Schofield Man Races Pigeons, Mayor Puts Hold on Additional Citations

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Brian Mader has had his "feathered" hobby in Schofield since 2009.

"This is a performance breed," Mader said. "It's an athlete, like any kind of athlete like a person."

Mader races pigeons, and there are pigeon racing clubs throughout the entire state, but he's the only one in the Wausau area who does it.

This weekend's 150-mile pigeon race in Stevens Point may be his last, and neighbors like Schofield City Council Member Sue Martell, who has lived a couple houses down for 30 years, couldn't be more excited.

"They're (the pigeons) throwing around that nesting material," Martell said. "And they're doing their constant cooing at once."

The city of Schofield sent Mader a letter Saturday, Aug. 17, that he violated two city ordinances that deal with nuciance animals, which in

Mader's case, classifying pigeons as fowl, and running an agrigultural business in a residential zoning area.

The letter said Mader had 14 days to get rid of his birds.

However, opinions differ, especially when it comes to classifying the pigeons.

"Racing pigeons are not classified as fowl at all," Mader said.

Martell disagreed.

"I looked it up in the Webster-Merriam Dictionary, and it says 'fowl' is any bird," Martell said.

Mader said his 35 pigeons are clean and de-wormed, unlike the large population he said is present in Wausau, which could be the birds found on his neighbor's roofs that may have caused damage.

Mader said the proper way to take care of racing pigeons is to keep them in a loft like to keep them dry.

He also said if you keep them dry by building a loft a couple feet off the ground, the pigeons aren't exposed to critters who may have diseases.

Diseases and health concerns aren't necessarily the neighbors' concerns; they just don't want the pigeons affecting their lives any longer.

"Would you like a bird dropping or a feather in your ice tea?" Martell said. "Or in your ham sandwich your eating outside? No."

However, Mader just wants flexibility from the City of Schofield.

"I'd like Schofield to follow their ordinance the way they should be," Mader said. "You can't just make stuff up the way as you go to fit your agenda."

He's holding onto hope that his hobby isn't going anywhere.

"I'm keeping my pigeons," Mader said. "I'm keeping my pigeons."

Update: NewsChannel 7 contacted the Mayor of Schofield Tuesday night and he said he has put a hold on enforcement not to fine Mader after the 14 days if his pigeons aren't gone.

That's because the finance committee needs to discuss the financial implications of the cost of enforcement of the issue.

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