Here in NC, as in most states, Dove season is currently in. Ours started Saturday. I have nothing against dove hunters, except one thing. There are many irresponsible, trigger happy hunters out there. I'm not putting you all in a sterotype, I'm just saying there are SOME (actually a lot) 'bad' hunters out there. Keep in mind that there is a reason it is called DOVE season. You are to shoot mourning doves. If there aren't many out that day, don't go shooting everything else that flies. If you injure/kill a native species of wildbird, that's against the law! So be careful. You all know the flight pattern of doves and what they look like. Stick to mourning doves. The reason I am ranting about this, is because I have racing pigeons. Every year our birds are in danger because hunters think it's funny to kill pigeons while they're at it. Yesterday I trained my birds 40 miles. Hunting in NC on Sundays is against the law. I heard no shots and thought all was safe. Well my birds must have gotten mixed up with some others, because I only had half home by nightfall. Not totally uncommon. They're young birds and things happen. Hawks chase them and they tire out, etc. Well this morning I was happy to see more come in. But those who were out overnight and this morning are VERY stressed out. I have several with shot holes in their tails and wings. And one, which was one of my favorites, has a piece of shot lodged in its chest. Luckily (or unluckily, we'll see) it is in its crop, so I'm hoping it passes through its system before lead poisoning comes. I've done my best to doctor it up, and I'm hoping for the best. You might think pigeons are pests, stupid, and diseased. But they aren't. Mine aren't, for sure. I take good care of my birds. They are pedigreed racers. Pigeon racing isn't just for old people. the pigeon hobby is my passion, and I'll be heartbroken if that bird dies on me. I'm HIGHLY upset right now. Nervous and anxious for the arrival of my 16 missing babies. And totally disappointed and disgusted at the local dove hunters around here. I'm a hunter too. Of deer, because I like birds too much. But I know better than to shoot something that isn't in the current season. So be responsible. Hunt what and when you are supposed to. And if you happen to injure or kill a banded bird, at LEAST have enough respect to look up the band info and contact the owner. It makes me feel better knowing whether the bird is dead and I'm sitting here waiting for no reason, or if I actually have a chance of seeing it again. A racing pigeon will have a band on it, usually saying either IF or AU, then a year, more letters (club letters), and a serial number. You can trace IF bands here: http://www.ifpigeon.com And AU bands here: http://www.pigeon.com NPA bands: http://www.npausa.com IPB bands: http://www.foyspigeonsupplies.com Thank you for your time, if you actually read all of this, and enjoy the rest of the season.