November 22, 2006

Feds Bag Dove Hunters

The Island Packet reports today on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s bust of a charity dove hunt at Turkey Hill in Jasper County.

A Ridgeland dove hunt for charity turned into a federal raid Saturday when about 40 hunters who each donated $100 to participate were detained and questioned by agents suspicious that the area had been illegally baited to attract the birds.

Camouflage-clad agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department who were hidden “like snipers” surrounded the area and stopped the event.

About six or seven federal agents held the hunters on the property for about two hours and interviewed each for details, including their names and addresses, occupations and places of work, Social Security numbers and shotgun serial numbers. The hunters were shown aerial photos of themselves taken that day and asked to confirm they were pictured.

“It was really demoralizing,” said Mike Healy, who lives in Bluffton and went on the hunt with his sons. “It was expensive to go on this hunt; most of the people were wealthy and were” angry.

Why this story grabbed my attention is hard to say. I guess I didn’t know doves had such serious backup.

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Lowcountry, The Environment