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Bourjaily: Thoughts on Lead Bans

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March 25, 2009

Bourjaily: Thoughts on Lead Bans

By Phil Bourjaily

We never saw bald eagles when I was kid, but they’re a common sight along the Iowa River now that they no longer feed on DDT-laced fish and lead-poisoned waterfowl. While a lot of hunters will disagree with me, I really believe lead bans are not secret back-door attacks on guns and hunting but are acts of genuine, well-intentioned concern for the environment.

To the guy on the street, a lead ban is a no brainer: lead is toxic, we banned it in paint and gasoline, we may as well get rid of lead bullets, too, especially since there are green alternatives. Our guy on the street neither knows nor cares that non-toxic requirements raise the cost of hunting.

That said, any increase in price – even a $1 rise in hunting license fees – prices some hunters out of the field. Complex regulations and restrictions drive casual hunters from the sport as well.

The latest lead ban, in California, is supposed to protect the endangered California condor. As this column by Jim Matthews, who hunts all over the Golden State, points out, no matter what the intention of lead bans, they wind up forcing hunters out of the field.

Comments (96)

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from auburn_hunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I don't hunt fowl, but the increase in ammo in general (no matter what the reason) is sure to drive hunters out of the woods. I was going over my supply of ammo and came across several boxes of .40 caliber handgun ammo that had price stickers of $9.99/box. Unfortunately, I think that days of those prices are long gone. Even if the production price decreases back to the levels of those days, the taxes placed on ammo will not be repealed any time soon. For someone that enjoyed spending time at the range, it has just become too expensive to enjoy as frequently as I used to. The same will begin to apply to hunters of all game since a box of rifle ammo has nearly doubled.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I thought the issue with lead in shot was that waterfowlers gravitate to particular locations (wetlands) that are especially sensitive. It seems to me that general hunting does not concentrate lead in the same way, nor in areas that are particularly sensitive because of the feeding habits of the animals they support and their critical role in the water cycle.

Lead bans will have to be implemented most carefully. What of the people who shoot muzzleloaders? What of cartridges (.22LR for ex) that are really only servicable in lead rounds?

IMO a lead ban in bullets really is a back door effort to curb hunting and firearms ownership. I can't see any rational reason to do it. Yes, we understand that lead in gasoline and paint was toxic, because it was aerosolized (kids inhaled lead-paint dust and gasoline fumes from cars), but there is no compelling evidence that lead or lead alloy bullets are creating a particular, much less omnipresent hazard.

We need to remind the Obama admin that the commitment to good science sometimes means that some liberal agendas aren't supported by the data. I am pretty sure that Obama would agree with us, but if we write letters on the subject to him, and to our senators and reps, Obama will have the political support that he needs to keep science in the forefront of decision making in re "lead bans."

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from j-johnson17 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

If something can be developed that COSTS THE SAME or LESS than lead, is as effective, and doesn't harm your rifle or shotgun, I don't have any problem with it. The problem I have is when legislation is passed that makes using a particular item illegal, but there hasn't been anything produced to take its place; or something is out there to take its place, but it costs 40% more than the original. I just think that if these environmentally friendly laws are going to be pushed, then the producers and the people that are pushing the laws should be working together to provide the end users (us sportsmen) with a quality product that is affordable, reliable, and does the job.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The lead bans need qualifications….a lot of qualifications. Otherwise lead bans are knee jerk, junk science musings.

-I can understand and promote banning shooting lead over water by clay target fields, even target rifle shooting over water, but I have doubts if lead bans are needed in the average, non-concentrated shooting environment, especially hunting rifle shooting. How many hunters shoot more than 20 rifle shots a season?

-It’s my opinion the banning of DDT did more for the environmental health than any other action. Raptors and the fisheries responded quickly and positively, and there were no lead bands at the time.

-I’ve not been aware a any large increase in waterfowl numbers directly benefited by lead shot ban. I see more of a response to improved nesting habitat and hunting restrictions by over water and wetlands by town/city limits….especially geese numbers.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Very well done, Phil !
I agree with both sides of your... uh... both-sided statement.

Yes, lead is bad. But the lead issue is only one more link in a tax-and-control chain that always leads to one thing: Money.

The article you state and the article you link to both say one thing; "This stuff is getting too expensive to put up with!". Lead is cheap and easy to form. Other materials are more expensive and require more facilities to make. On another front is that if enough hunters don't buy enough tags to pay wardens, then the tags go up to cover expenses. That's the same downward spiral the whole economy has nowadays.

The only strange quote from the link said; "gave up the sport rather than deal with the increased costs and hassle involved with shooting non-lead ammunition". While I surely understand the costs, I don't understand this "hassle" part. If the only difference is in which round or shell you load, then I don't see, say, technical issues. It's not like you have an issue like; "Well, I used to pull the bolt back and put rounds in the box mag. But that was with the old lead rounds. I don't know how to get this new stuff in there.".

So to me, it simply boils down to money, money, and more money. And yes, I shoot considerably less these last two years. I'm hoarding my good ammo for hunting only.

And like you, I'm torn between the good and the greed this issue generates.

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from jjas wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The handwritings on the wall. Lead is dying (if not dead already). Now the question is, what will the ammo companies replace it with and what is the cost going to be for consumers in price and performance?

Hey Dave, how about a guest post from some of your buddies @ Winchester, Remington or Federal to answer some of the questions?

Jim

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from jjas wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Sorry, I meant Phil not Dave.....I got my posters confused.

Jim

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from Devil_Dog wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Mr. Matthews hit the nail on the head on this one. Makes you wonder what solution California Fish&Game will come up with the cover the cost of lost license fees if they ever go to a state-wide ban. I'd also love to see the 'science' behind the initial ban.

Jeff4066, I think the hassle of shooting non-lead ammo comes into play if your rifle doesn't like the limited selection of bullets. We've all seen how some rifles will shoot whatever they're loaded with while others only shoot well with a specific load. Personal example is my .270 will shoot just about any regular softpoint, but try and load it with any type of polymer-tip bullet and watch the shotgun patterns appear. I also have a Rem. 700 that simply refuses to print acceptable hunting groups (less than 3 MOA) with Barnes bullets. And since no one else yet makes a .35 cal non-lead rifle bullet, I'm SOL for that rifle.

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from Dann wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I live with the lead ban in CA and I hate it. The waterfowl lead ban is been affect for quite awhile and there was good solid science to back it. I've got no problems with it.

The current ban is in effect for most of the central part of the state and prohibits big game and small game hunting with leaded ammo. That means, no 22 LR to hunt rabbits or squirrels because currently there's no 22 LR lead free ammo. Basically, If you've got a hunting license in your wallet and a box of 22 LR (leaded)in the field, your in violation of the law.

My rifle wouldn't group worth a crap with Barnes, so I had to buy a new rifle and then switch to E-tips. I watched my 30-06 go from $19 dollars to $45 a box for lead free E-tips. As far as I know, Barnes makes the only lead free muzzleloader ammo. It's pricey as well.

Many calibers are STILL do not have lead free substitutes. If your shooting grandpa's old (fill-in the blank) and its the only rifle you've got. You could be in real trouble.

Many hunters report accuracy problems with lead-free ammo and quite a few say they just don't have the takedown power, citing lack of expansion and over penetration.

All this came about because environmental groups claimed that the CA Condor was being poisoned by hunters leaving gutpiles out. The theory was that birds were eating lead in the gutpiles. The science was poor and there was no clear connection. No smoking gun. The Fish and Game folks argued that the studies were flawed and unenforceable. The Game Commission folded to the environmental groups and passed the law

Interesting note: The Peregrine Falcon fund (Dr. William Cornatzer, Dermatologist)was instrumental in the CA lead ban and was also deeply involved in the lead-in-venison hoopla in North Dakota.

S

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I doubt seriously that it is about the lead. Remember the story a few days back about lead contaminated venison that was proved to be blown out of all proportion? Also the Big
Brass Hullabaloo that was blocked by the two
Montana Senators?
The enviornmental impact of lead bullets in squirrel guns and deer rifles, or for that matter upland bird hunting or dove shooting,
has to be minimal. (Concentrated shooting over waterfowl habitat might be an exception.) PETA, HSUS, etc. ad nauseum, do not want animals hunted. Period. They are hand-in-hand with the Brady Bunch, the AMA, and all the other anti-gun groups. If they cannot legislate guns and hunting out of existance, they will use junk sience, lead bans, any scare tactic to accomplish their aims. I am only surprized that all the smokless powder smoke and hot lead going down range has not contributed to GLOBAL WARMING! OOPs! Should not have put that thought in their pointy little heads! What ever the anti-hunting, anti-gun groupies come up with, their ultimate aim is the abolishment of our sport.

