One of my racers came home shot :(

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Mary Of Exeter, Sep 7, 2009.

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  1. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    This is directed to dove hunters mostly. If you know any hunters, could you please let them know there are pets flying around too? And to be careful at what they shoot?

    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. I'm 16 years old, 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:
    And AU bands here:
    NPA bands:
    IPB bands:
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry!

    What a horrible feeling for you to have!

    I hope you babies come home safe. [​IMG]
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Ohhh, I'm very sorry for you & your birds, & pray that they'll recover &/or return soon.

    Your letter was extremely well-written & especially impressive considering your age! I think it should be published somewhere that others can read it, especially bird hunters, especially in your area. Perhaps you can send it to the Letters to the Editor of your local newspapers (both small-town and nearby big-city), to the editors of publications for dove hunters, your county extension office and office of Fish & Wildlife, and your local TV & radio news stations.

    I wish your birds many swift safe flights & happy landings.
  4. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    All I've heard this weekend is gunshots. Kind of un-nerving. I locked up all the pigeons that I could get my hands on. I was afraid that some redneck would see my pretty with German Owls flying around and think that they were some rare white dove. [​IMG]
  5. BluegrassSeramas

    BluegrassSeramas Serama Savvy

    Aug 25, 2008
    Central Kentucky
    Well said!

    Im sorry for your birds.... [​IMG]
    Hope your favorite pulls through, that really sucks.
  6. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    Thanks guys. You have a good point there Sunny_Side. Putting it in the newspaper would help!
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You're welcome. You're preaching to the choir on this forum, but make excellent well-expressed points that the public needs to hear. If such a well-spoken teen contacted the local TV news station in my community I think they'd broadcast a story about your concerns.

    Your birds may have been the victims of inexperienced or novice hunters out for an infrequent session, I would hope that experienced dove hunters would know not to aim at your racers.
  8. Nessy

    Nessy Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    Southern Cali
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    I see your point, but on the flip side, the farmers shoot the feral pigeons themselves or hire hunters to do it by allowing them to hunt on their lands. The easiest and best time of the year to do this is during hunting season. You see they land on their buildings, feed storage buildings, etc. and give unsanitary deposits on them that is detrimental to their livestock's health and welfare and therefore their livelyhood . Also, when they sow their winter crops, huge feral pigeon flocks decend and devour tremendous quantities of their crop seeds. 2 years ago I replanted 5 acres of pasture with certified winter wheat. The seeds were coated with fungicide. A huge flock of at least 100 pigeons decended upon my field and literally vacuumed up a goodly portion of the seeds in short order,giving me a very poor yield. So, please be considerate of the other side and just don't fly during hunting season and everyone will be happy.
  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Quote:Racing season, is at the same time. Best thing is Only shoot the pigeon hanging out on the farm. Those flying over will be the racer.

    Feral pigeon are legal to shoot. The federal law do protect racing pigeon.

    If you have alot of trouble with feral pigeon, they make pigeon traps, that you can set in your barns.

    Some of those racer cost thousands. Just need to get the info out there.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
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