SHowing Animals Respect and KindnessSHARK
Few protesters show at pigeon shoot
April 22, 1991
The Daily Ledger (Canton, IL)
Around 35 protesters of a live pigeon shoot had gathered Saturday afternoon in front of the Holford Gun Club, but there was not much they could do to disrupt the event, because the shoot was conducted behind a fence in back of the main building of the Don Holford residence. About 10 fewer protesters were present on Sunday.
Although only a few of the participants of the shoot could be seen, the sounds of their guns being fired could be heard. Protesters used megaphones to should insults and try to bait those involved in the shoot to respond or react, but that did not happen.
On Sunday, about 25 protesters were there again to hurl insults over the megaphones. They should "pervert" many times and sarcastically yelled, "You look so normal," at participants as they were leaving the gun club around 2 p.m.
Fulton County Sheriff Dan Daly said Saturday he had expected the crowd of protesters to grow significantly at 11 a.m., but that did not happen. Only about 20 protesters were there in the morning when the day was considerably cooler. Crowd control was not a problem, although Daly said he had assigned 10 deputies to monitor the event.
"It could be a lot worse. There really haven't been any problems this morning at all. There's more people here now than there's been all day," Daly said around 2:30 p.m. He added no Canton police were on hand, because the shoot was held outside the city limits. Additional state troopers were available if needed. "It doesn't seem like we need any assistance at this time," he said.
Not as many protesters had arrived as originally predicted by protest organizer Steve Hindi of Plano, but some of those who did attend had traveled considerable distances.
Myer Taksel, 38, of Pittsburgh, Pa., said the reason he was there was "to try to stop it, to try to show these people to realize what they're doing. They're looking this way, but they're not using much vocal chords today."
I see myself as a witness for humanity. They're real off track. I don't feel it can't be rectified," he said.
Ann Wright of Sharon, Wis., said, "I feel sorry for them if this is a form of weekend entertainment. I just don't like to see people killing birds.
Barbara Chadwick of Chicago, director of Animal Rights Mobilization, which she explained is considered to be a multi-issue animal rights organization, said, "We oppose all forms of animal abuse and exploitation. As many people could come came."
Kay Nelson of Peoria said she considers herself an activist. She supports legislation introduced in the state House of Representatives to make such shoots illegal. Nelson added the participants of the shoot "haven't said a word. They just look at us."
Hindi explained House Bill 1567 which would ban such shoots should be passed into law in the interests of "social decency and morality." He promised he would return again next year if another shoot is conducted at the gun club. The event last weekend marked the thirteenth annual shoot that has been held there.
Hindi and his brother Greg arrived at the gun club Thursday morning to greet participants as they arrived. They were not present Friday. The protesters left the scene on Saturday at around 5 p.m. Earlier, Hindi had said the group would remain to try to disrupt a party expected to be throwing at the club that night, "We were beat. We went to get a good night's sleep, so we could to a good job today."
"We wanted to give them a proper hello in the beginning and we'll be there on the way out," he added. The protesters arrived around 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
"What kind of people shoot animals out of a cage?" he shouted through a megaphone. "No legitimate hunter does things like this. As a member of the gun-owning public, this type of irresponsibility endangers the rights of hunters," he said. He added he has been a hunter and fisherman for 30 years but has given up the sports due to the mistreatment of animals.
Regarding future plans, Hind said "We'll be lobbying for the House bill. But we have no specific plans, because we know of no shoots coming up. We have to find them one at a time."
Donald Holford could not be reached for comment today. According to others contacted at his address, he would not have wanted to comment. He has refrained from commenting to the media since the protest was announced.
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