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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: When is dove season?

By Neil Warren

Do you remember some years ago when two little mourning doves invaded our tranquility? We knew not where they came from or why they decided to make Price their new home. We were just excited to have them here. They were cute, unique, we had never seen them before and when we heard that they mated for life…we fell in love with them. We were forever asking, “Did you see the doves today?” It was quite a thrill to see them fly by together. We kind of adopted them and protected them. One day they were on the roadway in front of me; I slowed down, honked my horn and they flew off.
We enjoyed the infrequent sightings of the doves all summer. When fall came we didn’t know if the doves would stay in Price and suffer the cold winter with us or migrate south for warmer weather as many of us would like to do.
Anyway, in the spring there they were, although they were not alone. Either they had their offspring with them or they invited some friends to share their good fortune in Price. I remember thinking, “Well, the more the merrier.” But during the summer months the dove population seemed to double! That meant more chatter back and forth among them. The sounds they made were not exactly coos, they seemed to me to be more like cries. And the pattern of the cries varied and usually quite loud. You could almost add words to their cries.
The next year the dove population more than tripled. You’d think they were part rabbit. And with the increased numbers came increased chatter. They all wanted to chatter at the same time. Made me wish we could teach them to “text” each other – And Early! They ought to spell their name morning dove instead of mourning dove. Chanticleer is still sleeping when the doves start their cries. Until now I always wondered who woke the roosters. They wake more than the roosters. They make an inexpensive alarm clock for those who want or need to get up early, but for the rest of us…!
We have so many doves in Price now that I’m surprised that we are not called “dove town.” If you have a tree, you have a roomer. If you have a big tree, you have an apartment house. It is no longer the two cute little doves we loved, but an army of doves that is growing incrementally and incredulously. I used to see a few doves fly over my backyard with their whistling sound; now they fly by in squadrons. Incidentally, they can fly up to fifty miles an hour.
The dove family is prodigious. Each pair of doves will usually raise two offspring at a time, but they can do that up to six times a year. Doves outnumber most other species of birds. There are millions and millions of doves in the United States and many more millions worldwide. How do communities and states deal with the problems of dove infestation? They hunt! Doves are good to eat. Hunting can reduce the dove excess. So I repeat: WHEN IS DOVE SEASON?!!!
Neil Warren

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