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Poll shows some support for reinstating dove hunting ban
August 12, 2005, 5:30 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A recent poll indicates about 60 percent of those surveyed would vote or lean toward voting to reinstate a ban to prevent the hunting of mourning doves in Michigan.

About 32 percent of those surveyed said they would vote or lean toward voting to allow dove hunting in the state. About 8 percent were undecided.

The statewide poll by EPIC/MRA of Lansing surveyed 600 likely voters from Aug. 2-9. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Last month, an EPIC/MRA poll with different, less informative wording showed a near even split on a proposal to reinstate a dove hunting ban in Michigan, with 18 percent undecided. The proposal appears to be headed for the November 2006 ballot.

This month's question provided more information to respondents, EPIC/MRA pollster Ed Sarpolus said. The poll question asked voters whether they would choose to allow dove hunting or prevent it.

"It shows the more they know about the proposal, the more they want to go back to the old way," Sarpolus said. "The opponents of this have to educate the public."

The group backing the proposal is called the Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban, which is supported by The Humane Society of the United States. The group seeks to overturn a law that led to a trial mourning dove hunt in six Michigan counties last fall.

The law, at least temporarily, lifted a nearly century-old ban on mourning dove hunting in Michigan. But future trial hunts have been postponed pending the outcome of the vote.

Supporters say the mourning dove is a song bird that should be protected.

Opponents of the proposal include the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, which says the effort to reinstate the ban has been organized by groups that are against all hunting.

Dove hunt supporters say the state's trial hunts should continue to get an accurate measure of its effects on the dove population.

Dove hunting is allowed in 40 other states. In Michigan's trial hunt last autumn, about 3,000 hunters killed more than 28,000 doves.

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