KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Hunters have long been leaders in conservation, helping Missouri develop regulations, improve habitat, and control wildlife populations. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites migratory and upland bird hunters to hone their skills at an effective wingshooting clinic starting at 10 a.m. on May 24 at the MDC Northeast Regional Office in Kirksville. The workshop is free, but participants need to preregister by May 21.
Participants will learn about wounding rates in waterfowl, performance differences of nontoxic vs. lead shot, how to select the best ammunition and choke for game birds and hunting conditions, general information on the latest non-toxic shotgun ammunition, and how to sharpen shotgun shooting skills including improving range and target distance estimation. Participants will also learn the latest in shotgun patterning and how to pick the best load for your gun.
“This workshop is an excellent opportunity for hunters to learn how to use nontoxic shot effectively and with confidence, which can save game birds and wildlife from lead poisoning, especially in wetland areas,” said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Rob Garver. “In addition to boosting your wingshooting performance and conservation results, the effective wingshooting workshop can help you save money on expenses--fewer wasted shells mean more money in your pocket!”
The workshop will also cover the characteristics of steel shot. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service require the use of non-toxic steel shot on waterfowl hunting areas. It is also mandatory on many Conservation Department areas used for upland game bird hunting.
The course will demonstrate how steel can be just as effective as lead, or more so. Steel shot simply requires greater shooting precision compared to lead because steel produces a smaller, more compact pattern. “If you know how it acts and performs,” said Garver, referring to steel shot, “you’re going to be a much better hunter.”
Participants should bring their hunting shotguns, choke tubes and non-toxic ammunition if they wish to pattern their guns. Also, they will need to bring eye and ear protection for use on a shooting range, a stool or chair, and a sack lunch. Clay targets and non-toxic 12 and 20 gauge practice ammunition will be provided.
This free workshop is open to adults age 18 or over. For more information or to preregister, send an e-mail to Robert.Garver@mdc.mo.gov or call 660-785-2420.
The Northeast Regional Office is located just south of Kirksville on Highway 63. For more information about this and other Discover Nature programs available in Northeast Missouri, please visit mdc.mo.gov/regions/northeast.