Hunters of doves in Iowa will be banned from using traditional lead shot ammunition. The seven-member Iowa Natural Resources Commission today added that provision to the final rules for the state’s first dove hunting season since 1918.
Earlier this year, Governor Branstad said he wanted legislators – not the commission – to settle the lead shot debate. Commission chairman Greg Drees says Branstad changed his tune today. “It was kind of a last minute thing,” Drees told Radio Iowa. “The governor gave us his blessing just prior to our meeting, we discussed it and the vote on the amendment was unanimous.”
Supporters of the lead shot ban say the ammunition has been linked to toxic poisoning in animals and harms the environment. Some hunters dispute that claim and note so-called “non toxic” ammunition is much more expensive.
“I’m quite sure there will be some initial opposition, but we felt like we should take the lead in this respect,” Drees said. He believes hunters will “come around” to using steel or “non toxic” ammunition.
“We have so many different alternatives and I think all hunters, once they come to realize this, will ultimately support this,” Drees said.
A national ban on the use of lead shot in the hunting of waterfowl has been in place since 1991. Iowa’s dove hunting season will run from September 1 through November 9. There is a daily bird limit of 15 per hunter.