Dove hunting season starts on 1 September here in Iowa and runs through 9 November 2015. Please encourage hunters to use steel shot. Research shows that, when lead shot is used for dove hunting, as many doves die from ingesting lead and lead poisoning as are harvested (3% of the population). Approximately, 17 million doves are harvested in the United States each year which means another 17 million die from lead poisoning.
What happens when a dove shot with a lead shot-shell does not die or is not retrieved… that dove might get eaten by another bird. Cooper’s hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, peregrines, and kestrels will hunt doves and even eat doves found dead. This x-ray, taken postmortem, of a Cooper’s hawk admitted in 2012 shows a pellet in the digestive tract. Upon necropsy… it was confirmed as a lead pellet. This hawks blood lead level was greater than 0.65 ppm.
Please use steel host / non-toxic shot when hunting upland game birds so that poisoning of non-target animals does not happen.
Remember that SOAR supports ethical and non-toxic hunting.
Click here to download a copy of the 2015 Iowa Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations.