Response to Ontario’s Dove Hunting Season

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Dr. Scott Petrie response to Charles Cecile concerns regarding Ontario’s Dove Hunting Season


As a media recipient of Dr Scott Petrie email about Dove hunting I felt this topic important.

Please contact either person if you have concerns,

BUT please  respect their views  and stay on topic


Subject: RE: Mourning Dove Hunt
From: “Scott Petrie” <>
Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 11:31 pm
To: “Charles Cecile” <>

From: Charles Cecile <>
Date: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM
Subject: [Ontbirds] Ontario Doves
To: birdalert@ontbirds.caHi Birders,The Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment Canada) has changed its Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations to allow the hunting of Mourning Doves in central and southern Ontario starting this fall.  This is an area of Ontario that hosts many breeding and migrating bird species.My understanding is that the hunt is mainly for target practice and sport for hunters.  But how many other bird species will be shot by frustrated or ignorant hunters?

Shame on Scott Petrie (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Long Point Waterfowl) for pushing to get this hunt approved.  He is reported to have said that “the dove hunt will be great for young hunters. “Because we have so many (doves), it’s a good opportunity for them to get out and shoot and practise their skills.”

( You can respond to about the above article )

Apparently, Birds Studies Canada (Port Rowan) hasn’t taken an official position on the hunt.

If you care about this issue, let your opinions be known to those who make these decisions!  Write to: Jack Hughes, manager of population conservation with Canadian Wildlife Service Ontario, Environment Canada.

Charles Cecile

From Dr. Scott Pertrie

Mr. Cecile,
It has come to my attention that you have a limited understanding of the Ontario Mourning Dove hunt and the importance of hunting in general. I have attached several documents that you should read prior to making public statements about any form of hunting or about my contributions to our hunting heritage.
There are two possible scenarios here, 1/ you will ignore my suggestion to read these document and will continue your ill-informed and counterproductive ways/announcements, or 2/ you will read these attachments, thereby becoming informed about the importance of hunting and the potential for birders and hunters to team-up for conservation, following which you will send a retraction to Ontbirds and an apology to me.
For all involved, I sure hope you make the right choice!
Dr. Scott Petrie
Mr. Cecile,
I generally try to avoid discussions with people that make illogical and ill-informed statements. However, as you opted to make your absurdities public (which you were chastised for), I will respond. See my responses (in bold) to your comments in red below:
Dr. Petrie,  
First let me say that I was very disappointed to read about the Mourning Dove hunt that is taking place in here in Ontario.  Mourning Doves are small birds compared to game species such as waterfowl and as such would provide little meat to eat. 
Totally illogical as humans eat many small birds, animals and invertebrates, e.g., woodcock, sardines, mussels, frogs legs, etc. What matters is that doves are the most abundant game bird in North America and they are delicious.
However, what really worries me is that many other species of birds may be shot as less knowledgeable hunters see very fast flying birds going by.  I can think of many songbirds and accipiters that may sit on hydro wires and fly quickly by.
It is illegal to shoot from roadways making most hydro wires off limits to hunters. Also, hunters are taught not to shoot birds from wires and we prefer the added difficulty of shooting birds on the wing. 
Doves are harvested in 40 states and one other province. Surely if incidental harvest of non-game species was an issue then it would have been reported/studied. Please direct me to the reports/studies upon which you base this concern.
I don’t want to get into a discussion about the values and ethics of hunting with you.  I think that we can agree to disagree on that.
Of course you don’t want to get into this discussion with me!! One of the inconvenient truths is that hunters are MUCH more philanthropic when it comes to contributing to conservation. In fact, hunters give 12 dollars for every dollar that non-hunters do. As predicted, you didn’t read the reports that I sent you!
But I am concerned about the process that led to Environment Canada’s changing the hunting regulations. 
That’s because you know little or nothing about the process and you failed to even realize that there was a consultation period.
I have yet to speak to or hear from any birder in Ontario who knew about the Mourning Dove hunt prior to the article on the hunt that appeared in the K-W Record newspaper back in late August.  I contacted Ontario Nature who informed me that they didn’t know about the hunt until very recently.  And apparently, Nature Canada also didn’t know about the changes in the hunting regulations.  These are organizations with thousands of members.
I have spoken with many birders that were aware about the consultation process. Based on the fact that CWS extended the consultation period from 1 year to 2, any person or organization that was not informed can only blame themselves.    
I feel that Environment Canada’s and Canadian Wildlife Services’ consultation process was too limited and that more extensive consultation should have occurred with the birding community.
See above – I suggest that if you want to comment on regulatory changes then you should access the reports that are in the public domain and are widely disseminated, including to a number of animal rights groups.  
I’ve noted the CWS document you sent on how population estimates and dynamics of Mourning Doves were arrived at.  However, I didn’t see a study or assessment of what impacts the hunt would have on other bird species.  Did CWS carry out any such studies?
No, and why should they? If you feel that they should conduct such studies then provide them with the evidence (scientific or even anecdotal) that the US dove hunts impact other species.
If you feel that my comments with respect to you were offensive, then I am sorry.  I was referring to your comments that were reported in the Record article.  If you were misquoted in the Record article, please let me know.  I do feel that Ontario residents should have been better informed of the proposed changes to the Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations prior to a decision being made.
I wasn’t misquoted in the article – there are many ecological, economic and social benefits associated with a Mourning Dove season in ON and your comments have done absolutely nothing to change my mind! I ask that you stop using your ill-informed anti-hunting sentiments to drive a wedge between birders and hunters!
Charles Cecile

Again any feedback or concerns please keep it respectful and on topic

About Peter Wood 1194 Articles
As an avid lifelong angler and hunter, Peter’s outdoor knowledge and experiences keep expanding through his hundreds of hours of hunting and fishing podcast interviews with like minded experts. He has received numerous national writing awards. With thousands of outdoor pictures on Ripple Outdoors and many full-length articles with outdoor magazine and video clips you might say that he not only enjoys his outdoor lifestyle, but he’s quite the fanatic! In 2015 he earned fifth overall on the King of the Wood Contest hosted by Canada In The Rough team, pretty good for a baby boomer deer hunter. His buck was also one of the top bucks taken that season. Through Peter’s deer hunting seminars or by attending outdoor trade shows, like the Toronto Sportsmen Show and The SWOC Big Buck Show, he has connected with thousands of like minded people that love hunting and fishing. As a volunteer or member of local and national outdoor groups like QDMA, SWOC, Outdoor Writers of Canada, Archery Trade Show Association he continues to learn and hone his craft. Read his many articles, listen to his podcasts and rifle through thousands of photos on Ripple Outdoors. Discover Peter’s latest posts about outdoor gear, destinations, how to articles and interviews and you’ll be a better angler and hunter for the experience.