Michigan

Songbird Protection Coalition

‚ÄčSenator Harry Gast [Retired]

"These aren't hunters.  These are something less than that. I don't think it's a mark of a true outdoorsman to shoot doves." -- Senator Harry Gast

Life-long farmer and avid hunter
Michigan State University grad in forestry
State Senator [Retired], District 20, St Joseph, Southwest Michigan
30+ years of public service in the State legislature
Strong voting record on hunting and gun rights issues
Former Senate budget chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee
Member of the Michigan Farm Bureau
Member of the Michigan United Conservation Club
Member of the National Riffle Association

Awards, honors and recognitions:

Conservationist of the Year Award, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, 1989
Meritorious Service Award, Michigan Association of Agriculture, 1993
Associate Farmer of the Year, Michigan Vegetable Council, 1994
Legislator of the Year Award, Michigan Agricultural Conference 1994
Recognition from Natural Resources Trust Fund, 1996
Michigan Recreation and Parks Association Legislative Award, 1997
Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award and Silver Plow Award by Michigan Farm Bureau, 1998
Honored by Agricultural and Natural Resources Products Tourism Conference
Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation from Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1999
Named one of ten best lawmakers by The Detroit News, 1992
Legislator of the Year Award, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, 1986
Guardian of Small Business Award, 1996
Legislator of the Year Award, Michigan Townships Association, 1998
Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree, Northern Michigan University, 1988
Honorary Doctor of Law degree, Andrews University, 1989
Bernard Radde Award from Lake Michigan College, 2001
Honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree form Ferris State University, 2001
Dedication to Harry T. Gast Building at M-Tec at Southwest Michigan College 2001

Senator Gast on the floor of the Senate:

"Are robins next?  After all, their breast is as big as that of a dove. Shouldn't we think about putting robins on the list?  Then what about blue jays and brown thrushes? Seagulls--hell, there are a lot of those around the Great Lakes?  And then, if we shoot one of these birds, and you sort through the bloody feathers and hunt for the meat that you think you've got, and you've found it's all shot to heck, what have you done other than take the life of a bird?  Not much. Satisfied an ego, perhaps.  And then you get disgusted there, and get in your SUV, and go down the highway, and look for the utility line that's got a line of doves up on that, and blast away, and maybe cut the darn utility line.  These aren't hunters.  These are something less than that. I don't think it's a mark of a true outdoorsman to shoot doves." -- Senator Harry Gast, Journal of the Senate, Thursday December 14, 2000