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from Dann wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

crm3006

Keep in mind, the general public doesn't know much about hunting. They don't know the difference between metallic lead and inorganic lead. They know lead is bad. They know that environmental groups are claiming deaths/poisoning from hunting bullets. The public turns to the hunters and when hunters answer that claim with "its an anti-gun conspiracy" we dodge the question and lose credibility. The law passes.

If you haven't got a ban and one is looming (and it is), fight the ban with good science. Take the time to read the studies and punch holes in it.

If you stick to the old ways and claim its the "anti's", you'll lose everytime.

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from shane wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Is lead not banned for all waterfowl hunting? Is that not good enough? The only other lead ban I can see making any environmental impact is a ban on lead shot for other migratory bird hunting, like dove hunting. Very few other types of hunting involve a high, or even appreciable volume of lead flying around.

Any lead ban needs to be on an area by area, type of hunting basis. If there is a specific area where hunters are really letting the lead fly, consider a ban there. Any sort of catch-all ban is silly, pointless, and just another roadblock on the list of why our numbers are shrinking.

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from shane wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

And if you really want to kill something good and dead, use the best. Barnes bullets are just about the deadliest around, and as far as I can tell, they are non-toxic.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

FWIW I have fired Barnes Triple Shock Xbullets in Federal .243Win 100 gr. and Barnes MRX in Federal .30-06 180 grain and had outstanding grouping with both rifles (sub MOA). I still mostly hunt and practice with lead because it's less expensive and performs almost as well as the Barnes in re grouping. But I did run a couple boxes of Barnes through each rifle just to know what I could expect if forced to switch.

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from lwolford wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Dann,

I guess I am ignorant. What is the difference in toxicity between metallic and inorganic lead?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

If you have seen magnificent Trumpeter Swan's die from lead ingestion poisoning (from lead pellets, not 100+ gr. bullets), you understand the killing power of lead shot. One pellet picked up into the gizzard and it's all over in a matter of a couple of weeks for the swan and anything that eats it's lead poisoned innards. They feed mostly in fields and not in the water exclusively.

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I honestly don't know. Maybe we need the ban in certain areas (wetlands), but to ban lead for deer hunting, gouse hunting, etc., is probably going to cost us dearly. Contacting the moron in the White House will go nowhere, except to give him ideas on how he can hurt us and diminish our ranks.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Banning lead shot seems to have a positive effective on game, and if it were used less should not the price go down? It hasn't of course, and what about supply and demand concept in marketing? The companies loading our ammo are just taking advantage of "panic in Whitehouse" buying mentallity. 50 rounds of LEAD pistol bullets are approaching $50+ a box, which is rediculous! Ban it for the good of wildlife, but make a million in profit for now seems to be the idea?

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from alabamahunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Auburn Hunter, War Damn Eagle, even if last night wasn't Au's finest moment.

The California lead ban seems like a push to make ammo to expensive for the average joe to buy. The same thing with microstamping and excise taxes. That said, Philip does make some good points. Lead can most certainly harm waterfowl, although to what extent seems unclear. I can't complain, the price of shot has dropped by about $20 per 25lb. bag. It sure drops the cost of reloading. Now if factory ammo will make that marked a drop!

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from duckcreekdick wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Reading these comments makes me want to fire up the Lyman Mag-20 and cast some bullets for my .348. If the government doesn't outlaw wheel weights, I'll be o.k.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I don't need anybody with good intentions making laws without asking my opinion. They already have a ban on lead for waterfowl. Look at the price difference of lead vs steel shot. Outrageous. As many shells I go through during dove season the cost increase would greatly curtail my outings.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

BTW, why is steel loaded shotshells more expensive than lead? Seems it should be the other way around. Oh I get it, if we're banned from using lead the ammo companies have us by the short hairs.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I have three comments on this subject, one based on politics, one based on biology,

Politics-
The fact that a change will be too expensive is never a good enough reason to stop environmental legislation. Think of how bad a shape we'd be in if the local chemical factory got to dump waste in the bass pond because properly disposing of it would be too expensive?

Also, xenophobic ranting about the President, PETA, etc... being "out to get us" will never work, regardless of its accuracy. All this does is marginalize us in the eyes of the general public. I challenge anyone to cite a single case where this "they are out to get us" mentality EVER won a political argument.

We need to base our arguments on rational thinking and science. Which leads me to my next point...

Biology-
If I remember my high school bio class correctly, lead shot is banned from waterfowl hunting because:

->shot pellets that don't hit the ducks wind up on the bottom of lakes, ponds, wetlands, etc...

->These pellets look and feel an awful lot like small pebbles.

->neither fish nor ducks have have molar teeth. So, they purposely swallow small pebbles and hold them in their gizzard to crush up their food. Obviously, some of the pebbles end up being shot pellets.

->When those shot pellets were made of lead, the fish and ducks absorbed some of that lead into their bodies and it got stored in their blood, liver, muscles, etc... (however, since the vast majority of those pebbles were still actual pebbles the lead concentrations were too low to kill the fish and ducks.

->Thanks to the food chain, the raptors then get the short end of the stick. Bald eagles eat ducks and fish their whole life, and each time they do they accumulate all of that animal's lead in their system. This leads to raptors that have many times the lead concentration of their prey, and eventually dead raptors.

So in order for them to show that lead rifle rounds are having a similar effect on condors they would have to show that:
1)lead rounds routinely end up in gut piles, not embedded in the animals muscle/bone or penentrating completely through the animal. (I find this HIGHLY unlikely)
--Then either--
2)eating single lead round will put enough lead into the condor's system to kill it.
--or--
3)condors feed on gut piles so frequently that they accumulate lead in their system over time (like the bald eagles do with the fish)

I doubt any of those three statements are true, but I am not biologist. Biologist need to do studies to determine if these statements are true, and then policy should be based on those results.

I am not saying that for certain that these studies have not been done but I have not seen any evidence of it.

If these points are proven by science, then we should all get behind the lead ban. If they are disproved, we should fight it tooth and nail, like any other regulation based on faulty reasoning.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

and one based on economics!

Currently, most hunters use lead, so there isn't much of a market non-lead rifle rounds.

If a large portion of the country goes under a lead ban, it will be very profitable for someone to develop a low-cost non-lead round. (they would capture almost the entire market) Other companies will then try to compete and overall prices will come down.

This hasn't happened yet because there simply aren't that many players in the non-lead rifle round game. However, if a large portion of the country goes under a lead ban it will.

It' capitalism 101 and its why its such a great system.

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from JD wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Waterfowl, yes, not a problem, we have been see the value, the return on our investment, so to speak. But I pity the fool that really believes that "Golden Bullet" .22 is actually a hazard except for that squirrel in my sights, or that Power Point in my old 30-30 will change the balance of nature!
People, please! A lead ban on woods animals is going too far. Coming from the government that likes bullets of depleted uranium? Hmmm? Let me point out that bad legislation such as this will weaken our ammunition companies more, and without them who supplies our brave troops with the tools of battle? Are we going to buy our military rounds from NORINCO soon? The peoples' republic can't wait to see us weakened further. Nuf said!

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from JD wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ken mcloud, You are very well founded in almost all of your statements on this blog site, but tonight I must respectfully disagree.

You say that once lead is banned, quantities increase and competition will force lower prices. If that were the case, why do we pay through the nose for steel shot loads? Why are the premium turkey loads priced close to a car payment? Ken, lots of competition for waterfowl steel rounds, yet the prices are up there why? because they know we have no options. That is also a capitalist quality, good or bad.

Ken, I disagree with your post, but I have no lack of respect for your right to express your opinion, just as I have. I extend the hand of fellowship as a concerned hunter myself.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The lead ban is similar to banning all but medium size panty hose for ladies. One size does not fit all. Here in Alaska we have no need for a lead ban. To my knowledge there is no place where lead has been found to be a cause of death in bird or animal by ingestion. Yet does science make any difference? No, a ban is a ban. Might as well get used to it, gentlemen. However, we must fight the good fight. Onward!

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Lead bans for hunting scare me because it leads to an all out lead ban which would effectively kill the shooting sports. Yeah a hunting ban means a $40 box of shells for the 270 instead of a $15 dollar box of generic softpoints that wal-mart puts on sale every hunting season. But if my 9mm, 45ACP, and AR goes to monolithic bullets and prices get even more ridiculous than they already are the many shooting sports will up and die. The lead shot ban for waterfowl I do feel had some justification but it was enacted before I started hunting so its just the status quo to me. I guess I just fear change.
If lead starts drying up I think we should get some folks together and go to China and raid a toy factory. Should have enough lead to last till thy kingdom comes. haha

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from rocky d bashaw wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i agree that there might be a enviromental problem caused by lead bullets and lead shot. we as hunters have used lead forever,the only animals that might eat the lead are the birds if they do. there are as many birds flying around as there was years ago. my shotguns have removeable chokes and i do not like steel shot. the rifle bullets out now with the accu-tip, i do not like the way the bullets pattern nor the penetration it gets on deer and hogs. there is not much we can do i think except stay behind the nra. i hunt in the national forest of texas.good hunting or fishing or what ever makes you happy.

