Hunters must use non-toxic shot for dove and waterfowl

INDIANA – With the ongoing ammo shortage, Department of Natural Resources officers knows hunters are having trouble finding non-toxic shot to take advantage of dove and waterfowl hunting seasons.

Non-toxic shot is required for dove hunting on DNR properties by state law, and federal law requires the use of non-toxic shot for waterfowl hunting across the country.

Both laws are intended to protect the species from the accidental ingestion of lead. On Fish & Wildlife properties, specific fields are set aside for hunters to use for dove hunting, and these fields encourage birds to feed on the ground. When several hunters shoot in the same direction in the same area over time, this causes an accumulation of shot on the ground where birds often feed. Using non-toxic shot protects doves while providing hunters with ample opportunity to hunt them over the fields they’re attracted to.

As you prepare for the upcoming waterfowl seasons opening or plan to hunt doves in November, buy your ammo well in advance.

The list of shot types approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is occasionally updated. You can find that list here.

Find more information about waterfowl and migratory game bird season regulations online.

Hunting seasons

  • Wild Turkey Fall Archery: Oct. 1 – 31
  • Deer Archery: Oct. 1 – Jan. 2, 2021
  • Woodcock: Oct. 15 – Nov. 28
  • Red and Gray Fox: Oct. 15 – Feb. 28, 2021
  • Coyote and Striped Skunk: Oct. 15 – Mar. 15, 2021
  • Wild Turkey Fall Firearms: Oct. 20 – 31
  • Ducks, Coots, Mergansers: North Zone: Oct. 24 – Dec. 13 Central Zone: Oct. 30 – Nov. 7
  • Canada Geese: North Zone: Oct. 23 – Oct. 31 Central Zone: Oct. 30 – Nov. 7
  • Youth & Veteran Waterfowl North Zone: Oct. 16 – 17 Central Zone: Oct. 23 – 24 South Zone: Oct. 30 – 31
  • Dog running season for raccoon and opossum will close on Oct. 25.