MDC reminds dove hunters to check for non-toxic shot requirements on conservation areas

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – People planning to hunt doves during the upcoming season are reminded there are Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) areas managed specifically for dove hunting that require hunters to use nontoxic shot. Missouri’s dove season starts Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 29. Hunters are urged to check regulations for the conservation area where they plan to hunt before going afield.

Both the Kansas City and northwest regions have conservation areas with fields managed for doves, such as sunflower fields. Some MDC public use areas require nontoxic shot for dove hunting only, where the use or possession of lead shot is prohibited. In addition, MDC has public use areas that require nontoxic shot for all hunting activities with shotguns. A complete list of the 26 MDC areas that require nontoxic shot for dove hunting and the 46 MDC areas that require nontoxic shot for all types of hunting with shotguns can be found in MDC’s “Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest 2023-2024” booklet. This publication is available at most MDC offices and places that sell hunting permits. The booklet can also be found online at:

The reason nontoxic shot is required at these areas is because of the effect that lead shotgun pellets can have on birds. Since birds lack teeth, they need to consume small pieces of gravel and other hard items – collectively known as “grit.” This grit is stored in a bird’s digestive system and is used to help a bird digest its food. In their search for suitable grit items, spent shotgun pellets can be consumed. The ingestion of these lead pellets can be fatal to birds. The nontoxic shot requirement has been placed at certain MDC areas that are heavily used by shotgun hunters.

When visiting any MDC conservation area for hunting any species, please check regulations and area boundaries before going afield. To find a place to hunt, visit