FAIRFAX, VA--With overwhelming support from the legislature and the people of Minnesota, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed legislation establishing a dove hunting season for the first time since 1946. A similar bill (HB 5029) to bring dove hunting to Michigan awaits action from Governor Granholm.
"Mourning dove are America`s most popular and abundant game bird. Michigan sportsmen should have the same opportunity as people in Minnesota and 39 other states to participate in one of America`s oldest and cherished pastimes this fall," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "On behalf of tens of thousands of Michigan members, hunters and sportsmen, NRA urges Governor Granholm to follow Minnesota`s lead in establishing a dove hunting season."
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization representing the sporting goods industry, forecasts a $115 million addition to Minnesota`s economy with the establishment of a dove hunting season. One Minnesota sporting goods store alone predicts a $1 million boost in sales with a dove season. Similar benefits are predicted for Michigan`s economy if this legislation is signed into law.
"Bringing a dove season to Michigan does more than provide new hunting opportunities--it will boost the economy by expanding tourism, increasing spending and creating jobs across the state," added Cox. "Signing this law will benefit all Michiganders, not just those who participate in the shooting sports."
In an historic bi-partisan vote in March, the Michigan Senate passed HB 5029 with a 22 to 15 vote. In November, the Michigan House of Representatives voted 64 to 44 in favor of establishing the first dove hunting season in state history.
The National Rifle Association is the nation`s leader in protecting the right to hunt for all law-abiding Americans. Along with approximately 17 million American hunters and many national conservation organizations, NRA is working to preserve the American hunting tradition for future generations. Hunters and sportsmen play a pivotal role in America`s economy and society, and have been leaders in promoting wildlife management and conservation. Since 1939, hunters and shooters have paid over $4 billion in excise taxes on sporting equipment. Hunters and fishermen fund nearly 75% of the annual income for all 50 state conservation agencies. And, hunters contribute $21 billion to the American economy each year.