Governor hopefuls would veto any attempt to repeal dove huntingWORTHINGTON — Saturday was a really great day or a really bad one depending on your stance on the issue of dove hunting.
By: Scott Rall, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Saturday was a really great day or a really bad one depending on your stance on the issue of dove hunting.
As I mentioned last week, there was a public forum at Game Fair with several members of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. I was very disappointed that after a four-hour drive one way that only 15 people decided to take an hour of their time to get this important update and take the opportunity to ask questions.
Outdoors enthusiasts are some of the most apathetic folks around. This is getting a little better, but more input and pressure is needed by the end users to ensure that outdoor issues get the attention that they deserve.
After the forum they had all of the candidates that think they want to be the next governor of the state come forward to participate in a question and answer session with the general public. There were seven or eight potentials in attendance and a few others were represented by a substitute for those not able to attend.
It is amazing how in an upcoming election that every candidate becomes a hunter, fisherman and outdoor champion. Never before have I seen so many politicians want to claim that they have hunted and fished their entire lives.
Ron Shara was the moderator and he asked some questions about who voted for the Outdoor Heritage Funding constitutional amendment and who didn’t. Most indicated that they voted for the passage of the amendment and that they supported the Outdoor Heritage Council and its citizen members.
Several stood up in front of this hunting and fishing crowd and ridiculed the amendment, the council and the entire process. This was not winning them any favor. They cited the fact that the only ones qualified to spend the taxpayer’s money was themselves (politicians) and that citizens should stay out of the process.
I was quite amazed that these candidates had forgotten that they work for us and that we don’t pay taxes for their absolute power and discretion. The constitutional amendment came to pass as result of the general public’s dissatisfactions in the way that they were managing and funding the state’s water and wildlife resources. If there had not been glaring issues, the voters would not have needed to go around the legislature to mandate that they be funded by a constitutional amendment.
The one question that was asked was, “If there was a bill that passed in Minnesota that would repeal dove hunting would they sign it or veto it?”
All of the respondents replied unanimously that dove hunting in Minnesota is part of our hunting heritage and that there has been very little conflict since the season was started about five years ago. Every single governor candidate wanted to be firmly on the record that they would veto any effort to repeal dove hunting in Minnesota.
These are a few of the same politicians who worked exhaustively to keep dove hunting out of Minnesota.
I will have to wait and see if the time ever comes that a veto would be required, if the campaigning politician will act and behave the same as the elected one. I thought that there was very little chance that dove hunting would be repealed, but it is nice to know that if this effort gains any momentum that the next governor will kill it in very quick order.
Dove hunting begins at one half hour before sunrise to sunset and starts on Sept. 1. I will be seated next to my dove decoys with lots of shells and a very excited dog anticipating the first shots of the season. I will no doubt have a youth by my side and take that opportunity to introduce another youngster to the pleasures of the outdoors and Minnesota’s hunting heritage. Dove hunting will always be a controversial issue in the minds of many, but when the facts are in the open dove hunting is no different than any other hunting pursuit.
Doves are the most popular game bird in North America, their populations are vast and not in decline, and no matter what anyone tells you, they are very tasty when prepared right. Grab a box of 7 1/2 shot, a small game license and a kid and participate in one of the most popular opening day traditions know to the outdoor world.
Minnesota can now do what other states have done for decades, add to the local economies of small rural towns and enjoy the thrill of a day in the field with family and friends hunting the nation’s most popular game bird.
It also looks like this recent addition to the hunting opportunities in Minnesota will get to last a very long time.
Additional note: The Nobles County Pheasants Forever Chapter is still looking for willing landowners who might consider letting them host the 2nd annual DNR/Pheasants Forever Youth Hunt on their property. If you might like more information on this great kids outing give me a call at 507-372-2971.