Southwest Missouri dove hunters need to remember that new rules apply this year at some state conservation areas.
Nontoxic shot is now required at the Robert E. Talbot Conservation Area in Lawrence County and the Bois D’Arc Conservation Area in Greene County.
Other conservation areas in Southwest Missouri where lead shot is banned for dove hunting include:
• Harmony Mission Lake in southern Bates County.
Other conservation areas in Southwest Missouri where lead shot is banned for all hunting with a shotgun include:
• Four Rivers in Vernon and Bates counties.
• Schell-Osage in Vernon and Saint Clair counties.
According to MDC, lead is poisonous to 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."
A full list of dove hunting regulations can be found at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/regulations/nontoxic-shot-regulations.
If you are interested in dove hunting, you might want to put a couple more events on your calendar:
• Dove Hunting Basics course
When: 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Where: Andy Dalton Shooting Range, 4897 N. Farm Road 61, Ash Grove.
Details: Learn wildlife identification, habits and habitats, regulations, safety, hunting strategies, equipment and game care. Experts will discuss the biology of the bird and then teach participants how to wing shoot using the Effective Wing Shooting for the Hunter techniques. They also will discuss using decoys and how to use concealment. For more information, and to register, call 417-742-4361.
• Mentored Dove hunts
When: Sunday, Sept. 1, and Saturday, Sept. 7.
Where: Diamond Grove Prairie south of Joplin in Newton County.
Details: This is for first-time dove hunters who will go into the field with experienced instructors to learn wildlife identification, dove habits and habitats, regulations, safety, hunting strategies, equipment and game care. It is put on by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Conservation Federation of Missouri, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever, Missouri Prairie Foundation and private landowners.
Participants are encouraged to attend a dove hunting workshop or hunter education class before participating in the hunt.
Hunters 11 and older are eligible to participate; hunters 11-15 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
There will be four hunts on Sunday, Sept. 1, and four hunts on Saturday, Sept. 7.
You must register online at https://docs.google.com/a/nwtf.net/forms/d/1d-139WODPgspJmP9qVD09_pI2Qm9MkgFkkLW-Dve6ns/edit?usp=drive_web.
Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor for The Joplin Globe. Contact him at email@example.com.