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Dummy Power Lines Attract Doves to Sumter National Forest Dove Fields

High above the ground in a bucket truck, Blue Ridge Electric Co-op Lineman David Brown attaches a power line to a newly erected pole above the green fields of the Sumter National Forest’s Long Creek dove field. But instead of providing electric service to an outbuilding or an adjacent housing development, Brown’s hard work is aimed at improving the forest’s dove field.

Blue Ridge Electric Co-op is partnering with the forest to install “dummy” power lines at the dove field to make the area more attractive to doves, creating conditions for hunters to be more successful at bagging their game.

“The installation of these lines will provide perching areas in close proximity to food sources for the birds,” said Chris Holcomb, U.S. Forest Service wildlife technician. Holcomb explained that the Long Creek dove field, located on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District in Oconee County South Carolina, is open only to youth and mobility-impaired hunters.  Thus, the new power lines help make the doves more visible to young hunters who are just getting involved in the sport and to men and women who may have limited mobility in the field.

Blue Ridge Electric Co-op employees spend the morning placing “dummy” power lines at a dove field on the Sumter National Forest, Friday, April 13, 2012.  The field is used exclusively by youth and mobility-impaired hunters. (Forest Service photo)

Blue Ridge Electric Co-op employees spend the morning placing “dummy” power lines at a dove field on the Sumter National Forest, Friday, April 13, 2012. The field is used exclusively by youth and mobility-impaired hunters. (Forest Service photo)

The time and talents of many partners help the forest to successfully manage natural resources and improve recreational opportunities. Blue Ridge Electric Co-op, which has a long history of community service and environmental stewardship, was eager to help in this endeavor.

“We’re committed to serving our community and helping wildlife,” said Rex Ramsay, vegetation management supervisor for Blue Ridge Electric Co-op. “Many of our employees are hunters and fishermen and love the outdoors, so they’re eager to do what they can to help.”

Long Creek dove field is one of several sites on the Sumter National Forest managed to provide habitat for game and non-game wildlife species and to provide recreational opportunities to hunters, birdwatchers and others. The management of dove fields, waterfowl areas, wildlife openings and linear strips is an important part of the Sumter National Forest’s wildlife management program.

For more information on habitat management or hunting opportunities on the Sumter National Forest, contact Jeff Magniez, zone wildlife biologist, at (803)637-5396.

Jim Murphy and Dennis Smith from Blue Ridge Electric Co-op set the guy wire on one of the power poles being installed at Long Creek dove field, Friday, April 13, 2012. (Forest Service photo)

Jim Murphy and Dennis Smith from Blue Ridge Electric Co-op set the guy wire on one of the power poles being installed at Long Creek dove field, Friday, April 13, 2012. (Forest Service photo)

9 Responses to “Dummy Power Lines Attract Doves to Sumter National Forest Dove Fields”

  1. Dana - Food Scientist says:

    How is this helping wildlife?? You are providing a way for hunters to KILL the birds!!!

  2. John-Hunter says:

    This is a great idea. I love the effort to help the youth and us disabled. Hunting for our food is one of our GREATEST past times.

  3. Susan says:

    Really, You are helping morons with guns to kill wildlife. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Guns and hunters should be outlawed on public land. I almost got shot on a well used trail by a stupid redneck with a gun.

  4. Bob says:

    What a waste of money! Who’s idiotic idea was this?

  5. Andrew says:

    Sounds like a training exercise for new employees that happens to have some fringe benefits for disabled hunters. It’s a very minor habitat improvement for the birds, and probably much less expensive than stocking the field with doves. Doves breed like mad and are highly plentiful.

  6. Connie says:

    Did the U.S. Forest Service do a cost-benefit analysis for this project? If so, was it favorable, given the limited number of hunters? Secondly, doves are pathetically easy to kill – it doesn’t take much of a sportsperson to kill one. This is one reason why hunting for mourning doves was voted down by the people of the State of Michigan. Third, there are so many worthwhile projects that taxpayer money could have been spent on. Finally, this project doesn’t demonstrate good public relations for the Blue Ridge Electric Co-op and it’s even worse for the U.S. Forest Service. I suggest that this project be terminated as soon as possible to end the wasting of taxpayer money in this era of tremendous national budget deficits.

  7. Madge says:

    It would be less expensive and just as sporting to bait the area with dove food.

  8. Madge says:

    …and more fun to shoot morons who call other people morons.

  9. I.G. says:

    “is open only to youth and mobility-impaired hunters. Thus, the new power lines help make the doves more visible to young hunters who are just getting involved in the sport and to men and women who may have limited mobility in the field.” Great project to allow these folk to participate in the hunting SPORT in relative SAFETY.

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