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from Shaky wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Mike Diehl; I think maybe we all dream sometimes, but the idea that Nobama will allow science to interfere with a good opportunity to ban anything that will hamper the law abiding citizen in his possession/use of firearms is simply wishful thinking.
On lead; when I was a youngun, an old fellow and I used to participate in balloon shoots with muzzle loaders.
In the group we shot with, there was a man who was 86 yrs. old, who held 5 lead balls in his mouth, and would spit one down the muzzle, start it with a wooden peg then ram it home with the ram rod. He could reload extremely fast. Once a newbe asked him if he wasn't worried about getting lead poisoning from this practice. The old gent replied that he had started shooting a muzzle loader when he was 17, and had learned the method from his grand dad, who died at the age of 93, and didn't think the lead had shortened his life more than "that cigarette you've got in your mouth".
He asked why did he need 5 instead of 1, and he said because to remain competitive he needed to clean his rifle after 5 shots, so when his mouth was empty it was time to clean the rifle, simple. He did't only reload very fast, he was a crack shot.
So, maybe there is something to lead poisoning from
ingesting lead, I have no argument with that, but the small amount a condor might be able to pick up from a few dozen gut piles, and dying from it,is a bit far fetched. Most of us don't shoot a game animal we plan to eat in the guts.

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from dwaynez wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The lead debate has been going on for quite a while and will continue to do so, I look to some of the old timers in my family who have been around it for years and they have not had any health problems, but nowadays people seem to get sick from the smallest amounts of stuff.

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from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Now that you talk about lead and lead poisoning, I have a doubt since last December, when my brother shot a buck and we found a .223 bullet inside his buttock in perfect mushrom shape, from a previous year. I noticed that the kidneys didn´t have any fat attached, and wondered if we should keep from eating this meat.
A bullet incarnated in the muscle can poison a deer? And what are the signs to look for in a harvested animal?

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from bigdaddyjunior wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Hmmm, gut pile contaminating big ugly vultures. Why not ban gut pile? Just require hunters to bury the mess or bag it and haul it out. Be easy to enforce from a small fixed wing aircraft. Wonder if the vultures will thrive with less food available.

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ddt never killed a single eagle was most effective and safest perticide ever made was just a start of many major bribes to politicians by drug and chemical companies and cover up and other b.s. any writer suporting nolead bullets can take a frickin hike lead shot in marshs maybe lead out in the woods aint hurting nothing ,your arm chair experts,a lot of sports writers fallin this catagory are always supplying peta and those idiots ther data why let them get away with it lead bans just like 40 a barrell oil 1994 1.10gallon gas now its 2.10 a gallon for 38 a barrel oil time to take back the country

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

pearbear,

please explain the rapid rebound of raptor species after ddt was banned?

You will need to somehow show that the experiments showing direct correlation of ddt levels in birds to the thickness and strength of their egg shells was invalid.

Also, please show the evidence discrediting studies that show how toxins accumulate as you move up the food chain. (explained in better detail in my earlier post)

Conspiracy theories without any supporting evidence will not suffice in a case where the science is so well established. Please cite articles / studies from peer refereed academic journals. Research you yourself have conducted would be acceptable if you have an applicable degree from an accredited institution and can show reproducible results.

I am open to accepting views that are contrary to my own if they can be proven using rational thought and sound science. (can you say the same for yourself?)

(see my earlier post about why we need to base our arguments on sound science and rational thought for why I feel so strongly about this)

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from semp wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ban this! ... Ban that! ... Ban Ban Ban? I waiting for the ban on 'Raisin Bran' within 12 hours of entering city/town/village limits. This would be enforced by the flatus police(former ICE and Border agents fired by Obama Momma when he removed the CONUS borders). Those still wishing to consume Raisin Bran and other flatulant fuel could legally do so only in unincorporated rural areas :-)

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

the raptor rebound who told you there was one ????the goverment? the propoganda was swallowed again ,the retired dying head of statefrom the ban period confessed it was all a pack of lies and bull i can find you 4 scientist that say the shell thickness was no different and 2 that swear The real culprit was wash machine soap Phosphates etc at time period

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Couple of thoughts:
Lead is a naturally occuring metal. By banning it from ammo, we will not eliminate it. We used to uselead based paints. Since we spray this in the woods, we also inhale some of it. I've had the privilge of knowing many foresters who lived and worked well into their eighties. They took the lead out of tree marking paint, somewhere in the early 1990's. While paint quality is somewhat diminished, I don't know any foresters who say that they feel any better.
They new POTUS (or TOTUS) is very rigid on matters of science. He WILL NOT allow facts to get in the way of his agenda. His agenda, long term calls for disarming the American Public. Follow the logic. We'll see a lead ban by the end of his first term.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

pearbear,
first off, thanks for that -1 feedback, real classy move.

Secondly, There are millions of outdoorsmen in the lower 48 states (myself included) who can remember a time in their childhood where the only place you could see bald eagles was the zoo, or maybe the wilds of Alaska. Fast forward to the present and I can think of at least two bald eagle nests within a few miles of where I am sitting. It is a fairly common sight to see them when you are boating or fishing on the river. That my friend sounds a lot more like proof than like "swallowing government propaganda" to me.

finally, like I said in my first post, empty conspiracy theories don't hold water in cases like this where the science is so well established.

Please cite sources!!

-please present an article from a reputable source with a quote from this "dying head of state". (or at least provide his/her name?)

-please find me these 4 scientists you are talking about. More importantly, provide me papers these scientists have published in peer refereed scientific journals. If these scientists have produced repeatable results that refute such widely held scientific beliefs, surely they would have shared them with the rest of the world?

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from Vic wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

There may be some lead issues with waterfowl, and not them specifically but raptors up the food chain. Here in Baltimore DNR believes it has helped Bald Eagles. However, banning lead from rifle ammo is just nuts. Since Phil is slightly older than me I would bet he had split shot in his mouth at times. I bet his daddy's car ran on tetra ethol lead gas. I bet he shot lead pellets and kept some of those pellets in his mouth like I for rapid reloading. I do believe it has caused him to become a low grade moron because of it, right?

A friend of mine became the lead expert for the Dept of the Army. All his research showed that elevated lead levels did cause a reduction in IQ. This was a significant thing. Guess how many points? ONE. There was a child who died from lead poisoning. The child wasn't being fed and ate whatever it could find, lead paint. The child had pounds of consumption. Then again water is also toxic in high quantities. Look it up.

Should we keep and eye on lead and other toxins, yes! You all know, they are talking about bringing DDT back because hundreds of thousands are dying around the world because of malaria. World Health Organization is checking into it. The lady who made all those claims about DDT was found to be a fraud.

Remember the ban on ozone depleting substances, Freon? Know who lead the charge, a company who made Freon but couldn't make any real profits with it. They came up with a new refrigerant, R134, and lobbied congress to ban R12 (Freon). Much money was made.

Have you heard much about the hundreds of Climatologists who talked to the U.N. and said there is no science to say global warming is being driven by Carbon units. Al Gore, lie after lie, after lie. The NASA scientist lied about the 90s being the warmest years since records started to be kept, lie warmest year, 1934. Remember reading about the dust bowl in OK?

Guess what I am trying to say is this, be careful about what is being said. People will rationalize things they want because it is their agenda. There is money to be made. People don't like hunting or guns so they want to believe whatever supports their argument.

Do we need a lead ban, show me scientific evidence that supports it and maybe I will change my position. Where do you think lead comes from anyway, we magically make it appear from the ether, no, it is from the environment.

Phil, check your facts before you start down this road.

The guy who said one pellet will kill a swan, send us the evidence. I can't beleive that one at all.

Vic

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i have a 3 acre pond 4 ft deep for 30 years shot ducks geese on it with leadshot now i raise ducks geese on it aint lost a one and they sure dabble one pellet kills a swan hard to swallow, maybe because the illinois river and others like it had soap suds and heavy pollution in 60s 70s ,heard it caught on fire once is the real reason you didnt see any eagles then

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Pearbear,

Look at how skillfully you dodged those questions! ever consider a career in politics?

secondly, I suggest you brush up on the biology we're talking about here. The fact that ducks and geese live happily on your pond has no impact on the discussion at all.

direct quote from my earlier post:
"->neither fish nor ducks have have molar teeth. So, they purposely swallow small pebbles and hold them in their gizzard to crush up their food. Obviously, some of the pebbles end up being shot pellets.

