Research | Hunt: Dove Lethality Study

Dove hunters at sunset

Silhouette of dove hunters at end of day with sunset


This is Passport to Texas

Texas leads the nation in dove hunting with roughly a quarter million hunters bagging 5 million mourning doves each fall.

03—Dove hunting is kind of a rite of passage for fall for many hunters.

Corey Mason is Wildlife Region Three Director. He says in December (2014), the agency released results of a two year study examining the lethality of lead versus non-toxic shot for mourning dove.

07— Long story short, what this [analysis] told us is that bagging, wounding and missing rates, they really did not differ across ammunition types.

Mason said the most commonly used shot is a 2 3/4-inch 12-guage shell, one and one-eighth ounce 7 1/2 lead shot.

10— We compared that to a one ounce seven steel, and a once ounce six steel. It came out with very comparable results. So that statistically speaking, there was really no difference.

Texas Parks and Wildlife staff, trained as observers, spent two years in the field collecting birds bagged by hunters at commercial hunting operations.

14—There were over 5-thousand shots fires; there were over 11-hundred birds bagged. Every bird that was shot was necropsied, x-rayed, and examined. We took information gained in the field – as well as the terminal ballistics – [to determine] the effects those particular pellets had on the birds.

Again, researchers discovered negligible differences between ammunition types. But why study this at all. That’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Leave a Reply