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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is proposing regulations that will require the use of nontoxic shot for hunting doves on 20 conservation areas with heavy, concentrated dove hunting. MDC is also proposing adding 16 areas to its existing 21 conservation areas where nontoxic shot is required for all hunting with shotguns.

The proposed regulations were developed during MDC’s midyear review of the Wildlife Code of Missouri and approved by the Conservation Commission at its Aug. 24 meeting.

The proposed effective date is March 1, 2019.

MDC welcomes public comment during October at short.mdc.mo.gov/Z49.

Lead is a well-known poison that hurts the health of both people and wildlife. Research shows that doves, waterfowl, and many other species of birds can suffer from lead poisoning after consuming lead pellets from spent shotgun shells. Lead poisoning can be fatal to birds and other wildlife, including bald eagles that feed on waterfowl with lead shot in the carcasses.

Waterfowl hunters have been required by federal law to use nontoxic shot since 1991 and must use nontoxic shot for all duck, goose, and coot hunting in Missouri regardless of where they are hunting. Requiring the use of nontoxic shot has reduced the incidences of lead poisoning from lead-shot ingestion by birds and other wildlife.

The proposed nontoxic-shot requirement for the following 20 conservation areas managed for dove hunting would prohibit the use of lead shot for dove hunting: Bilby Ranch Lake, Bois D’Arc, Busch (August A.), Crowley’s Ridge, Davisdale, Harmony Mission Lake, Lamine River, Logan (William R.), Maintz Wildlife Preserve, Pacific Palisades, Park (Guy B.), Peabody, Pony Express Lake, Reed (James A.) Memorial Wildlife Area, Reform, Talbot (Robert E.), Truman Reservoir Management Lands (Bethlehem), Weldon Spring, Whetstone Creek, and

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