->When those shot pellets were made of lead, the fish and ducks absorbed some of that lead into their bodies and it got stored in their blood, liver, muscles, etc... (however, since the vast majority of those pebbles were still actual pebbles the lead concentrations were too low to kill the fish and ducks.)"

No one is suggesting that lead pellets kill waterfowl. (unless they are moving at ~1500 fps) The problem is that these toxins move up the food chain and accumulate in the predators (raptors).

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from The_UTP wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I live in the lead-free zone in California. The problem goes a lot further than the lead ban: The cost of living in the state is already higher than much of the country, its regulations are byzantine and its tags cost a lot. A deer tag here is $26 -- and that's for in-state residents. When you add on the extreme cost of non-lead ammo, it's just too much unless you have a lot of free time or a lot of money.

I am a white-collar "knowledge worker." I get a decent amount of free time and a reasonable (though not large) paycheck. So if the regulations leave me so baffled and broke that I simply decide to not hunt, I can only imagine it's hopeless for a guy out there busting his @$$ to earn a living with his hands.

I moved here two years ago from the Midwest. And I've pretty much given up on hunting until I leave.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Vic

Go to the internet (you can find that, right?) and Google "lead poisoning swans".

You will find many credible sources that document lead poisoning in swans and other waterfowl.

Your post is bordering on ignorance.

WMH

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Hi ken just what division of peta pays you to harass sportsmen and monitor this page , i can see your a single trac person who is a legend in his own mind why dont you give it up,Here ashland county wisconsin has had a healthy pop of bald eagles people who go outside have seen daily for last 50 years lord forbid i been feeding them beaver carcasses for that long every winteryes i use the cruell steel trap Kenny

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Hi ken just what division of peta pays you to harass sportsmen and monitor this page , i can see your a single trac person who is a legend in his own mind why dont you give it up,Here ashland county wisconsin has had a healthy pop of bald eagles people who go outside have seen daily for last 50 years lord forbid i been feeding them beaver carcasses for that long every winteryes i use the cruell steel trap Kenny

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from lloydwus wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

A lead ban would be worse than useless. It is indeed a backdoor way to whittle away at our hunting heritage and firearms freedoms. The DDT ban was poor science at best and nothing has been found to replace DDT in the battle against mosquito-borne diseases. Millions have died needlessly in the world because a lack of this cheap, effective pesticide. In this country, a variety of encephalitides (St. Louis encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis) as well as West Nile Virus could have been better addressed with DDT in our arsenal.
The bottom line is that the left in this country continue to use junk science to attempt to control every aspect of our lives and attack our standard of living. Polar bears are "endangered" because of a threat of global warming, the battle over the de-listing the wolf, lead in game meat and now lead in the environment (uh, where did lead come from?) – all ruses based in little or science intended to limit our options.

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from Vic wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WMH,

You said one piece of ingested shot would kill a swan. I am about 99.9% sure that one piece of shot won't kill a swan. Ken talked about the raptor population being more at risk and he is correct.

I live in civil war territory. My father in law has tons of bullets from 100+ years ago. Other than being dirty they look shootable. The earth like our stomaches digest that which is left within it. I am sure I have ingested shot and other chunks of lead in my past and I still walk and talk.

I said one shot pellet just isn't enough to cause lead poisoning to a swan, unless of course it is properly placed traveling 1100 FPS.

Vic

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from Paul Wilke wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Prevailing wisdom seems to say that lead is toxic (poison) in some concentrations.
I'm still alive so I'll claim that holding lead split shoot (sinkers) in my mouth and occasionally swallowing one or two will not kill me, I won't claim that it did not lower my I.Q. I simply have not ingested enough to reach the critical level.
But there is another possible for the increase in raptor populations. I see many more hawks and eagles than I ever did before. Hawks have discovered that I feed song birds and squirrels, the Hawks visit on a regular basis and do a little feeding themselves.
Years back I often visited farm country in Wisconsin and Indiana , It was the practice of every farmer I meet to kill every Raptor that they saw.
I'm thinking--less farmers, more raptors. Less shooters in general and better educated shooters= more raptors.
I'll miss lead, if it comes to that and it will effect my hunting and shooting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Vic

Thanks for your insightful reply. If you had read several of the websites that you should have found when Googling "lead poisoning swans", you might not be quite 99.9% sure. A Washington State DFW field biologist stated that fact to me in person as he was removing a sick and dying swan from my property.

So, I suppose you are entitled to your opinion and the biologist was either lying or misinformed. Your 99.9% statement has no basis of fact or proof presented other than "I am about 99.9% sure".

I agree that there are political agendas behind damn near everything that comes out of the government, since the government is all about politics. We should all examine the facts and data, not opinions, before we accept or reject some notion put forth by the geniuses in the capital.

WMH

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from kolbster wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i really dont think that lead is killing birds, nothing you can say is going to make me believe that.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Each winter we have plenty of eagles in my part of the state and vultures are abundant throughout the year. Am I worried about gutpiles poisoning the birds? Nope. With the population of coyotes we have those piles are cleaned up by the next morning. I've hunted over them and I've sat out at night listening to the yotes travelling and yipping from pile to pile.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Gotta love THAT science.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

pearbear,

Here we go Mike-Diehl-style:

"just what division of peta pays you to harass sportsmen and monitor this page"
-The fact that I have been hunting, fishing, and lusting for cheeseburgers more or less since birth means I wouldn't exactly make a welcome addition to the PETA ranks. Though I do love the logic that if someone adamantly supports rational thought, they must be a limp-wristed liberal. For what its worth, I oppose outright lead bans unless they are supported by real evidence (read my earlier post)

"i can see your a single trac person who is a legend in his own mind"
-If my single track is the idea that we sportsmen must use rational, scientific arguments in order to prevent being marginalized, then you are entirely correct. As for my over-inflated ego, It may impact my likability but,I don't see how it impacts the logic of my arguments at all.

"i use the cruell steel trap Kenny"
-OH MY!! You have used a childlike nickname common to people who have my first name; thereby instantly trivializing all of my arguments?! How did I not see such an obvious flaw in my logic?!?

By failing to present any supporting evidence to your argument at all (even the name of this "head of state") you have shown that you are merely spreading conspiracy theories.

I'm more than willing to be swayed, just show me some proof. (or at least some evidence)

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from Ranger 1000 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

here it comes boys!!

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Klobster-

I'm really glad you worded it that way because it brings up a very important topic in this debate; the difference between scientific beliefs and religious beliefs.

Scientific beliefs can be changed when new evidence is presented. For example, we all believe that E=mc^2. Let's say some groundbreaking new research comes out tomorrow saying that it really is E = mc^3. After much additional research to show that the results were repeatable we would all slowly accept that E =mc^3.

Religious beliefs usually cannot be changed based on new evidence. (usually the opposite happens and people try to bend the evidence to fit their belief) No amount of evidence could ever change my beliefs about God, that makes them religious beliefs. I try very hard to keep these two categories separate.

so when you said:
"i really dont think that lead is killing birds, nothing you can say is going to make me believe that."

That is a religious-type belief. I suspect that pearbear's thoughts on DDT are similar. Its perfectly fine to have these types of beliefs, but its important to recognize what they are.

So, when we present arguments, we should always ask ourselves "Could any amount of evidence change my belief?" If the answer is no, then that is not a scientific argument. I think we can all agree that environmental regulations (if not all government policy) should be based on scientific arguments.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ken.mcloud-pearbear-
PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE!! Arguments among the hunting/shooting community and specious name calling do nothing to solve the problem. (the lead ban) Science, or junk sience, can cut both ways, but a COHERANT e-mail or handwritten letter to a politician can do a whole lot more.
Squabbling and name calling within our ranks only advances the cause of the anti-gunning fraternity.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ken.mccloud, crm3006, et al

Letters to elected officials that contain ill-informed opinions like some of those expressed above do nothing to help the image of the hunting/shooting community at-large. Congressional staffers are very adept at weeding out the crackpot letters and emails and listing them as such when reporting the support for or opposition to an issue to the Rep/Senator.

You are correct. Nothing can change the minds of those whose position is based on "that's what I think so it must be right" logic. I, too, am highly opinionated but can be persuaded with fact and logic, but not bull$h1t. But, I have been on the planet long enough that my BULL$H1T METER is sufficiently calibrated.

WMH

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

-
I have not been convinced by the studies conducted in CA that predator birds are dying from lead in their prey that was derived from hunting activities. However, I do believe and support non-lead shot for waterfowl hunting.

Wouldn't you know it after having collected wheel-weights, lead ingots at garage sales, etc. for the past 15 years it's all been for naught.

Guess now I'll have to start collecting pre-‘82 pennies for the copper content and start melting those down!

