Dove Affair

Published October 27, 2012

A Texas white-winged dove–a coveted type of wild game bird– flew into the side of a Texas man’s house recently and died of a broken neck. The man found it, cooked it, and ate it.

The man said he was thrilled when he found the bird. “This is the same bird that hunters pay just buckets of money to go out and shoot,” the man said. “They take their time, … and I just got one for free?”

But the man made the mistake of posting the recipe for his “epicurean dove cook-out” on his blog. Soon, law enforcement was knocking on his door, threatening to charge him with illegal possession of a “wildlife resource.”

“It is illegal to possess any wildlife resource that has not been taken legally,” a Texas game official explained. “By legal I mean … you have to have a hunting license and you have to have the appropriate weapon and ammunition.” Had the man himself shot and killed the bird, the official said, he could have legally consumed it. But it was illegal for the man to have consumed a bird that killed itself.

After publicity about the incident, state wildlife officials decided not to bring charges.

Source: Joe Gomez, “Dove Dinner Lands Texas Man In Hot Water With Law,” KRLD, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, October 11, 2012 h/t Jonathan Turley