DNREC issues new hunting requirement

    The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will now require hunters to use non-toxic shots while dove hunting on state wildlife areas.

    With only 4 weeks left before the start of this year’s mourning dove hunting season, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control wants all hunters to check their ammunition before hitting the fields.

    The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will now require hunters to use non-toxic shots while dove hunting on state wildlife areas.

    The new rule has been issued in response to growing concern about the effects of spent ammunition on upland bird species. Recent studies have confirmed that doves are consuming the lead shot pellets deposited in fields, which can eventually lead to acute lead poisoning, and often result in death.

    The toxic pellets are most severe in sunflower fields that have been planted specifically for dove hunting. Pellet accumulations in these fields have been shown to reach several hundred thousand pellets per acre.

    DNREC has informed sporting goods stores in Delaware of the recent changes in order to ensure an adequate supply of non-toxic ammunition is available for the upcoming season.

    The 2009-2010 dove season will run from September 1st to the 26th.

    The Division of Fish and Wildlife will be holding a series of public workshops this month to inform hunters and address any questions or concerns. The sessions will be held in all three counties as follows:

    Sussex County: Aug. 12 @ 7pm, Cape Henlopen State Park Nature Center, 42 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes

    Kent County: Aug. 13 @ 6:30pm, DNREC Auditorium, Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover

    New Castle County: Aug. 14 @ 7pm, Ommelanden Range and Hunter Education Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle

    For more information, call 302-739-9912

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