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from micko77 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

This should go beyond hunting before long. California was the birthplace of the International Practical Pistol Confederation--IPSC. There are MANY firearms competitions annually in that state, from revolver championships to cowboy shoots to SWAT competitions. Multiply the rounds shot from pistols, rifles and shotguns in competition by about 500 for practice, and there are probably a billion rounds of ammo pounded into backstops across that state. Personally, with California's laws regarding guns in general I would follow Ronnie Barret's example (a major manufacturer of the banned .50 cal.rifles) and refuse to operate in the state-period. Imagine the financial impact on the state if the so-called environmentalists actually got what they want. No ammo bought. No guns bought . No excise taxes from Pittman-Robertson Act. No out-of-state visitors for competitions. This column has, I believe, commented on the financial impact of gun owners nationally; let's see what it would do if it were lost in The People's Republic of California.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter-
Could not agree more. My BS meter is also finely tuned, and IMHO the trick is, when writing an elected official, try not to state an opinion on the merits of a piece of legislation, just that you oppose the legislation because it will have a negative impact on your spor, or that you don't think sufficiant reasearch has been done, etc. Be generic, yea or nay is about the only thing that staffer is going to remember as long as the letter is not crackpot, as you stated.
Airborn All the Way! crm

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from s-kfry wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I could agree with you that the lead ban was not a back door approach to killing out gun rights if it was not proposed during an administration dead set on taking our 2nd Amendment rights away.

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from Vic wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I personally think that our polititians fall more into the religious belief system of thought than scientific. The old adage, "don't confuse me with the facts my mind is made up" comes to mind.

Though it is apparent that I cannot use google I will add some other comments to this lead debate. A few years back my wife and I started renovating a 90 year old home. One of our objectives was to remove most of the lead from it. We took out 14 tons of plaster, striped the outside paint, etc. To make sure we stayed a top of the situation we had our lead levels tested from time to time. My wife's showed elevated levels, 39ug per deciliter or something like that. How I found out was the state called me. They asked if we were renovating a home or if she got the levels from work. I said the former. They said okay and tried to disconnect. I stoped them and asked what must I do. They said discontinue contact with lead. I asked should I be concerned they said they didn't know. I wound up calling the head of the state agency, guy with PhD, and asked him. He said he did't know. I asked how high does it have to be to kill, he said he didn't know. The only thing I got the head of the department to acknowledge was "lead is bad." This started me down the road to education on the subject. In human terms nothing is done unless lead is above 50 ug/dl. They will do celation therapy to lower the blood levels if it exceeds 50. They think you are getting into really bad trouble if you break 100 ug. The child who died was somewhere around 200 ug.

Though a bird's digestive tract has a gizzard, which can grind up just about anything, should have increased absorption of ingested lead compared to humans, lead that my wife and I were exposed to was aersolized and absorbed directly through the lungs into the blood stream. So the two should be at least comparable if not us having more in our human mode of transport. Once lead enters the body and makes its way into the blood stream it can effect nervous system operation. The body's response is to deposit it into the bones, kind of getting it out of circulation. They even recommend taking fairly high doses of calcium to help get lead out of the body because lead will kind of bond to calcium and pass out the kidneys.

It is my stupid uneducated opinion that lead can be a problem but not at the levels many are saying. In the home industry it was a great thing to help start a lead abatement industry, kind of a sister industry to asbestos, but I don't think that it is as big an issue as it is made out to be.

I live on the Atlantic flyway and the numbers of ducks, geese and swans continues to climb. Steel shot may be part of that equation but many other factors come into play too. It is easy to blame one thing as the culprit but reality usually has many factors which provide a cummulative effect to harming game.

Lead can be bad, but it isn't the root of all things evil. Then again, what do I know.

Vic

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ken.mcloud stated a point I had been thinking waaay back in all the above posts. The following is only anecdotal evidence at best however it is repeatable and based upon direct observation during > 35 years deer hunting. It is repeatable in the sense that in all the deer I have cleaned and assisted others in cleaning, I have never found a rifle bullet in the guts or gut pile. I did look for such things having a minor in biology in college. I observed that most bullet impacts were shoot throughs, or bullets lodged in muscle or bone. The exception was buckshot. Occasionally we would find a buckshot pellet lodged in the liver oe heart. The buckshot pellet obviously expended most of its energy penetrating muscle tissue and came to rest in the softer tissue of the above organs. WA Mtnhunter I fully concur with you that we all should be aware of the facts and keep our data references handy when talking to politicians or anyone regarding any proposed legislation. I do however disagree with your Washington State DFW field biologist who removed the sick and dying swan and proclaimed it to be dying of lead poisoning. Did he perform a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death or did he have a field test kit to determine lead levels in the swan's body? I mean no disrespect, I am just trying to understand how a field biologist can retrieve a dying swan and immediately diagnose lead poisoning. Now if he took the bird and later called you after performing a necropsy, then it's my humble misunderstanding. My point in reference to the previous chatter is that in addition to unfounded data and opinions that are opined by members of our own hunting community, it bodes us no favorable wind if our state fish and game biologists follow suit. We must hold them accountable to their facts and theory just as we ourselves must be accountable.
An interesting aside; I read an article last fall that descibed hunting in Europe and other countries. I was surprised to learn that the most popular bullet in use there was the solid. One of the reasons listed was that it wasted less meat. One of the European guides couldn't understand our obsession with expanding bullets. He wasn't passing judgement, he obviously grew up in a different culture and didn't understand. I knew a few people during my youthful years who hunted with military surplus ammo (it isn't illegal in my state). They didn't appear to have much difficulty filling their deer tags and I don't remember them having to chase the deer after shooting them. Most of the deer they shot were shoot throughs. I believe that shot placement was a major factor in their success. Maybe that's an alternative that should be explored. Encase the lead in enough copper so that it can never be metabolized.
Just a thought.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ken.mcloud stated a point I had been thinking waaay back in all the above posts. The following is only anecdotal evidence at best however it is repeatable and based upon direct observation during > 35 years deer hunting. It is repeatable in the sense that in all the deer I have cleaned and assisted others in cleaning, I have never found a rifle bullet in the guts or gut pile. I did look for such things having a minor in biology in college. I observed that most bullet impacts were shoot throughs, or bullets lodged in muscle or bone. The exception was buckshot. Occasionally we would find a buckshot pellet lodged in the liver oe heart. The buckshot pellet obviously expended most of its energy penetrating muscle tissue and came to rest in the softer tissue of the above organs. WA Mtnhunter I fully concur with you that we all should be aware of the facts and keep our data references handy when talking to politicians or anyone regarding any proposed legislation. I do however disagree with your Washington State DFW field biologist who removed the sick and dying swan and proclaimed it to be dying of lead poisoning. Did he perform a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death or did he have a field test kit to determine lead levels in the swan's body? I mean no disrespect, I am just trying to understand how a field biologist can retrieve a dying swan and immediately diagnose lead poisoning. Now if he took the bird and later called you after performing a necropsy, then it's my humble misunderstanding. My point in reference to the previous chatter is that in addition to unfounded data and opinions that are opined by members of our own hunting community, it bodes us no favorable wind if our state fish and game biologists follow suit. We must hold them accountable to their facts and theory just as we ourselves must be accountable.
An interesting aside; I read an article last fall that descibed hunting in Europe and other countries. I was surprised to learn that the most popular bullet in use there was the solid. One of the reasons listed was that it wasted less meat. One of the European guides couldn't understand our obsession with expanding bullets. He wasn't passing judgement, he obviously grew up in a different culture and didn't understand. I knew a few people during my youthful years who hunted with military surplus ammo (it isn't illegal in my state). They didn't appear to have much difficulty filling their deer tags and I don't remember them having to chase the deer after shooting them. Most of the deer they shot were shoot throughs. I believe that shot placement was a major factor in their success. Maybe that's an alternative that should be explored. Encase the lead in enough copper so that it can never be metabolized.
Just a thought.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

John R

To clarify; the biologist did not mean to imply that the bird we were removing was in fact dying from one pellet. Having removed hundreds over the past several years and performing post mortems on the birds was the basis for his statement. He stated that it could take as little as one pellet in the gizzard to cause the organs to shut down. The symptoms he observed on the bird (swimming breast down more than normal, moving the beak in a manner sort of like mouth breathing, shaking the head side to side in a twitching manner, and inability to fly) led him to believe it was a victim of lead ingestion, as are hundreds in our area each year.

I am no expert on lead poisoning, just relaying what I know based on fact, not like some uninformed ignoramus. I am not for a total ban on lead bullets. Small lead shot is fatal when ingested by waterfowl in a given quantity. Denial of that fact is not justified when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Just because one does not "think" it so doesn't mean it is not.

