Sometimes I focus way too much on the things I don't have instead of enjoying the things I do. The Syracuse Post-Standard reported this week that a bill was introduced in the New York State Senate that would re-classify dove as "migratory game birds" from their current classification as songbirds, opening the door for the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement a full-fledged dove season. I don't know why but I just kinda thought that the only places lacking a dove season were places lacking doves. It's as much of a given down here as fried food and embarrassing local headlines that make national news.
I don't know whether there's a powerful songbird lobby in the Empire State or whether change is just glacially slow in such a "progressive" place. Either way it seems strange that grouse, pheasant and even bobwhite quail are fair game during the season and dove get a free pass on their way south. Hell, California has a mourning dove season, for crying out loud.
Part of the problem may be that almost half of the population lives on a strip of land 13 miles long and 2 miles wide, a place where shotguns are are either offensive or defensive weaponry and millet fields are, umm, completely nonexistent. The other part of the problem, whatever it is, evades me. Dove hunting is one of fall's finest diversions and there's no practical reason to deprive any sportsman of its rewards. In both solitary and social forms, it is bargain recreation for any who enjoy a gun, a dog, fresh air or any combination of these. And it's an excellent way to get a kid off the couch and hooked on something good.
New York doesn't just deserve a dove season, they need one.