Do you use lead or steel shot for dove?

Answered by Michael Wilson

As an avid hunter and experienced shooter, I can confidently say that I prefer to use steel shot for dove hunting. This is primarily due to the environmental concerns associated with using lead shot, as well as the regulations that many states have implemented to protect wildlife and their habitats.

When it comes to choosing the right size of steel shot for dove hunting, I have found that using number 6 or 7 pellets works best. These sizes are similar in diameter to the smaller lead shot sizes commonly used for dove hunting, such as 7 1/2, 8, or 9.

Switching from lead to steel shot may require some adjustment in shot size, as steel shot is less dense than lead. This means that to achieve similar patterns and effective range, slightly larger steel shot sizes are needed. By using number 6 or 7 steel pellets, you can ensure that you have enough energy and effective pellet density to cleanly harvest doves.

One important thing to note is that steel shot typically has a lower velocity compared to lead shot. This can affect the overall performance and range of your shotgun. It’s important to consider this when selecting your ammunition and adjust your shooting accordingly.

In terms of personal experiences, I have found that using steel shot for dove hunting has been just as effective as using lead shot. With the right shot size and proper shooting technique, I have been able to consistently bag doves without any issues.

Switching to steel shot has also given me peace of mind, knowing that I am not leaving behind lead contamination in the environment. Many wetlands and waterfowl habitats can be negatively impacted by lead shot, as it can leach into the water and harm wildlife. By using steel shot, I am doing my part to minimize these environmental risks.

When it comes to dove hunting, I highly recommend using steel shot instead of lead. Opt for number 6 or 7 steel pellets to achieve similar performance to the smaller lead shot sizes commonly used for dove hunting. Not only does this help protect the environment, but it also ensures a responsible and ethical approach to hunting.