WMH

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

John R
I really liked your post and how you presented it until you mentioned FMJs on game. Naaaw, lets leave that to the Europeans, I really like soft points on NA game, we do have that right.

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from dogman wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I hate to get in this fracas but the important issue here is the surface area of the lead particles. To repeat what has been already stated "birds don't have teeth they swallow pebbles, sand, gravel and yes shot if it's there. if you take a piece of #2 sand and compare it to a single particle of clay the difference in surface area of the same weight of both is 2,000,000 times greater for the clay than the sand. While the ground up lead in the bird may not be quite as fine as a particle of clay it certainly has at least a several thousand time greater surface area than the single piece of shot. The acid in the digestive juices dissolves a lot more lead than if a single shot or bullet were ingested by another type of animal. This is why the fumes (molecules) of airborne mercury and lead are much more rapidly assimilated into one's blood than swallowing liquid mercury or solid lead.

Who cares about an ugly vulture? I do! Did you know these birds are survivors of prehistoric species? Did you know there are only 300 plus remaining California Condors? Did you know they are the longest lived bird attaining and age of 50 years? That's a long time for its system to be exposed to lead fragments that they might ingest from gut piles or escaped wounded animals? I love to hunt but I certainly think we can share the earth with other creatures. Do I support a total lead ban? of course not. But I think we can afford to shut off a given area to the use of lead bullets in hopes of prolonging or saving such a magnificent species from extinction.

The banning of lead shot for waterfowl and other species in Waterfowl Production Areas has been effective because sedimentation continues to bury old shot deeper and deeper. Pheasant hunters who hunt on Waterfowl Production Areas in SD have switched to non-toxic shot. For those of us who eat the waterfowl we shoot this will have a very beneficial affect over the long haul. Sometimes it's what we don't know that can hurt us.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter
Thanks for clarifying about the swan. The reason I asked about the swan is that I've known a few state wildlife biologists personally throughout the years. Most of them are pretty sharp and do a great job for us. There have been a few (and only a few) however that should have majored in something other than biology. I was in no wise implying you were uninformed. I did not share my opinion about lead shot either way. I do live on the coast and for the record I do heartily agree that lead shot can be and is ingested by waterfowl with dire consequences. I also agree that one must follow the evidence and data logged on any particular subject. Just wanted you to know that we're on the same page there :-). My point about the wildlife biologists was meant to be broader regarding the whole lead bullet ban issue. It wasn't purposefully directed at your post. I was simply implying that it doesn't do us or the game any good when decisions and/or laws are based upon junk science rather than good research. As I'm sure you're aware junk science usually comes from junk scientists.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Jim in MO, it was just a thought. Actually there are quite a few states that currently prohibit the use of FMJ bullets so it is a moot point in those states. This whole lead thing (excluding lead shot use in waterfowl hunting) really is a somewhat sad current state of affairs. It appears to have started with the report about lead bullets impacting Condors in California and afterward there was the flap about lead contaminated deer meat started by Dr. William Cornatzer. What I've read about the Condor issue seems to imply that the original study was flawed. I would like to look at the credentials of those participating in the Condor study to determine if it was genuine research for empirical data or did the researchers have another agenda? In regard to lead levels in deer meat, it has been reported in either this blog or the Field Notes section that a couple of states have run tests on processed deer meat and have not found any significant traces of lead. I selfishly wonder if buckshot is the next target. Buckshot remains legal for deer hunting in most of the southern states and is very handy back in the low thickets. God forbid someone dies from lead poisoning from buckshot (other than being shot).

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

JohnR, dogman, Wa mtnhunger, Vic -

Here's to outdoorsmen who base base their opinions on sound reasoning, and are willing to change those opinions if presented with good evidence.

I look forward to many more debates on these blogs based on scientific rather than religious reasoning.

Now, if only our political leaders would follow the same path!

and pearbear-
the five of us are eagerly waiting for you to cite your sources.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The waterfowl lead ban is ok by me. I wouldn't even be too against banning lead in any scatter gun, though i know many would be. But banning lead in single projectile bullets is where i draw the line. I hope never comes to pass. Some similarly priced non-toxic alternatives should be offered but not mandated.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Steve182
If, IN YOUR STATE, you can convince enough people so that the lead bad is enacted, so be it. The Constitution, at one time, clearly granted powers to the states to establish and maintain their individual destiny. Problem is, that doesn't work anymore. A few states with mega million populations have been,largely, determining policy for Alaska for what is getting to be a long time now. If you do get it passed, please keep it to yourselves and do not then make a determination that if it is good for you it MUST be good for Alaska. In most cases, on these matters, our puny delegation to Congress - one Representative and two Senators are powerless to stop it.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Dickgun,I am NOT for the ban, though i can see how the aregument can be made for shotguns, especially waterfowl. I will contact my legislators, as i do often, but it will not be to support such a ban(s). Interesting name

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

While I remain skeptical about the effects of lead ammo used in grouse, deer, elk, etc., if it is ever proved that the lead from my guns is hurting any species, swans, raptors, buzzards,etc., I will switch to lead free ammo. I won't like it but if it will help the environment, I will do it. I guess what would be needed, would be some comments from vets and wildlife biologists that I know and trust.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

steve182,
thanks, steve, glad we are on the same side!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

This lead ban is just another back door attack just like the hype about gun and explosives smuggling into Mexico. Never seen a Bald Eagle until the last ten years here in Arkansas and two months ago, one flew over the house.

By the way, today a Wyoming Congressman was on Fox News saying and giving the impression that all the illegal guns in Mexico came from the US. For those of you have been following this, the “FULLY AUTOMATICS AND EXPLOSIVES” are coming in from the corrupt Mexican Government, South America and overseas, not from Wal-Mart isle 5 as Shrillary Clinton has everyone believe. I called Congressman John Boozman Office and they to agree with the hype that is being given.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
-H.L. Mencken

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from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

knowing that California is the leading non hunting and fishing state in the U.S with less then 10% of the people there actually buying licenses it doesn't surprise me that they would do something like this. But I personally don't see why there are needs to completely ban lead bullets. I understand the lead ban for animals like ducks and doves.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I'll tell you what this lead ban is.

I'll start my rant by saying that it is evident that every day in the news there is another study showing that food or exercise or games that were supposedly 'good for you' are now potentially life threatening because a couple of retards had either a disability they never told their doctors or misused whatever they were using. Almost every time the activity or food is not bad for you, but what else are college kids supposed to do besides make an important looking study based on their research? I am not 'hating' on college kids, but i am getting sick of the bulls*** studies that come out every day.

What i am trying to get across is that the lead poisoning frenzy is exactly that: bulls***. How many years have hunters been using lead ammunition and this is the first time that anybody has gone this far to stop it. THERE IS NO PROBLEM. This is just a few people trying to prove something, but as i said and will say again, lead ammunition has been used for many decades and there is no problem.

Nate

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

On a related note:
I live in North Dakota and have gotten to listen to many born-and-raised North Dakotans and let me tell you that they are 100% opposed to the ban. YA HEAR THAT HOEVEN??? WE DON'T WANT IT!!

Nate

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from LutherMartin1517 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I don't mind lead bans over water or in certain areas that are sensitive but blanket lead bans extended to all areas and ammunition I think is extreme and unnecessary. We need to remember the Laffer Curve, eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns. I think that is the end of most extremist environmental policy. Lets balance benefits and costs.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

60256-
You are right but for the wrong reason.

read my post above about the difference between scientific and religious beliefs.

The lead ban is B/S because it isn't supported by sound science, NOT because you say so. In this case the two coincide, but that does not make them the same.

We will win these arguments if we base ourselves in good science and rational thought.

If we oppose bans based on studies being bogus "because we say so" and because non-toxic rounds are expensive and because we can't get them to group well, we will get marginalized and steam rolled.

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from RonDak wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I don't understand why this is so difficult. Lead is basically a poison. If you are an outdoorsmen, do you want to be putting poison all over the ground? No. So saddle up, pay an extra few dollars, and hand your kids a better environment. Just because " we've been doing it for years and it was never a problem" before, isn't an excuse.

Leave the land better then when you arrived. It's simple.

We can put a man on the moon. I think we can come up with an alternative to lead shot.

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from Orion_70 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

WOW!! I can't believe the people here totally miss the objective to attack hunters through another area, lead in bullets. So why not ban all lead fishing gear? The amount of lead fisherman put in the water clearly outweigh what any hunter would, right? Why not ban lead weights on tires? Oh my, the amount of lead that gets thrown on the side of the roads is horrendous!!
Wake up People!!!!!!
Any amount of lead a hunter or fisherman puts into the environment through a bullet or sinker is miniscule compared to just one plant putting toxins like lead and mercury into our ecosystem. If you want to target something, why not make EPA standards higher first, anything coming in to that plant/factory, goes out as clean or cleaner than how it came in.

