Gov. Terry Branstad signed an executive order Friday legalizing the use of lead shot in the hunting of doves, rescinding last year’s action by the state Natural Resources Commission. Mourning dove hunters will be able to use lead shot during the 70-day season, which opens Sept. 1.
Last year, the commission approved a rule that banned lead shot for dove hunting, concluding it was toxic and contaminates the environment for other animals. The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee postponed the rule, giving lawmakers a chance to pass a law that would allow the lead shot. While the House passed a resolution this session, the measure died in the Senate.
Branstad said when the Legislature passed the dove hunting law last year, it gave the commission authority to set the season but not to set restrictions on the type of ammunition. He said the commission, which is appointed by the governor, overstepped its authority.