A state legislative panel has voted to block a rule that would’ve banned the use of lead shot by dove hunters. Today’s action will allow hunters to use lead shot when the inaugural dove hunting season opens September 1st.
Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, is not on the legislative committee but requested to testify before his colleagues. “This is nothing but an anti-hunting issue,” Baudler said. “I hope you’ll do the right thing and stop this rule from going into effect.”
Baudler believes the Natural Resource Commission overstepped its authority when it approved the ban last month. “We have a situation here in Iowa with the Department of Natural Resources…it appears, from the hunting community, to be very anti-hunting,” Baudler said.
Other hunters testified that lead shot is toxic to wildlife and that using copper or steel ammunition is an easy alternative. Liz Garst of Coon Rapids is a former chair of the Natural Resource Commission.
“If we hunters persist in saying we’re exempt from the environmental problems of lead, we hunters are going to get a black mark in the public’s eye,” Garst said. She pointed to research that shows increasing lead poisoning in bald Eagles.
But lawmakers say it’s up to Iowa Legislature to review the data and decide if the rule should stand. The legislature must now repeal the ban on lead shot during the next session, or it goes into effect for the 2012 dove hunting season.