Lansing — With the Nov. 7 election just days away, Citizens for
Wildlife Conservation is revving up its engine for a race down the
home stretch in the battle to get Proposal 3 passed.
If approved by state voters, Proposal 3, also known as the dove
proposal, would allow the DNR and Natural Resources Commission to
continue holding a dove-hunting season in Michigan, something the
state Legislature approved in 2004.
“You’ll start to hear our radio ads right about the time this
paper comes out (Oct. 27),” said CWC treasurer Jim Shaeffer. “They
will basically say that the other side is a bunch of extremists. A
perfect example is that they are claiming that Michigan hunters use
doves as target practice and shoot them off bird feeders. We know
that’s not true. It’s a campaign of deceit and lies. Some of them
are so bad that we’re trying to get some of their ads pulled. We’re
painting those people exactly as they are – extremists.”
Shaeffer reiterated the theme CWC has been touting since the
beginning of this battle; that this vote is not about doves.
“Their (the Humane Society of the United States) ultimate goal
is to stop all hunting,” Shaeffer said. “To quote their president,
Wayne Pacelle, ‘ … species by species and state by state.’ ”
Shaeffer also pointed out that, despite what the opposition
says, it is not a grass-roots organization making this push to end
dove hunting in Michigan.
“HSUS contributed over 70 percent of the money used to put this
proposal on the ballot,” he said. “Of the $800,000 raised for
signature gatherers, HSUS paid over $500,000. That’s on public
“They hired a California company to come in here and solicit the
signatures they needed to put this on the ballot. I call it
ballot-box biology. Through proposals like this, we’re managing
wildlife at the ballot box instead of letting professional wildlife
biologists do their jobs.”
CWC will not air any television ads to counter the ads being
purchased by those opposed to dove hunting. Shaeffer said that kind
of money just isn’t in CWC’s budget.
Attorney General Mike Cox dealt CWC a heavy blow earlier this
year when he shut down a sweepstakes aimed at raising money to
finance the advertising campaign. The sweepstakes offered a slew of
prizes including a grand prize of 40 acres of property in the U.P.
or $20,000 cash. Cox shut down the sweepstakes, according to
Shaeffer, because a couple groups mistakenly sold the tickets as
raffle tickets, and state law prohibits the use of raffles for
fund-raising in a ballot proposal.
“It did hurt our fund-raising ability,” Shaeffer said. ”We’re
spending as much money as we can on radio advertising, but we don’t
have enough money to cover all the radio markets.”
The Michigan United Conservation Clubs, a member of CWC, has
distributed yard signs supporting Proposal 3.
CWC is encouraging sportsmen to spread the pro dove hunting
message by word of mouth to anyone who will listen.
“Sportsmen need to get out and vote. Talk to your friends,
family, neighbors, and fellow workers,” Shaeffer said.
While the latest poll shows support for Proposal 3 lagging by
about 10 percentage points, Shaeffer said he is not concerned.
Given a 3- or 4-point margin of error, that makes it a very close
race, he said.