Nontoxic Shot Secrets

Practically every hunter knows that steel and other nontoxic shot performs differently than lead shot. What many do not know is how nontoxic shot is different; how different it is and how to adjust shooting habits to compensate for the differences. Those who attend free shooting clinics around the state will learn these things and become more effective hunters in the process.

MDC offers “Effective Wingshooting, the CONSEP Way” clinics at nine locations statewide from June through October. The clinics — part of the Cooperative North American Shooting Education Program (CONSEP) — are designed to help hunters become more effective, ethical wingshooters.

Each event includes an afternoon or evening classroom session open to everyone. Registration for these events is limited only to the capacity of the hosting facility. A limited number of participants who are in a position to pass their knowledge on to other hunters will take part in one-day hands-on shooting training sessions following the classroom portion of the clinics. Ammunition and lunch are provided free of charge at these sessions. Separate events with shooting training are offered to hunter education instructors.

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. In 2007, Missouri expanded that prohibition to all hunting on 21 conservation areas.

Areas where only nontoxic shot is allowed and possession of lead shot is prohibited are B. K. Leach Memorial, Black Island, Bob Brown, Columbia Bottom, Cooley Lake, Coon Island, Duck Creek, Eagle Bluffs, Fountain Grove, Four Rivers, Grand Pass, Little Bean Marsh, Little River, Marais Temps Clair, Montrose, Nodaway Valley, Otter Slough, Schell-Osage, Settle’s Ford, Ted Shanks and Ten Mile Pond.

For more information, visit the links listed below.

This year’s Missouri CONSEP offerings include:

July 24–26 at the Ozark Regional Office in West Plains. Call (417) 256-7161 for registration and additional information.

Aug. 21–22 at Nodaway Valley Conservation Area (CA) in Holt County. Call (816) 271-3100.

Sept. 11–13 at the Jay Henges Shooting Range at Forest 44 CA in St. Louis County. Call (636) 300-1953, ext. 302.

Sept. 18–20 at the UMC Range, Sedalia. Call (816) 655-6250.

Sept. 25–27 at Runge Conservation Nature Center, Jefferson City. Call (573) 884-6861.

Oct. 2–4 at the Andy Dalton Shooting Range at Bois D’Arc CA in Greene County. Call (417) 895-6880.

Oct. 2–4 at Ted Shanks CA in Pike County. Call (660) 785-2420.

Oct. 9–11 at August A. Busch Memorial CA in St. Charles County. Call (636) 300-1953, ext. 302.

Oct. 16–18 at Duck Creek CA in Bollinger County. Call (573) 290-5730.