One can certainly understand why Ryan Adams is a bit confused in Pflugerville, Texas. After a dove hit the side of his house and broke its neck, Adams decided to eat it. He proceeded to post a picture and the recipe on cooking the Texas white-winged dove on the Internet. The doves are killed in the thousands by hunters in the U.S. and Mexico during this season. However, because he did not shoot the dove himself with a license, he has found himself the target of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman Steven Lightfoot said that Adams should not have eaten the bird but surrendered it to a wildlife official (though I find it a bit odd that such an official would send out a truck to collect one dead dove). Lightfoot insisted “It is illegal to possess any wildlife resource that has not been taken legally. By legal I mean there are certain means and methods… you have to have a hunting license and you have to have the appropriate weapon and ammunition.” It appears that the side of your house is not an approved weapon.
I was not able to find a regulation expressly prohibiting the eating of a covered animal that died from a non-hunting accident. Indeed, even some restaurants have been known to serve up roadkill as the mystery meat du jour.
An investigation is now in the field. The corpus delicti however proved too delicious. Instead, the investigators are relying on the pictures. It appears that even a finding that the dove was suicidal will not be a defense. Self-defense seems out of the question. You can apparently kill and eat other “nuisance fur-bearing animals, depredating hogs or coyotes.” Presumably, Adams could have waited for a coyote to eat the dove and then eat the coyote like a version of a Turducken — a Dovote.
What do you think about the rule on eating doves that die from natural causes? Should it be treated as a violation.