Iowa’s Natural Resources Commission recently announced its intent to ban hunters’ use of lead shot on numerous state and federal wildlife areas across Iowa, except for use in turkey and deer hunting. The ban will also prohibit the use of lead shot in target shooting.
According to the Commission, the purpose of imposing this ban is to “begin limiting the use of lead for all hunting and fishing on all public areas”. The proposed ban would also designate three wildlife areas as completely “lead free,” including rifle ammunition and fishing tackle. The announcement does not mention any research showing that the use of lead shot is having a negative impact on the state’s wildlife populations. The DNR should base any proposals to restrict hunting on science, not politics and emotion. Unfortunately this is not the case in this instance.
This proposal should be treated as a statewide ban because of the size of the area it covers and because of the Commission’s intent to extend it to all public lands in the future. It is critical that the Commissioners hear strong opposition to its proposal from hunters, shooters, and anglers across the state. Written comments are being accepted until April 27 and can be sent to Dale Garner, Wildlife Bureau Chief, at Dale.Garner@dnr.iowa.gov
The Commission is not alone in advocating a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle. They are keeping company with anti-hunting extremists, anti-gunners, and radical environmentalists who are campaigning for a nationwide ban.