Americans hunt mourning doves and consume them as food. They are considered by hunters to be exceptionally good table fare.
2.According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, there are around 700,000 published recipes for cooking doves.
3.Because approval of hunting by non-hunters is highly influenced by the use of game for food, anti-hunters want to cast doubt on whether or not hunters eat harvested game.
a)Anti-hunters also want to cast doubt about the suitability of certain species as food to dissuade the growing locavore movement.
b)Anti-hunters also want to cast doubt about the suitability of certain species as game as well as food to dissuade members of the existing hunting community.
c)For example; one animal rights organization claims that doves are “bitter tasting and require heavy marinades to mask the bitter taste.” Although some persons may prefer marinades, this statement is patently false.
d)Another example is a statement by another animal rights organization indicating that “crows taste like wild duck”, which is also untrue.
Shrimp on Grill
Shrimp on grill
Dove on grill
Dove on grill
4. Detractors also state that doves are “not worth the effort”, “too much work,” and similar claims.
a)The quantity of meat yielded from one dove is comparable to many types of highly valued table fish, shellfish, and crustaceans.
b)The quality of meat obtained from dove is comparable to many types of prized table fish, shellfish, and crustaceans.
c)No domestic or game species is nearly as easy to process as the mourning dove.
How many doves breasts does it take to make a meal? Answer: 1 or 2
5. Detractors claim that dove hunting is not selective and non-target species will be shot.
a)The effective range of a shotgun, the type of firearm which is used for dove hunting, is forty yards. This is approximately the distance of two tractor trailers.
b)Mourning doves generally are not shot unless flying. Mourning doves make a distinct whistling noise in flight. In addition, there are several other identification cues to distinguish mourning doves from other species.
c) Violations involving protected species while dove hunting are sensationalized by the media and anti-hunting organizations thereby creating a distorted perception about dove hunting "bycatch."
d) Commercial fish harvest often results in considerable bycatch and some methods impact aquatic vegetation thereby reducing habitat and food.
This article addresses the stated Issue and the background elements. It is of interest to policy makers, people concerned about the food they are eating, those interested in sustainability and conservation, and hunters. We encourage you to read the complete article.
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