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Waste Not, Want Not?

| October 16, 2012

“Waste not, want not,” may have been the golden rule for many of us growing up, but be careful—you may be breaking the law.

Ryan Adams, a Pflugerville resident, was startled one evening by a loud noise that turned out to be a white-winged dove flying into his window.  Upon examination, Adams found the bird to be dead, having broken his neck in the collision with his home.

Dove-season had started the previous day, quite fortuitously, Adams thought. While most people may have buried or thrown away the bird, Adams decided to make the bird his dinner.  Excited about the delicious meal he had discovered, Adams seasoned and grilled the bird. He was so pleased with his find that he made a blog post about the occasion.

In response to his blog post, Adams received a visit from a game warden from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, reprimanding him for eating the bird. The problem, explained Steven Lightfoot, a spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife, is that “[i]t is illegal to possess any wildlife resource that has not been taken legally.” He further added that “[b]y 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.”

Adams was not given a ticket, thanks to the sensible discretion of the game warden.  Next time, however, Adams will have to hand the game over to the Texas Parks and Wildlife. While the game warden’s good judgment gave this story a reasonable outcome, it stills seems bizarre that eating a dead dove from one’s lawn could subject a citizen to punishment by the state.


RIGHT ON CRIME is a national campaign to promote successful, conservative solutions on American criminal justice policy—reforming the system to ensure public safety, shrink government, and save taxpayers money. By sharing research and policy ideas and mobilizing strong conservative voices, we work to raise awareness of the growing support for effective reforms within the conservative movement. We are transforming the debate on criminal justice in America.