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Letter: No need to hunt doves

Scott Rall notes that critics of shooting doves complain that doves are used for mere target practice, yet still fails to see why killing these inoffensive birds is controversial ("Dove season marks the beginning of the fall hunting season," Aug. 29).

Minnesota had a tradition of protecting the bird of peace until the state legislature decided to overturn the ban, despite public opposition. The legislature polled the public, finding that voters opposed shooting doves by a three-to-one margin, but chose to ignore the will of the people.

Studies consistently reveal that nearly one in three birds is wounded and simply left to die. Being so small, and at their lightest weight during the shooting season, many hunters don't bother eating them.

There is no reason to kill a dove. They are not overpopulated, and they do not damage crops or property. With 110 other game species for hunters to shoot in the state, Minnesota hardly needed to add this gentle songbird to the list.