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from RonDak wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

"So why not ban all lead fishing gear?"

Ok. If it will help the environment, why not?

"Nature has enough to fulfill the needs of all, but nothing to satisfy the greed of a few."

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from Orion_70 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Are you that blind that you completely missed the point? Do you not understand that the toxins released by just one plant/factory would exceed all the lead hunters and fisherman in total would put into the environment, not to mention mercury and other harmful toxins. Now multiple that by the thousands of factories built on our rivers and streams dumping pollutants into our ecosystem on a daily basis. If you want to make a difference, start with the clear Offenders! Enforce the EPA rules on toxins these factories release, strengthen the rules currently in place.

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from RonDak wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Yup, I'm blind. But Orion, which is easier:

Passing legislation in government and spending billions of dollars, or not buying a lead product?

I just think all this " oh no the science is fixed, i need proof, blah blah we did it in the past and we're fine blah blah " is BS. Just don't be selfish, think logically and long term, and maybe try to use less lead. Heaven forbid it may cost a few bucks more.

I'm not saying it will solve the problem, but why not do your part?

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from Dann wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

A few bucks more? It costs quite a bit more! Winchester e-tips cost $45 a box. Not to mention the money and ammo needed to sight in. If I honestly believed that lead from BIG GAME hunting was adversly affecting the environment, I'd be all over it. Fact is, there's no proof.

Because birds have diffrent digestive tracts, there's a hazard there. No argument. But not so in big game animals.

Here's proof, eat a penny and you'll see it again in the toilet the next day. Did you get zinc/copper poisoning? No! Same with lead, eat a bullet and you'll see it the next day.

Fact is, none of us sport hunters eat enough lead-shot venison to make a difference. CDC's proved it! So why ban rifle bullets? Because its bad for the environment? Pullleeeze! Walk the highway, more lead tire weights than you can shake a stick at out there. Much more than all the hunters can shot during the hunt.

Its overkill, not necessary and totally alarmist.

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from chuckles wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I switched to lead free ammo for one reason only. My child! The MN DNR did a study after the commotion started and they found that shooting animals with lead bullets did leave some lead in the carcass at distances I would not have believed without the study. That was enough for me. Children under six are much more vulnerable to lead than adults and my boy eats venison.
I do believe that lead has toxic effects on animals and the environment so alternatives are necessary. Does the cost decrease my shooting, you bet. However, I am not so concerned with my own pleasure that I am willing to poison other creatures or my family to indulge myself. Add any potential danger to my child and the decision was easy for me. I no longer use lead fishing tackle either. I don't need "proof". Lead is toxic and the argument that it is not toxic enough to hurt anything does not convince me at all.
@ ken.mcloud, Good posts! Calm and rational discussion based on facts are the only way to debate the issues. I am very frustrated with the "agree with me or you are a peta loving socialist liberal wimp" attitude. The extremists on the animals rights side of the issues will not change opinions no matter what anyone says. The issues will be decided by the vast majority of voters in the middle who are put off by the ranting and lack of willingness to respect opposing viewpoints they often encounter.

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from chuckles wrote 5 years 1 week ago

For anyone who is interested you can view the results of the study by the Minnesota DNR at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/lead/index.html
I want to be clear that I view the use of lead as a personal choice. I do not necessarily support a ban on lead ammo but I also can see why people would think it was a good idea to decrease the amount of toxic metals deposited in the environment no matter the source. I make the choice to avoid any possibility of doing harm to my child or the environment that nurtures me and my family and I hope many of you will do the same.

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from Gunslinger wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I doubt Lead is a problem with large game hunting. I was told that China was buying all the lead they could get from the USA. I do believe that the Companies aremisleading ud on this subject. I think that Copper will replace lead in big game rifles. It is cheaper to mfger with copper than with lead I;m told. So now the Ammo Co's can raise teh price of our Ammoand say is due to the loss of lead and copper cost them more???? Not sure on the accuracy of Copper or the effect it will have on out nice rifles, handguns and pocket-boo and will it kill game as does the lead Ammo. I suppose we will see shortly as ammo has gone sky high in just 2 yrs.I have a good supply of lead ammo and I plan to use it up prior to purchasing new.Maye you handloaders can use steel and copper coated bullets and have the wt needed for biggame hunting,.i do love the Poly tiped ammo I now use, it opens the bullet well inside the animal for a deadly kill and goes thru the other sde of the game which makes for good tracking if needed.

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from Gunslinger wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I doubt Lead is a problem with large game hunting. I was told that China was buying all the lead they could get from the USA. I do believe that the Companies aremisleading ud on this subject. I think that Copper will replace lead in big game rifles. It is cheaper to mfger with copper than with lead I;m told. So now the Ammo Co's can raise teh price of our Ammoand say is due to the loss of lead and copper cost them more???? Not sure on the accuracy of Copper or the effect it will have on out nice rifles, handguns and pocket-boo and will it kill game as does the lead Ammo. I suppose we will see shortly as ammo has gone sky high in just 2 yrs.I have a good supply of lead ammo and I plan to use it up prior to purchasing new.Maye you handloaders can use steel and copper coated bullets and have the wt needed for biggame hunting,.i do love the Poly tiped ammo I now use, it opens the bullet well inside the animal for a deadly kill and goes thru the other sde of the game which makes for good tracking if needed.

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from ChevJames wrote 5 years 6 days ago

The things that are driving hunters out of the field aren't $1 increases in hunting license fees or lead bans: they are loss of hunting land and their kids' team sports. We should have enough publicly owned land set aside to accommodate all the hunters in a state, but we don't. So we either hunt in overcrowded woods or we pay $2,000 - $10,000 a year for our share of a "hunting lease." Then there are the team sports--Dad has to be at his son's soccer game on Saturday morning, so he cannot be out in the woods. Lastly, there's the issue of places to shoot. You will most likely have to go to a public range that doesn't have proper facilities for sighting in a rifle. But you'll still end up paying $10 an hour or more. The price of guns and ammo is going way up, and that doesn't help. What we need most, though, is good public hunting land, public shooting ranges, and parents putting their foot down about the Saturday team sports!

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

I'd go along with the current lead ban for waterfowl, but that's as far as I'm willing to go. Lead bullets, I believe, cause no significant issues with the environment,with humans or the wildlife that we hunt. The cost of exotic material for bullets can and will drive a huge numbers of hunters from the shrinking ranks. In my opinion, all lead ban proposals are simply a backdoor approach to limiting the general public access to inexpensive ammo.

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from OneShotHarvest wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Have you ever heard the quote that we (hunters) are the original and true conservationists? After doing a lot of research on lead poisoning from spent lead ammunition and doing a lot of blogging, I'm starting to question whether we can keep saying this. Before I go any further, I'd like to first say that I am an active advocate of both hunting and the 2nd amendment. In fact, I have a job because of both of these rights. I'm a contract hunter AND a wildlife biologist. I'd also like to mention that when I first started hearing about this issue I was also very skeptical. I'll share with you the thought sequence that went through my mind in the beginning of my research. First, what would have to occur for lead from rifle bullets to result in poisoned wildlife? Here's the list that I came up with and began testing. #1: Lead core rifle bullets would need to fragment. #2: These fragments would need to be retained in the carcass and gutpile. #3 These fragments would need to be consumed by scavengers. #4 The lead used in rifle bullets would need to be absorbed into the bloodstream and result in a lethal dose.

So have you ever recovered a lead bullet and weighed it? If you have you've probably noticed that the average lead core bullet retains approximately 70 percent of its original weight. The remaining 30 percent of that bullet was shed within the carcass. If you don't believe this I encourage you to take your next deer to a veterinarian and have it x-rayed. I have personally done this and have been very suprised by the distance that these fragments travel from the wound chanel. Up to 18 inches in some cases! #1 and #2: Likely.

So are these fragments consumed by scavenges? Do I even have to prove this? Of course they are, whether its hawks and eagles or coyotes these gut piles/lost game don't last long. #3: Likely.

To address whether these fragments would leach lead and ultimately be absorbed I looked at experimental lead dosing studies. A quick search of these showed me that the elemental lead that is used in bullets is in fact absorbed into the blood stream. In fact, due to the surface area/weight, the small fragments of lead would be much more easily absorbed than the shot pellets used in the study. #4: Likely

I know that I'm going to get some heated responses to this, but I think it's important to note that this issue isn't impossible. In fact, as you've probably gathered, I find it to be VERY possible. I think the only thing that is debateable is how much of an impact this is having on a population level. But even then, if we know we're killing unintentional individuals but it isn't resulting in a dramatic reduction in that species numbers...is it OK?

