COLUMBIA — 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 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at the MDC Charles Green Conservation Area (CA) in Ashland. With this free clinic, Missouri's wingshooters can become more efficient hunters, taking fewer marginal shots and reducing the numbers of wounded game.
Participants will learn about wounding rates in waterfowl and performance differences of nontoxic vs. lead shot. Additionally, the clinic will cover how to select the best ammunition and choke for game birds and hunting conditions, 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.
The workshop will help migratory and upland bird hunters improve their wingshooting skills, including effective use of shotgun shells with non-toxic alternatives to lead shot, such as steel shot. Lead is the most common material used in shotgun ammunition. Because lead shot has been found to poison waterfowl and eagles that feed on waterfowl, federal law requires duck and goose hunters to use nontoxic alternatives to lead shot.
“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 Brian Flowers. “In addition to boosting your wingshooting performance and conservation results, the Effective Wingshooting for the Hunter workshop can help you save money on expenses--fewer wasted shells mean more money in your pocket!”
Hunters should bring their shotguns, choke tubes and non-toxic ammunition if they wish to pattern their guns or practice skills. 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 available.
This program is open to adults age 18 or over. There is no cost for the program, but pre-registration by Sept. 16 is required. To register, send an e-mail to Brian.Flowers@mdc.mo.gov or call 573-815-7901, ext. 3388.
The Charles Green CA is located at 5611 E. Minor Hill Rd. For more information about this and other Discover Nature programs, go online to mdc.mo.gov.