Original illustration by Ralf Birch
In the fall of 2004 Michigan held its first and so far only official dove season in state history. According to the Department of Natural Resources, 4,981 permits were sold and a total of 3,067 hunters actually hunted and killed 28,099 doves.
Before and after the 2004 experimental season the alternative to Michiganders was and is to hunt out of state, Indiana being the closest option and many hunters I know will block their agendas a year ahead and spend September 1st and Labor Day (in the United States the forst Monday of September) in some Indiana field after the elusive gray ghost (I truly believe that a “mourning dove pattern” may be a most effective camouflage for military aircrafts).
In 2005 the “anti-hunt” crowd spent a lot of money to discontinue the Michigan dove season, and unhappily they succeeded. However, the only thing that they accomplished was to reduce revenue for Michigan and move it to Indiana. A lot of Michigan hunters continue to pay “out-of-state” fees to shoot doves that are migrating from Michigan into Indiana.
Due to work (it keeps interfering with my life), I won’t be able to hunt doves this year, but for those lucky ones, I suggest to prepare them the following way:
Dove Breasts with Bean Salad
8-12 Dove breasts
1 ½ pounds green beans
Half an onion
Vinegar, salt, olive oil, mustard
½ pound cherry tomatoes (if you like tomatoes, I don’t)
¼ pound breakfast bacon
Boil the savory in salted water for five minutes, then remove. Clean the beans, blanch in the same water so that they are still crisp, leave to drain and place in a dish.
Chop the onion and sprinkle over the beans. Make vinaigrette from four table spoons vinegar, a little mustard, and eight table spoons olive oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the beans. Quarter the tomatoes and add to the beans (not if I am eating this dish). Cut the bacon into strips, pan-fry, and sprinkle over the salad.
Brown the dove breasts in the butter, season with salt (I don’t like pepper), cover and simmer until cooked. Lay the breasts on the beans. Serve this light dish with fresh white bread, and with a good glass of red wine.
My mood changes a lot, but tonight I would take a bottle of Nebbiolo produced by my good friend Signor Mario Vito Benevelli, as it is too warm for his Barolo right now.