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a untapped resource. pigeons!

 
Posts: 491
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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i have a friend of mine that lives in town.he lives on a fixed income. he asked me to borrow my pellet gun because he said the squirrels were getting into his bird feeder. a few weeks later i see him at the store and he pulls me off to the side and whispers to me"" is it illegal to shoot pigeons"? i tell him no. he then tells me he's been shooting the pigeons as well as the squirrels and he says the pigeons are delicious. these are just run of the mill birds you find in towns and cities. i had never thought of eating them before but they eat natural things and are similar to doves. why not eat them? the people in town hate them for the mess they make. theres no regulation or hunting limit on them. why not? and with the pellet gun , it makes no noise to disturb his neighbors or has the dangers of firing a high caliber firearm in town limits. needless to say i haven't got my pellet gun back yet! lol! anyone ever harvest them to eat? if not you should!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1630
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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As a young child when I visited I one of my grandmothers, I ate squirrel and pigeon. Both were delicious. As I grew up in a big city, I realized that city people were repulsed by the idea of eating them and strongly derided those who did. Then as I got older yet, things just didn't make sense to me. The city had a big squirrel and pigeon overpopulation problem. But it was frowned upon to eat them. Anyone trapping them was harassed. Thus tens of thousands of taxpayers dollars were spent trying to eliminate the overpopulation. Dang. Why not just encourage people to eat them?

Pigeon has historically been a dinner plate item. It's still acceptable in many countries. Squirrel is a more localized dinner item, but acceptable and relished in those areas. I don't have either where I live, but I surely wouldn't mind having pigeons arrive some day. Currently we have a large dove here that some locals harvest. I've eaten it and it's ok. And yes, it was specifically imported as a feral food source.

Your neighbor is onto a good thing, in my opinion, although your other neighbors and local animal activists might have a fit and throw him into court, bankruptcy, and jail. Around my area, hunting is a local way of life, but animal activists would love to see it banned. They somehow feel that it is ok to poison pigeons with a slow, sickening death, then throw the carcass in a municipal dump than it is to shoot & kill them quickly then use it for food.

By the way, I see our large doves being caught using rat traps here. No need for a pellet gun. The trigger has a pile of bird seed glued to it. When the bird pecks, the trap springs. Kills the bird quick.
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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When we moved here, one of our neighbors across the street told us they used to get 40 lbs of pecans from their tree every year. At that point there was an agreement between some of the other neighbors. One of them was willing to trade for the squirrels that another one was willing to shoot. After they (either the hunter or the eater) moved away, my neighbor hasn't had a pecan from their tree since. And this neighborhood has some of the fattest squirrels I've ever seen. More than once I confused them with large cats.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 491
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Su Ba wrote:As a young child when I visited I one of my grandmothers, I ate squirrel and pigeon. Both were delicious. As I grew up in a big city, I realized that city people were repulsed by the idea of eating them and strongly derided those who did. Then as I got older yet, things just didn't make sense to me. The city had a big squirrel and pigeon overpopulation problem. But it was frowned upon to eat them. Anyone trapping them was harassed. Thus tens of thousands of taxpayers dollars were spent trying to eliminate the overpopulation. Dang. Why not just encourage people to eat them?

Pigeon has historically been a dinner plate item. It's still acceptable in many countries. Squirrel is a more localized dinner item, but acceptable and relished in those areas. I don't have either where I live, but I surely wouldn't mind having pigeons arrive some day. Currently we have a large dove here that some locals harvest. I've eaten it and it's ok. And yes, it was specifically imported as a feral food source.

Your neighbor is onto a good thing, in my opinion, although your other neighbors and local animal activists might have a fit and throw him into court, bankruptcy, and jail. Around my area, hunting is a local way of life, but animal activists would love to see it banned. They somehow feel that it is ok to poison pigeons with a slow, sickening death, then throw the carcass in a municipal dump than it is to shoot & kill them quickly then use it for food.

By the way, I see our large doves being caught using rat traps here. No need for a pellet gun. The trigger has a pile of bird seed glued to it. When the bird pecks, the trap springs. Kills the bird quick.

we don't have activists here. we are pro hunting / fishing . many people still live off the land here and will aggressively fight over a road kill! he just thought he was breaking the law. was funny how he asked me!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1172
Location: Victoria BC
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If you think the unwillingness of folks to hunt/eat pigeons is weird, you should see it here! We have a deer overpopulation issue, and of course you can't hunt them in the city/suburban areas, or really anywhere remotely near a city, cuz laws... but on the other hand, 'oh noes, they're eating our flowers!!'

One municipality paid a company tens of thousands to cull a handful of deer, and activists came out of the woodwork to protest and obstruct. The company was very good at avoiding the activists, but not very good at killing deer... they only got about a third of the number they were supposed to cull.

