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Bat in Hand
Thumbs Up & Down on Dove Hunting
Remembering Leroy Lintereur
Down the Coast
After reading Respect for the Night Patrol by Karen Kvool in the August 2003 issue, I thought readers would enjoy this story.
I was sitting on the shore in front of our cabin just outside Mercer with my neighbor one late afternoon in early May. A little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) started to fly around and dip down picking insects off the surface of the water. On about the tenth pass, it must have detected a morsel about six feet from shore, but on approach it got caught in the drink and had to swim. I ran over and found the bat trying to crawl onto a plant that wasn't too supportive. I extended a helping hand and a bare arm, which the little creature took advantage of immediately. As I walked toward my neighbor, the bat crawled up my arm to my bare shoulder, took off and landed on the trunk of a pine tree.
I now feel compelled to build and erect a few bat houses at home where the habitat is dwindling.
Peter J. Schmidt
Karen Kvool did a very nice job in her bat article Respect for the Night Patrol, but there was a major error. We do not have Keen's bat in Wisconsin. The correct bat that was missing is the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The Keen's bat (Myotis keenii) is found in the northwest part of the state of Washington and farther north along the Pacific Coast.
Ken O. Bowman
The error was ours and is also wrong in a listing of Wisconsin bats in the handout "Bats: Information for Wisconsin Homeowners."
Here's a profile of the northern long-eared bat: This bat appears to be a more solitary member of the Myotis genus. The northern long-eared is a hibernator that, beginning as early as August, will often spend 8-9 months in caves or mines that are cool and moist. Long hibernation in protected areas leads to a long life. Specimens more than 18 years old are not uncommon. This bat really likes to hole up in tight crevices only leaving its nose and ears exposed. The bat forages on forested hillsides and ridges rather than near water. It is a voracious bug-eater, downing a wide variety of insects that fly at night. The northern long-eared bat is found throughout Wisconsin. Its range stretches from the Atlantic Coast west to British Columbia and is found in the U.S. from the Eastern Seaboard west through the Dakotas and south to the Florida Panhandle.
Good sense requires that I write you on the subject of mourning doves (A new challenge, a new hunt, August 2003). Using the logic of your writer, we should have a season on robins, bluebirds and probably sparrows. If it takes three doves to make a meal, it would take six robins, 16 bluebirds and about 30 sparrows. It makes no sense to slaughter one of the most docile and beautiful songbirds in our state regardless of what 39 other states do. I am reminded of the old phrase that "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat its mistakes."
Arthur F. Kind
I applaud DNR for bringing a mourning dove hunt to Wisconsin. Despite the legal wranglings from animal rights groups, the sportsmen and women of Wisconsin prevailed.
I took my son with me opening day to the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Kenosha. As we walked I explained about the habitat doves use and how to identify doves from other birds. We saw about a dozen birds. I was able to take shots at about half that number. Though we failed to harvest any doves, it was a very positive experience for both of us.
Though we could have walked the same area and watched birds without hunting, I thought it was important that my son understand that meat and poultry do not grow on little styrofoam trays in the back of supermarkets. As for the fears that sport hunting will hurt the dove population, I say not very likely. I am a class AA trapshooter and I went 0 for 6 shots at these speedy little game birds.
I was saddened to see the dove hunting article in the August 2003 issue. I am not an anti-hunting maniac. In fact, any sensible person understands the need for a deer hunting season. The thought of blasting a beautiful mourning dove out of the air with a shotgun is pathetic to me. Any individual who participates in such an endeavor needs their head examined...I have a difficult time making a connection between conservation, which benefits all citizens and the slaughter of a species for the benefit of a few.
I am surprised that no one has mentioned the bonding with family and friends and mutual enjoyment of nature that dove hunting can bring to a hunting party. I am 87 now and some of my happiest recollections center on the experiences I had relating to hunting. In today's rushing world, there are too few contacts with my family and friends. Dove hunting makes for good life experiences.
Greetings from Kuwait and thanks for the box of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazines you sent. Everyone has enjoyed reading them. I did have to endure a little bit of grief, however. My company is based out of the Twin Cities and most of its members are Minnesotans. There is a little rivalry between them and the ten of us from Wisconsin.
We have just returned from two weeks vacation to find the issue with daddy's article on spiders! (A world in a leaf, August 2003)
My dad was working on a group of spiders the day before he had a heart attack. They were perched in an examining dish next to his microscope. When we were in the field with him, we had opportunities to examine spiders with pocket lenses. Dad passed on an "electricity" of excitement and curiosity to all of us. We were so lucky to be his children and get those first-hand teachings at their best. This article did what he did – offer us an exciting look into our natural world that was never very far away and available for connection.
Judith Lintereur Johnson
Your October back cover feature on the Solon Springs Sharptail Barrens State Natural Area is greatly appreciated. This wonderful area is known locally as the Douglas County Wildlife Management Area, or more simply, the "Bird Sanctuary." For those readers who might be interested, the 4,000-acre property includes areas for bird watching, berry-picking, picnicking and field dog trials in areas that are not used by sharp-tailed grouse.
Thanks for helping to increase public awareness of this irreplaceable ecosystem.
The photo on page 5 of our October special insert "Enjoy and protect Wisconsin's Great Lakes," shows a tree-lined shore of the Northport area of Sheboygan, not Two Rivers. We heard from a few past and present Sheboyganites with fond memories of this peaceful stretch of the coast.