Songbird Protection Coalition

Utility Lines - Dove Hunters Love Them

We have all witnessed doves using power and phone lines as perching sites.  The shooting of mourning doves near utility lines is of major concern to Michigan companies and consumers who will be adversely effected as dove hunters often use the lines as shooting sites.

Despite laws which prohibit the shooting of doves on wires, it is evident from published dove hunting editorials that this "line" technique is encouraged amongst shooters.

Here are a few quotes taken from authoritative outdoor publications in states which allow dove hunting:

"Hunt beneath power lines.  For some reason, doves like to congregate on power lines.  If you study the birds long enough, you'll notice that the doves usually have one spot on a power line that they like to fly to more than any other place.  Take a stand near that power line and wait for the birds to come in to where you've set up. These out-of-the-way dove hotspots will pay dove dividends for you that big-field hunters never will experience."

"An excellent place to create a dove field is in a power line right-of-way.  The power lines will provide natural perches and lots of shooting action."

"Agricultural fields will have power lines running parallel or even across them.  Be sure to shoot at the doves before they light or after they leave the wires.  Sometimes it's better to let a couple land, then flush them and attempt a double."

"After feeding, doves like to loaf on power lines and often they,ll land on wires to look for danger before flying down to eat.  If you notice them using such spots, you can set up nearby and get shots at slower-moving birds coming to the perch or leaving."

"If you can find a telephone pole in the middle or around the edges of a field, chances are the doves will light on these poles to rest.  Sit next to or near one of these poles and you will probably have the best shooting in the field.  I bagged 5 limits last fall."

"If you're hunting on a field with power lines, get near them or stand next to one of the poles."

"By the time my friend showed up the next day, before noon at my insistence, I had this bright idea worked out about putting dove decoys on that power line."

Hunters cannot control the full spread pattern of shot...and they use the lines! Michigan shooters may attempt to deny this as a problem, but repair costs, safety, loss of service, and increased liability is a fact of dove season.

Source, including but not limited to: Virginia Department of Forestry, Gulf Coast Outdoors Magazine, Night Hawk Publications, Outdoor Site News, Smart Hunter Encyclopedia, FM Outdoors Publications.