*sigh* Delicious hoof-rats everywhere, and not a venison sausage to eat...

If you're a fan of eating pigeons, you might enjoy the book 'Possum Living'. Lots of interesting suggestions like this.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 1630
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Another major resource in Hawaii is the feral cat population. There are literally hundreds of thousands of unwanted feral cats here. The National Park system spends untold amount of taxpayer money trying to rid the parks of these cats. The State of Hawaii and the Counties spend even more. Right now there are behind closed doors discussions about a plan for controlling feral cats on Kaua'i. And Oahu is looking into a plan to exterminate tens of thousands of ferals along its coastline. And local homeowners and businesses often trap & drown these cats, discarding their bodies in the trash. The humane society claims to euthanize around 8000 feral cats per year, of course with the bodies going to our rapidly filling landfill.

Heck, there are cultures here that have no objection to serving cat for dinner. But are they allowed to harvest feral cats? No. The uproar about eating cats is deafening. The devil in me makes me bring up the subject of putting cat on the menu just to enjoy the uproar it causes at group gatherings and meetings. Rather than reduce the feral cat population via hunting, people would rather spend vast sums of money to dispose of them, often far less humanely.....and waste the meat. Funny, it's ok to kill and eat a farm animal (except horses), but not excess dogs and cats......and horses. I just don't get it.

While we're at it......would it be ok to trap and eat rats? Got an abundance of them, too.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 491
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Dillon Nichols wrote:If you think the unwillingness of folks to hunt/eat pigeons is weird, you should see it here! We have a deer overpopulation issue, and of course you can't hunt them in the city/suburban areas, or really anywhere remotely near a city, cuz laws... but on the other hand, 'oh noes, they're eating our flowers!!'

One municipality paid a company tens of thousands to cull a handful of deer, and activists came out of the woodwork to protest and obstruct. The company was very good at avoiding the activists, but not very good at killing deer... they only got about a third of the number they were supposed to cull.

*sigh* Delicious hoof-rats everywhere, and not a venison sausage to eat...

If you're a fan of eating pigeons, you might enjoy the book 'Possum Living'. Lots of interesting suggestions like this.

if i were living in your area i would be silently filling my freezer with a crossbow. what they don't know won't hurt them!
 
steve bossie
Posts: 491
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Su Ba wrote:Another major resource in Hawaii is the feral cat population. There are literally hundreds of thousands of unwanted feral cats here. The National Park system spends untold amount of taxpayer money trying to rid the parks of these cats. The State of Hawaii and the Counties spend even more. Right now there are behind closed doors discussions about a plan for controlling feral cats on Kaua'i. And Oahu is looking into a plan to exterminate tens of thousands of ferals along its coastline. And local homeowners and businesses often trap & drown these cats, discarding their bodies in the trash. The humane society claims to euthanize around 8000 feral cats per year, of course with the bodies going to our rapidly filling landfill.

Heck, there are cultures here that have no objection to serving cat for dinner. But are they allowed to harvest feral cats? No. The uproar about eating cats is deafening. The devil in me makes me bring up the subject of putting cat on the menu just to enjoy the uproar it causes at group gatherings and meetings. Rather than reduce the feral cat population via hunting, people would rather spend vast sums of money to dispose of them, often far less humanely.....and waste the meat. Funny, it's ok to kill and eat a farm animal (except horses), but not excess dogs and cats......and horses. I just don't get it.

While we're at it......would it be ok to trap and eat rats? Got an abundance of them, too.

hey to each his own. if they are there, use them! when i was stationed in korea, i ate dog. was good too!
 
pollinator
Posts: 4328
Location: Anjou ,France
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Pigeons are a tapped resource here in France I admit I would not touch a town pigeon with a ten foot pole frankly but out here in countryside pass the pate .
We even have village festivals where pigeon is the menu
Also pigeons are still farmed here and there .
Not like in the past when there where in giant dovecotes some housing a thousand bird for meat and manure .
. Pigeons used to be kept here at La ravardier where they where an essential part of the spring menu usually eaten as sqabs ( young birds
 
pollinator
Posts: 459
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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The dovecotes filled with many pigeons for eating were (sometimes still are) part of noble estates in Europe. The idea was for the birds to go out and eat from the fields of others, then come home and be eaten by the lords / ladies / hangers-on. Free food! Maybe this could be reinstituted? But, like David, I'd hesitate to eat city pigeon... or scabrous city squirrel.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 491
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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why not? at worst they're eating our scraps. they don't live in garbage. they live in trees. people feed them nutritious seed in the parks or they steal it from bird feeders. probably more well fed and healthy in the cities than in the country.its all in our perceptions!
 
gardener & author
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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And if you wouldn't eat one these pests with ten-foot chopsticks but if you're willing to kill it, you could compost them or bury under trees.
 
steve bossie
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could do that too! depends how hungry you are at the moment!
 
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