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Pennsylvania is the only State that still holds pigeon shoots. This is barbaric and is animal cruelty. The PA HB 2130 would ban any type of “caged” hunting including tying turkeys’ legs with wire to hay bales and then using the turkeys for bow and arrow target practice.
DO SOMETHING: Link to Pennsylvania HB 2130
The Allentown Call tells it like is in this article.
Frankly, I can’t think of anything less sporting than a pigeon shoot, except maybe shooting animals you have tied up. Here’s how it works.
They set up a bunch of ”traps” — small wooden boxes — in one or more shooting rings. When a spring-loaded trap pops open, the dazed bird is propelled out, tries to flutter away and is blasted by Elmer Fudd.
Link to the USA Humane Society
“Shooting pigeons and calling yourself a sportsman is like hiring an escort service and calling yourself a ladies man.
~ by Walter Brasch (complete article published with the permission of the author)
Dave Comroe stepped to the firing line, raised his 12-gauge Browning over and under shotgun, aimed and fired. Before him, a pigeon fell, moments after being released from a box less than 20 yards away. About 25 times that day Comroe fired, hitting about three-fourths of the birds. He was 16 at the time.
“It’s not easy to shoot them,” he says, explaining, “there’s some talent involved. When a live pigeon is released, you have no idea where it’s going.”
Where it’s going is usually no more than five to ten feet from its cage. Many are shot on the ground or while standing on top of the cages, stunned by the noise, unable to fly because of being malnourished, dehydrated, and confined to a small space for hours, often days.
Nevertheless, even with “expert” shooters on the line, only about one-fifth of the pigeons are killed outright, according to Heidi Prescott, senior vice-president of the Humane Society of the United States. About a tenth of the birds usually escape. But about two-thirds are wounded.
“There really isn’t much you can do for a wounded pigeon except put it out of its misery,” says Comroe. Prior to an order in 2002 by the Court of Common Pleas in Berks County, most of the wounded were picked up by trapper boys and girls, some as young as eight years old, who killed the birds by stomping on their bodies, hitting them against structures, stuffing them into sacks, and dumping them, some still breathing, into large barrels. Some also wrung the birds’ necks or ripped them from their bodies. Since that order, the “trappers” are at least 18 years old and have gone “high-tech”; they now use garden shears to sever a bird’s head.
Trappers can’t get all of the birds. Hundreds at a large shoot will fly to surrounding areas and remain untreated as long as several days to die a painful death, says Johnna Seeton, Humane Society police officer. Pigeon shoot organizers do their best to keep observers from the scene, and don’t allow volunteers to pick up and treat wounded birds unless they fly off the property, even if there’s no shooting at the time. “We have only been able to rescue a few birds,” says Seeton.
Dave Comroe, now 32 years old, had begun hunting when he was 12 years old. That first year he killed his only deer. Although he has been deer hunting many times, he says he has “only taken a shot once.” He has gone pheasant and dove hunting about a half dozen times.