We’ve previously covered the long, strange trip it’s been getting dove hunting legalized in Iowa here and here and here.

But as it turns out, this was the issue that would ultimately set the tone for Iowa’s dove season, because the Iowa Natural Resources Commission just gave final approval, but with one important proviso: no lead shot.

From this story on
Hunters of doves in Iowa will be banned from using traditional lead shot ammunition. The seven-member Iowa Natural Resources Commission today added that provision to the final rules for the state’s first dove hunting season since 1918. Earlier this year, Governor Branstad said he wanted legislators – not the commission – to settle the lead shot debate. Commission chairman Greg Drees says Branstad changed his tune today. “It was kind of a last minute thing,” Drees told Radio Iowa. “The governor gave us his blessing just prior to our meeting, we discussed it and the vote on the amendment was unanimous.”

Supporters of the lead shot ban say the ammunition has been linked to toxic poisoning in animals and harms the environment. Some hunters dispute that claim and note so-called “non toxic” ammunition is much more expensive. “I’m quite sure there will be some initial opposition, but we felt like we should take the lead in this respect,” Drees said. He believes hunters will “come around” to using steel or “non toxic” ammunition. “We have so many different alternatives and I think all hunters, once they come to realize this, will ultimately support this,” Drees said.