Nontoxic Shot Only Rule

Twenty-one conservation areas require nontoxic shot

Twenty-one Missouri conservation areas implemented a nontoxic-shot-only regulation for all hunting with a shotgun on March 1, 2007. These areas have larger wetland areas where sizeable numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds concentrate in the fall and spring.

Nontoxic shot is safer for wildlife and people

The nontoxic shot regulation will reduce the incidence of lead shot ingestion, which is often fatal to all invertebrates, including waterfowl, doves, and scavenging birds, such as eagles, that feed on waterfowl with lead shot in the carcass. Mounting evidence points to lead poisoning occurring in more than 134 species, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

The nontoxic shot rule applies to all hunting with a shotgun including dove, turkey, quail, rabbit, and squirrel. Since 1991, waterfowl hunters in Missouri have used nontoxic shot for all duck, geese, and rail hunting.

Many of the 21 conservation areas included in the new nontoxic shot requirement offer good dove hunting, which can be a significant source of lead shot poisoning in birds. Good quality nontoxic shot shell alternatives for all gauges are available commercially at a reasonable cost. Modern steel and bismuth/tin shot shells are as effective as lead shot shells in killing birds.

Which areas carry the rule?

Use or possession of lead shot is prohibited for hunting on the following Department of Conservation areas beginning March 1, 2007:

  1. Bob Brown Conservation Area
  2. Black Island Conservation Area
  3. Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
  4. Cooley Lake Conservation Area
  5. Coon Island Conservation Area
  6. Duck Creek Conservation Area
  7. Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
  8. Fountain Grove Conservation Area
  9. Four Rivers Conservation Area
  10. Grand Pass Conservation Area
  11. B. K. Leach Memorial Conservation Area
  12. Little Bean Marsh Conservation Area
  13. Little River Conservation Area
  14. Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area
  15. Montrose Conservation Area
  16. Nodaway Valley Conservation Area
  17. Otter Slough Conservation Area
  18. Schell-Osage Conservation Area
  19. Settle’s Ford Conservation Area
  20. Ted Shanks Conservation Area
  21. Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area

Which kinds of shot are nontoxic?

As of January 2014, shot types approved as being nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are the following:

  • Bismuth-tin
  • Iron (steel)
  • Iron-tungsten
  • Iron-tungsten-nickel
  • Spectra
  • Tungsten-bronze (two types)
  • Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel
  • Tungsten-iron-polymer
  • Tungsten-matrix
  • Tungsten-polymer
  • Tungsten-tin-bismuth
  • Tungsten-tin-iron
  • Tungsten-tin-iron-nickel

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

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