Regulated hunting plays an important part in wildlife conservation of both game and non-game species in Iowa. Find out how hunters can continue this conservation legacy.
Iowa hunters and anglers, led by Iowa Congressman John Lacey, fought for protection of bison and other wildlife. The Lacey Act regulates the trade and importation of plants and animals and helps prevent the spread of invasive species.
Hunting, as a wildlife management tool, helps balance wildlife populations with what the land can support, limits crop damage and curtails disease outbreaks.
Iowa's Ding Darling and others led the development of multiple national wildlife conservation efforts such as the Duck Stamp Program, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid and Wildlife Restoration Act.
The hunting community leads the way in funding many conservation efforts such as public land aquisition, habitat development, and management for both game and non-game species through hunting and fishing licenses and excise taxes on ammunition and hunting equipment.
The Iowa Conservation Commission (now the DNR) worked with sportsmen, sportswomen, and others to restore wild turkey, deer, trumpeter swans, river otters and other species to sustainable populations.
Waterfowl hunters made the switch to lead-free hunting to sustain populations for future generations.
Hunters and many other Iowans voiced their support for natural resource, passing the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund (originally created in 1937), ensuring conservation fees may only be spent on conservation.
Hunters and other conservationists advocated to pass the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, dedicating a percentage of future sales taxes to natural resources.
Sportsmen and women carry on these proud traditions by continuing to support conservation and using non-lead ammunition to manage resources for healthy wildlife populations and habitats.
Game carcasses and gut piles provide valuable food sources for wildlife. They also pose a serious threat if game is shot with lead ammunition.
1. On impact, lead ammunition breaks apart and loses a portion of its weight, spreading toxic fragments along the wound channel and throughout the body.
2. Fragments of lead remain in the carcass and in the discarded gut pile.
3. Scavenging animals ingest lead fragments when eating gut piles and carcasses. When ingested, lead can be deadly to all animals.
The digestive system of birds, including eagles, make them particularly vulnerable to even small pieces of ingested lead. For more information, visit huntingwithnonlead.org
Non-lead slugs are available for both rifled and smooth-bore shotguns. They offer great performance and accuracy on big game. There are sabot and non-sabot options.
Copper and copper alloy slugs have been developed to perform with exceptional accuracy and expand rapidly on big game.
Slugs made with tin and zinc provide accuracy and high weight retention for big game.
Ammunition manufacturers continue to develop and expand non-lead options. As with any ammunition, check the manufacturer's information for proper matching with your particular firearm.
Tungsten, bismuth and steel are all proven non-lead options for upland game as well as waterfowl. Be sure your shotgun and choke tubes are approved for use with your chosen shot type.
Tungsten: Tungsten based shot is denser than lead and is recommended for shotguns rated for steel.
Bismuth: Soft and dense, bismuth is a great choice for older shotguns with softer barrels.
Steel: The least dense shot option is also the most economical. Shotguns must be rated to shoot steel shot (most modern firearms are).
Sabots, full bore diameter conical projectiles and alloys for round balls are available for inline and traditional muzzleloaders.
Sabots: Saboted bullets made of copper and copper alloys are exceptionally accurate and expand rapidly on big game.
Full bore and round balls: Full bore copper bullets are available in a variety of diameters and bismuth/tin alloy is available for casting round balls and conicals.
Monolithic hollow-point and tipped bullets: Monolithic bullets made of copper and copper alloys expand rapidly and penetrate deeply through vitals on big game.
Frangible bullets: Non-lead cores are designed for maximum shock and minimum pelt damage on small game and furbearers.
Rim-fire: A variety of non-lead rim-fire cartridges are available in frangible and solid hollow point.
Non-lead ammunition offers great performance. Choose an option to match your hunt and your equipment. For more information, visit huntingwithnonlead.org.