Michigan hunters take aim at sandhill cranes, mourning doves

LANSING (AP) — If hunters have their way, a long-legged wetlands bird and an oft-spotted gray dove in southern Michigan could become the latest game species in the state.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs passed two measures at its annual convention earlier this month to seek sandhill crane and mourning dove hunting seasons in Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Department of Natural Resources waterfowl specialist Barbara Avers says officials are discussing potential hunts with conservation organizations. She says the department doesn’t have a position on the hunts but would provide technical advice to the Natural Resources Commission if it considers the proposal.

The proposal comes nearly 11 years after Michigan voters rejected mourning dove hunting in a statewide referendum.

“Michigan voters could not have been more clear: They don’t want their songbirds hunted,” said Julie Baker, director of the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition, based in Lansing.