Mourning doves are the traditional bird of peace and a beloved backyard songbird. But some people use mourning doves as live targets, sometimes calling them "cheap skeet." Hunters kill more doves each year—more than 20 million—than any other animal in the country.
Doves are not overpopulated, and hunting them doesn't feed anyone or help manage wildlife. Mourning doves—called the "farmer's friend" because they eat weed seeds—pose no threat to crops, homes or anything of value to people.
Many hunters don't bother to retrieve the dead or wounded birds.
American kestrels, sharp-shinned hawks, and other federally protected birds look like doves and can be shot by mistake.
Mourning doves nest during the fall hunting season, and hunting can orphan chicks, who starve in the nest without their parents' care.
News & Events
May 29, 2015
Spent lead ammunition poisons and kills millions of animals, contaminates the environment and threatens human health. Though excellent alternatives to lead ammo exist, it remains the most common form of ammunition used by hunters. Learn more and see if your state has any restrictions on lead ammo.
February 9, 2015
You can help pass laws that protect animals in your state. Humane Lobby Day is easy, fun and guaranteed to make you feel like a powerful animal activist. We'll help you find the Humane Lobby Day in your state.
April 19, 2013
TV Ad Campaign Urges Michigan Lawmakers to Protect Voting Rights and to Halt Effort to Repeal Dove Referendum
A new TV ad campaign airing throughout Michigan is urging state lawmakers to oppose legislation that would take away the rights of Michigan voters to have a say on any new hunting and trapping seasons of protected wildlife species, including mourning doves and wolves.
May 11, 2012
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, issued a statement condemning Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s executive order to unilaterally repeal a Natural Resources Commission science-based rule to ban the use of toxic lead ammunition for dove hunting.