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Spring turkey hunters face new non-toxic shot requirements

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New nontoxic shot regulations will affect hunters during this year's spring turkey hunting season, which starts April 6.

The Missouri Conservation Commission voted in August to require nontoxic pellets for all hunting with shotguns in 37 conservation areas. The regulations became effective on March 1.

The U.S. Fishing & Wildlife Service defines nontoxic shot as any pellets that do not cause sickness and death when ingested by migratory birds, which does not include lead. Shotgun pellets typically are made of bismuth, tungsten, tin or copper.

The requirements have been shown to reduce incidents of lead poisoning in wildlife, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

Sixteen conservation areas were added in August to the 21 existing areas. The new areas include Aspinwall Bend, Church Farm, Corning, Deroin Bend, Diana Bend, Franklin Island, Frost Island, Lower Hamburg Bend, Nishnabotna, Perry (Ralph and Martha), Platte Falls, Plowboy Bend, Thurnau (H. F.), Rose Pond, Rush Bottom and Wolf Creek.

The 21 original conservation areas are B. K. Leach, Bob Brown, Black Island, Columbia Bottom, Cooley Lake, **** 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.

The Department of Conservation lists approved types of nontoxic shot on its website.

Spring turkey hunting for youths ages 6 through 15 will take place April 6 and 7, from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The regular spring turkey hunting season goes from April 15 to May 5, from one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.
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