Iowa’s debate over the use of lead ammunition for dove-hunting is now receiving national attention. Major publications including USA Today picked up the story that puts environmentalist and many hunters on opposing sides.
Environmentalist worry that fragments of the toxic lead shots, which closely resemble seeds, will be eaten by animals and ultimately cause their death. An editorial in the Des Moines Register even suggests that the levels of lead deposited during the hunting season could cause health effects in humans.
On the other side, many hunters value lead shots over the non-toxic steel alternative because they’re cheaper and some find them more effective.
The decision to allow lead shot, like the decision to allow dove hunting in general, may be influenced by the economic boost provided by hunters. It’s estimated that Iowa dove hunters will contribute nearly $7 million this year.