Missouri lead shot rule seeks to limit exposure in birds

Missouri lead shot rule seeks to limit exposure in birds
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A new Missouri state rule aimed at protecting wildlife from lead poisoning means that hunters will no longer be allowed to use lead shot in additional conservation areas across the state.

Unlike bullets, shotgun shells are filled with small pellets that are often made of lead. St. Louis Public Radio reports that the Missouri Department of Conservation added 16 conservation areas where hunters must use nontoxic shot, bringing the total number to 37. The new regulations went into effect in March.

The goal is to protect birds like ducks and geese that may mistake pellets for small stones, which they eat to help grind their food. Lead exposure can be fatal for some birds.

Eagles and other bird species may also scavenge animal remains and accidentally ingest lead shot.

Click here to read Missouri hunting regulations.

The 16 conservation areas are: Aspinwall Bend, Church Farm, Corning, Deroin Bend, Diana Bend, Franklin Island, Frost Island, Lower Hamburg Bend, Nishnabotna, Perry (Ralph and Martha), Platte Falls, Plowboy Bend, Thurnau (H. F.), Rose Pond, Rush Bottom, and Wolf Creek.

The 16 areas have been added to these 21 conservation areas that already require nontoxic shot for hunting with shotguns: B. K. Leach, Bob Brown, Black Island, Columbia Bottom, Cooley Lake, Coon Island, Duck Creek, Eagle Bluffs, Fountain Grove, Four Rivers, Grand Pass, Little Bean Marsh, Little River, Marais Temps Clair, Montrose, Nodaway Valley, Otter Slough, Schell-Osage, Settle’s Ford, Ted Shanks, and Ten Mile Pond.

The Commission also approved regulations in August 2018 that requires the use of nontoxic shot, effective March 1, on the following 20 conservation areas managed 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 White (William G. and Erma Parke) Memorial Wildlife Area.

Find more information about these and other conservation areas on the MDC website at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places