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May 11, 2012 – Governor Terry Branstad, a member of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus, signed an executive order today permanently rescinding a provision of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources dove season rule that prohibits the use of traditional ammunition. The executive order was a result of the Iowa senate’s inaction on SJR 2001, a legislative resolution to rescind the ban. Although the resolution passed committee, and was joined on the Senate floor by a successful house companion bill (HJR 2001), the resolutions never came up for a full Senate vote prior to the conclusion of the 2012 legislative session. As a result, Governor Branstad decided to take immediate action on behalf of Iowa hunters.
Last year saw the first dove season in Iowa since 1918, following passage of a dove hunting bill that Senator Dick Dearden (Iowa Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair) had championed for twelve years. The legislative intent of the dove bill did not include a ban on traditional lead ammunition because such a ban was not based on science and would create an undue burden on Iowa’s hunters. In fact, an amendment to ban traditional ammunition was offered during the 2011 legislative debate and was soundly defeated. Still, the IA DNR Commissioners decided to implement the ban while setting the new season regulations last July. Fortunately, the provision of the rule to ban traditional ammunition was ultimately deferred back to the legislature by the Administrative Rules Review Committee, and Iowans were able to enjoy last fall’s historic dove season unhindered.
“There’s no evidence whatsoever that it hurts any population or any species of animals,” Dearden said, noting that the cost of alternative ammunition can be more expensive and harder to find. “Frankly, I think they (the commission) went way beyond (their role to set rules). The NRC was making law.”
The legislature once again took up the traditional ammunition ban at the beginning of the 2012 legislative session by introducing two joint resolutions (HJR 2001 and SJR 2001) to permanently rescind the ban. HJR 2001 passed the full House on February 2nd, while SJR 2001 passed out of committee on January 25th. However, because the resolution failed to pass in the Senate prior to the conclusion of the legislative session on May 9th, the ban on traditional ammunition would have become law for the 2012 dove season and each dove season thereafter.
In order to prevent a permanent ban on traditional ammunition for Iowa dove hunters, Governor Terry Branstad issued the executive order rescinding the measure early this morning. Sportsmen and women in Iowa and across the nation applaud Governor Branstad for ensuring that natural resource management is based on sound science and for safeguarding the use of traditional ammunition.
Senator Dearden and Governor Branstad are members of the Iowa Sportsmen’s Caucus and Governor’s Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC), respectively, which work in affiliation with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) to support and promote pro-sportsmen legislation within the states. These caucuses, organized under CSF, provide sportsmen the access and voice within their state legislatures. Ultimately, these caucuses and CSF provide protection against legislative attacks on hunting and fishing, such as lead ammunition bans, and deliver results for the advancement of sportsmen’s interests in the political arena.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?