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Wednesday, June 12, 2019
What’s all the cooing about?
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Outdoor events worth attending and more

New dove hunting ammo
All native or wild upland game birds in California will now have to be hunted with non-lead shot, so out the door goes that lead shot ammo that has produced excellent gunning for dove and quail since first introduced back in the late 1800s. It’s really too bad that wing shooters have to give up on lead pellets, but DFW rules and regulations have been leading to that phase since AB 711 was passed by the legislature back in October 2013.

KENT’S NEW STEEL DOVE LOAD — This new dove load from Kent is likely to be a popular load for California dove hunters now that non-toxic shot is required.

Western Outdoor News checked in with Turner’s Outdoorsman’s Mike Etienne, Vice President of Purchasing and Marketing, to find out what this retailer has planned for dealing with upcoming issues created by AB 711.

“With ammo registration starting July 1, we brought all of our dove loads into our retail stores early so hunters can stock up before the end of June and avoid the headaches of the new regulations. Of course, this is an all steel year, so we are stocked up on Kent and Fiocchi dove loads at sales prices under $8 a box,” stated Etienne.

The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions required in the sale of ammo at the retail level now in California. This information was passed on by way of Turner’s Outdoorsman:

CA Ammunition Background Check/Registration Begins on July 1, 2019

Ammo Registration FAQ’s

1. How much will it cost for the “ammunition eligibility check”? a. There are two distinct types of ammo background checks. i. The “Standard” ammunition check will cost $1.00/transaction and will apply to persons whose information — including current address — matches an entry in CA DOJ’s “Automated Firearm System” (AFS), and who are not on the DOJ list of “Prohibited Armed Persons.” ii. The “Basic” ammunition check will cost $19.00/transaction and will likely be suited for persons who do not have a firearm listed in the AFS system, or those whose current address differs from their address for any gun listed in their name in the AFS system, or those who have undergone a legal name change (due to marriage, divorce or other reasons) that is different than their record(s) in AFS. iii. Alternately, a person purchasing a firearm may purchase ammunition at the same time and undergo one background check for the gun and ammunition at no additional cost beyond the firearm background check fees.

2. How long will the background check take? a. CA DOJ says the Standard check may be completed in a manner of minutes. b. The Basic check will take an indeterminate amount of time; CA DOJ has not announced a minimum nor a maximum amount of time for this ammo check.

3. Can I purchase ammunition in calibers or sizes that are different that those listed for me in the AFS system? a. Yes; there are no restrictions on which calibers/gauges that you can purchase.

4. Is there a limit on the amount of ammunition that I can purchase? a. No; there is no limit to the amount of ammunition that can be purchased.

5. I have a CA DOJ Certificate of Eligibility (COE), am I exempt from the process? a. COE holders are not exempt from the in-store eligibility check, but they can opt for the $1 “COE Verification Process” that is similar to the “standard” ammo background check.

6. I am a state/local or federal law enforcement officer; am I exempt from the in-store process? a. State, local or federal law enforcement officers are exempt when they show their peace officer credential and a written certification from the head of their agency when purchasing ammunition in store.

Western Outdoor News made the rounds of a few gun shops to get an idea of what’s available on dealers’ shelves in the way of new non-lead dove ammo and just how much the cost of a good dove shot is going to run. Based on shelf prices, as posted, it appears that dove/quail 20 ga. shotgun ammo will run between $8 to $12 a box for steel shot. Retailers were a bit hesitant about talking about special prices for dove ammo being available prior to dove season, but it’s a pretty good bet that there will be some sales going on at bigger retailers. Bismuth and TSS shot loads will be significantly higher, but this heavy shot can be pretty effective, especially for long distance shots or those taken at the larger Eurasian collard dove. Watch for ads in Western Outdoor News on any dove shot special pricing.

WON then went to Kent Cartridge Company’s media representative Kevin Howard to find out more about Kent’s new steel dove loads and pick up a few tips for the upcoming dove season.

“With dove hunting being a long-standing tradition, Kent Cartridge has a new steel ammo load was designed to specifically help dove hunters bag limits this coming season. Our Steel Dove loads are the only load specially designed for dove hunters who are required to use non-toxic shot. Available in both 12 and 20 gauges, all steel ammo is a 2¾ inch shell casing, with velocities up to 1400 fps for high performance. Steel dove loads use specially blended clean burning powders for reduced felt recoil. All Kent steel shot dove loads are of #6 size shot.

Over the years Howard has hosted a number of media outings for gun folks and has been very involved with hunter success and safety in the field, including working with a lot of firearms and ammo manufactures and other shooting sports related companies. WON asked Howard for a few dove hunting tips based on his years of being closely tied to the industry and hunting.

“Scouting dove before the season opens is a good way to locate dove where they are feeding and watering. I would also suggest scouting the area to be hunted to determine flight patterns, as dove seem to fly the same course repeatedly. If you see a few birds flying over a spot, it’s a good bet other dove will follow. Dress in matching camo and also try to avoid swinging a shiny barrel before a dove gets within shotgun range. Finally, it is a good idea to get out to a gun range and do some clay target shooting, especially to find out how new steel loads pattern with the newest requirements for non-toxic shot in California,” said Howard.

While Winchester’s AA shotgun shell ammo is traditionally found being used by trap, skeet and sporting clays shooters at the range, Winchester’s line of AA ammo does include a steel load. There is currently a $2 discount per box on all AA ammo that will bring the price down. This refund discount will run through Sept. 21, with a maximum refund of up $100.

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