Songbird Protection Coalition
30 Percent Crippled Wounded Loss Rate
As reported by Haas (1977) and others, the 'crippling loss rate' of about 30 percent (average) is considered standard and referenced by biologists and referred to in Ecology and Management of the Mourning Dove, a wildlife institute manual. Wildlife Management Institute, Washington D.C., Library of Congress.
Several well-respected research studies conducted in the late 1970s determined that the number of doves shot but not retrieved was high (more than 20%). For example, Haas (1977) reported that hunters failed to retrieve up to half of the doves they shot. His study further noted that dove hunters who hunted in groups, fired 8.6 shots per retrieved dove, and engaged in a substantial number of illegal activities. Haas also noted, "While I collected unretreived loss data, I examined the premise that all flying cripples die. In 1974 and 1975 I walked with a dog to 12 flying cripples from 1 to 2 hours after they were shot. Five of these flying cripples were dead, 4 flew away, and I could not find 3. My sample was small, but the data show that not all flying cripples die within 2 hours."
Because toxic lead shot is used to hunt doves, raptorial birds (including falcons, hawks, eagles, and owls) and other wildlife (scavengers and carnivorous mammals) who eat downed doves, whose tissues are embedded with shot, die as a result of secondary poisoning. Ingestion of spent lead shot is recognized as a significant problem due to the harmful toxic effects and high mortality rate among victims.
The average cripple loss data (unretrieved and wounded) is about 30 percent.
See consistent scientific research from Wisconsin's first hunt here. Also see the study on the Crippling Loss Rate with Non-Toxic Shot.
Source, including but not limited to: Haas, G.H. 1977. Unretrieved shooting loss of Mourning Doves in North-central South Carolina. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 5(3):123-125.