DES MOINES – Final approval of a rule that will allow the hunting of mourning doves in Iowa was approved Thursday by the Iowa Natural Resource Commission which also added an amendment that would require hunters to use non-toxic shot.
The non-toxic shot requirement follows several discussions by the commission during the past year concerning the impacts of lead shot to the environment and on wildlife. Lead – or toxic – shot used in hunting can be ingested by wildlife. There has been a national ban on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting since 1991 with non-toxic shot for waterfowl being in place in Iowa since 1987.
The rules approved by the commission allow for a dove season starting Sept. 1st and ending Nov. 9th. The final rule allows the harvest of 15 doves a day and can be either mourning or Eurasian collared-doves. The possession limit is 30 and the season is open state-wide.
Commissioners added and approved an amendment on Thursday that would require hunters to only use non-toxic shot while hunting doves anywhere in the state of Iowa.
The decision to ban toxic shot for dove hunting was based largely on the fact that much of the hunting occurs over a small area which would increase the likelihood of lead concentrations being created.
“There will be a number of hunters who will be opposed to this decision, but at the end of the day, this action by the commission will help protect Iowa’s environment and wildlife from the adverse affects of lead,” said DNR Director Roger Lande.