Songbird Protection Coalition
The "Economic Value" of Doves
Hunting doves is very inexpensive and does not contribute to the economy or tourism, as some might lead you to believe. Even the MUCC confirms "the inexpensive nature of the sport, since the birds are found almost everywhere in these states, hunters needn't travel far." Furthermore, doves are generally used as "warm up practice" for other seasons covered under the same "blanket" license of small game, so an additional license purchase is not required and the DNR analysis states "it is not expected that a mourning dove hunting season will result in additional sales of small game licenses."
However, the mourning dove does have great measurable economic value as a live songbird. It is scientifically proven to be the second most popular bird reported at feeders (Barker and Tessaglia-Hymes 1999), and according to one of the oldest and most comprehensive surveys available, bird watchers outnumber and outspendALL forms of hunting combined (2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, USFWS).
In Michigan, the mourning dove has been a protected non-game songbird since 1905 - longer than any other state in the union. Michigan citizens - through contribution and donation - have long supported and enjoyed the dove's traditional status through:
The multi-billion dollar bird watching and feeding industry. With an economic 'ripple effect' which creates jobs, employment income, and state and federal income tax.
Michigan's Non-Game Wildlife and Habitat Trust Fund: voluntary donations and contributions, including the non-game license plate and the retired non-game income tax form check off.
Michigan's Natural Resources Trust Fund: revenue dollars from oil and gas royalties which belong to all Michigan citizens.
USFWS Conservation Fund: General Fund dollars used to match Pittman-Robertson Act dollars. Reportedly, only about one-quarter of the gun and ammunition sales are for hunting related activities. The non-hunting public, through Federal P-R excise tax (on firearms, handguns, ammunition, and equipment sales not related to hunting) and General Fund matching dollars, actually subsidize the privileges of ALL hunters and hunting management and development in the United States. The state department operation costs...the real costs of the DNR and NRC: buildings, vehicles, lands, and the operational and maintenance costs associated with those holdings...employee salaries, benefits, retirement, etc...
The voters request that our right to the mourning dove to remain a protected songbird in Michigan, be respected and upheld - we pay for our songbirds...and much more!
2011 Michigan Outdoor Recreation Survey
Professional Economic Analysis of Mourning Dove Hunting in Michigan