State Regulations Concerning the Use of Lead-Free Ammunition

The following are state listings of regulations regarding shot and bullet materials allowed for hunting.  These regulations can and do change and it is best to consult current regulations in the state you are hunting before heading afield.

Non-Toxic Shot Regulations by State

USA: Ammunition other than lead required for waterfowl and when hunting with a shotgun (not including slugs) on wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas.

Alabama: Nothing additional to federal regulations.

Alaska: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required in Unit 18 when taking game under the provision of a hunting or trapping license with a shotgun and in Unit 26.

Arizona: Non-lead ammunition is encouraged when hunting within the California Condor's range in Arizona (Game Management Unites 12A, 12B, 9, 10, 13A, 13B). For more information, click here.

Arkansas: Migratory birds not considered waterfowl (doves, rails, woodcock, snipe, moorhens, gallinules) can be hunted with size T and smaller non-toxic shot or size BB and smaller lead shot.

California: Non-toxic ammunition required in the eight-county historic range of the California condor. There will be a complete ban on the use of lead ammunition for any hunting purposes anywhere in the state by July 1, 2019. Click here for more information.

Colorado: Non-toxic shot required in the Alamosa/Monte Vista/Baca National Wildlife Refuge Complex and when hunting ducks, geese or coots.

Delaware: During the month of September, all hunters must use non-toxic shot when dove hunting in State Wildlife Areas. Non-toxic ammunition required for dove hunting in Wildlife Management Areas.

Illinois: Non-toxic ammunition required for dove hunting on some public lands.

Iowa: Non-toxic ammunition required for all game in wildlife management areas except for deer and turkeys. No person may take ducks, geese (including brant), rails, snipe, or coots while possessing shot (either in shotshells or as looseshot for muzzleloading) other than approved non-toxic shot. For a list of approved non-toxic shot, click here.

Kansas: Non-toxic shot required for hunting of all migratory game birds except dove and woodcock. At least 17 state wildlife areas and refuges require non-toxic shotgun load for upland game birds such as pheasant, grouse and quail and other small game.

Kentucky: Non-toxic ammunition required for doves in 13 wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges.

Louisiana: Non-toxic ammunition required for doves at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area.

Maine: Nothing additional to federal regulations.

Maryland: Non-toxic shot is required for hunting rail and snipe.

Minnesota: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot must be used for sandhill cranes.

Missouri: Non-toxic shot for shotguns required in 21 conservation areas. For more information, click here.

Montana: Nothing additional to federal regulations.

Nebraska: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required in some state wildlife management areas, as posted.

New Jersey: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for rail, snipe, or moorhens on all state and private lands.

Nevada: Non-toxic shot required for ducks, mergansers, geese, swans, coots, gallinules or snipe.

New Mexico: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for common moorhen, sora, Virginia rail and snipe.  Non-toxic shot is also required on all State Game Commission owned or managed areas when hunting with a shotgun (slugs excluded).

New York: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for snipe, rails or gallinules.

North Carolina: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot required for the taking of captive-reared mallards on shooting preserves, in field trials and during bona fide dog training activities.

North Dakota: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for sandhill cranes and snipe.

Ohio: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required when hunting with a shotgun in Metzger Marsh, Mallard Club, Pipe Creek, Magee Marsh, Toussaint, and Little Portage wildlife areas.

Oklahoma: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot must be used while hunting Foss State Park and, unless otherwise noted, non-toxic shot is required on all state wetland development units and state waterfowl refuges.

Oregon: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for snipe and on some state refuges, state wildlife areas and regulated hunt area.

South Dakota: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for hunting snipe and muskrat (if shooting with shotgun), and all state game production areas, lake and fishing access areas, state park system areas, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Wildlife Production Areas.  Target shooting with lead shot is also prohibited on the state and federal lands listed above.  GFP encourages hunters to use non-toxic shot for all hunting, even in areas where its use is not required. 

Tennessee: Nothing in addition to federal laws.

Texas: Nothing in addition to federal laws.

Utah: The use of non-lead ammunition is encouraged in the Zion hunting unit, a secondary territory of the California Condor. For more information, click here. Non-toxic ammunition required for sandhill cranes and on some state wildlife and waterfowl management areas. Click here for more information.

Virginia: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for snipe, rail, moorhens, and gallinules.  VDGIF also recommends using non-lead rifle ammunition for big game hunting.

Washington: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for snipe and while hunting in many state wildlife areas and on all areas where pheasants are released.  Click here for more information.

Wisconsin: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required for snipe, rails and moorhen plus doves on all Department of Natural Resources-managed lands. Non-toxic shot is also required while turkey hunting on
National Wildlife Refuges and Federal Waterfowl Production Areas.  The DNR recommends using non-toxic shot when dove hunting on private land and when hunting woodcock.  The DNR also recommends considering the use of non-lead rifle ammunition for deer hunting.

Wyoming: In addition to federal regulations, non-toxic shot is required when hunting game birds or small game with a shotgun on Springer and Table Mountain Wildlife Habitat Management areas.  Non-lead ammunition is required for hunting elk in Grand Teton National Park.  The use of non-lead rifle ammunition is encouraged when hunting elk and bison on the National Elk Refuge.

 

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