I want to note that I'm not for lead bans. I'm for being an educated hunter and making responsible decisions. My personal choice has been to go "lead-free" for all my hunting applications. Including my contract/depredation hunting. As a result, I don't have to worry about feeding lead fragments to the wildlife that make my hunting expeditions more enjoyable. In fact, I don't have to worry about feeding these fragments to my family either. The choice is yours for now. This isn't supposed to be an anti-hunting issue, but anti hunting groups are using it.

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from OneShotHarvest wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Please let me note that I still think that most hunters are conservationists at heart. I just get disgusted by the "I don't give a crap" responses. I think that we just need to be educated on the science before claiming that it's "junk science" or that there is none. Anyone can claim that science is junk if it doesn't agree with their thoughts. That doesn't make it junk. If science shows that we are unintentionally poisoning scavengers by using lead rifle bullets I think we just need to look into it. We're already attacked enough by non-hunters. This "I don't care" argument will only add to that. My opinion is that we need to show that we're willing to change if there is enough proof. Which brings up another question. How much proof do we need? There are already over 500 scientific peer reviewed studies that look specifically at lead poisoning from spent ammo sources. This covers at least 136 species both avian and mammalian. If you're curious, I would be more than happy to give some sources and a brief summary for some of these.

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from Huntingwithdaughters wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

My 12 year old daughter will ONLY shoot with non-toxic shot. Her generation is very environment conscious. Polywad has come out with a new Greenlite shell that is supposed to pattern well. Lead shot's days are numbered.

Once upon a time there were no season or bag limits for waterfowl and market gunners shot them with punt guns, entire flocks at a time.

Hunters adjusted to the new regulations and still have fun killing fewer birds. Our children will have fun shooting with non-toxic shot. When it is the only kind, the comparisons with lead will be irrelevant. Lead is poisonous and we must move on from it.

David Bershtein
www.huntingwithdaughters.com

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from auburn_hunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I don't hunt fowl, but the increase in ammo in general (no matter what the reason) is sure to drive hunters out of the woods. I was going over my supply of ammo and came across several boxes of .40 caliber handgun ammo that had price stickers of $9.99/box. Unfortunately, I think that days of those prices are long gone. Even if the production price decreases back to the levels of those days, the taxes placed on ammo will not be repealed any time soon. For someone that enjoyed spending time at the range, it has just become too expensive to enjoy as frequently as I used to. The same will begin to apply to hunters of all game since a box of rifle ammo has nearly doubled.

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from Dann wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I live with the lead ban in CA and I hate it. The waterfowl lead ban is been affect for quite awhile and there was good solid science to back it. I've got no problems with it.

The current ban is in effect for most of the central part of the state and prohibits big game and small game hunting with leaded ammo. That means, no 22 LR to hunt rabbits or squirrels because currently there's no 22 LR lead free ammo. Basically, If you've got a hunting license in your wallet and a box of 22 LR (leaded)in the field, your in violation of the law.

My rifle wouldn't group worth a crap with Barnes, so I had to buy a new rifle and then switch to E-tips. I watched my 30-06 go from $19 dollars to $45 a box for lead free E-tips. As far as I know, Barnes makes the only lead free muzzleloader ammo. It's pricey as well.

Many calibers are STILL do not have lead free substitutes. If your shooting grandpa's old (fill-in the blank) and its the only rifle you've got. You could be in real trouble.

Many hunters report accuracy problems with lead-free ammo and quite a few say they just don't have the takedown power, citing lack of expansion and over penetration.

All this came about because environmental groups claimed that the CA Condor was being poisoned by hunters leaving gutpiles out. The theory was that birds were eating lead in the gutpiles. The science was poor and there was no clear connection. No smoking gun. The Fish and Game folks argued that the studies were flawed and unenforceable. The Game Commission folded to the environmental groups and passed the law

Interesting note: The Peregrine Falcon fund (Dr. William Cornatzer, Dermatologist)was instrumental in the CA lead ban and was also deeply involved in the lead-in-venison hoopla in North Dakota.

S

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from Dann wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

crm3006

Keep in mind, the general public doesn't know much about hunting. They don't know the difference between metallic lead and inorganic lead. They know lead is bad. They know that environmental groups are claiming deaths/poisoning from hunting bullets. The public turns to the hunters and when hunters answer that claim with "its an anti-gun conspiracy" we dodge the question and lose credibility. The law passes.

If you haven't got a ban and one is looming (and it is), fight the ban with good science. Take the time to read the studies and punch holes in it.

If you stick to the old ways and claim its the "anti's", you'll lose everytime.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ken.mcloud-pearbear-
PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE!! Arguments among the hunting/shooting community and specious name calling do nothing to solve the problem. (the lead ban) Science, or junk sience, can cut both ways, but a COHERANT e-mail or handwritten letter to a politician can do a whole lot more.
Squabbling and name calling within our ranks only advances the cause of the anti-gunning fraternity.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I thought the issue with lead in shot was that waterfowlers gravitate to particular locations (wetlands) that are especially sensitive. It seems to me that general hunting does not concentrate lead in the same way, nor in areas that are particularly sensitive because of the feeding habits of the animals they support and their critical role in the water cycle.

Lead bans will have to be implemented most carefully. What of the people who shoot muzzleloaders? What of cartridges (.22LR for ex) that are really only servicable in lead rounds?

IMO a lead ban in bullets really is a back door effort to curb hunting and firearms ownership. I can't see any rational reason to do it. Yes, we understand that lead in gasoline and paint was toxic, because it was aerosolized (kids inhaled lead-paint dust and gasoline fumes from cars), but there is no compelling evidence that lead or lead alloy bullets are creating a particular, much less omnipresent hazard.

We need to remind the Obama admin that the commitment to good science sometimes means that some liberal agendas aren't supported by the data. I am pretty sure that Obama would agree with us, but if we write letters on the subject to him, and to our senators and reps, Obama will have the political support that he needs to keep science in the forefront of decision making in re "lead bans."

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from j-johnson17 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

If something can be developed that COSTS THE SAME or LESS than lead, is as effective, and doesn't harm your rifle or shotgun, I don't have any problem with it. The problem I have is when legislation is passed that makes using a particular item illegal, but there hasn't been anything produced to take its place; or something is out there to take its place, but it costs 40% more than the original. I just think that if these environmentally friendly laws are going to be pushed, then the producers and the people that are pushing the laws should be working together to provide the end users (us sportsmen) with a quality product that is affordable, reliable, and does the job.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The lead bans need qualifications….a lot of qualifications. Otherwise lead bans are knee jerk, junk science musings.

-I can understand and promote banning shooting lead over water by clay target fields, even target rifle shooting over water, but I have doubts if lead bans are needed in the average, non-concentrated shooting environment, especially hunting rifle shooting. How many hunters shoot more than 20 rifle shots a season?

-It’s my opinion the banning of DDT did more for the environmental health than any other action. Raptors and the fisheries responded quickly and positively, and there were no lead bands at the time.

-I’ve not been aware a any large increase in waterfowl numbers directly benefited by lead shot ban. I see more of a response to improved nesting habitat and hunting restrictions by over water and wetlands by town/city limits….especially geese numbers.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Very well done, Phil !
I agree with both sides of your... uh... both-sided statement.

Yes, lead is bad. But the lead issue is only one more link in a tax-and-control chain that always leads to one thing: Money.

The article you state and the article you link to both say one thing; "This stuff is getting too expensive to put up with!". Lead is cheap and easy to form. Other materials are more expensive and require more facilities to make. On another front is that if enough hunters don't buy enough tags to pay wardens, then the tags go up to cover expenses. That's the same downward spiral the whole economy has nowadays.

The only strange quote from the link said; "gave up the sport rather than deal with the increased costs and hassle involved with shooting non-lead ammunition". While I surely understand the costs, I don't understand this "hassle" part. If the only difference is in which round or shell you load, then I don't see, say, technical issues. It's not like you have an issue like; "Well, I used to pull the bolt back and put rounds in the box mag. But that was with the old lead rounds. I don't know how to get this new stuff in there.".

So to me, it simply boils down to money, money, and more money. And yes, I shoot considerably less these last two years. I'm hoarding my good ammo for hunting only.

And like you, I'm torn between the good and the greed this issue generates.

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I honestly don't know. Maybe we need the ban in certain areas (wetlands), but to ban lead for deer hunting, gouse hunting, etc., is probably going to cost us dearly. Contacting the moron in the White House will go nowhere, except to give him ideas on how he can hurt us and diminish our ranks.

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from Vic wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I personally think that our polititians fall more into the religious belief system of thought than scientific. The old adage, "don't confuse me with the facts my mind is made up" comes to mind.

Though it is apparent that I cannot use google I will add some other comments to this lead debate. A few years back my wife and I started renovating a 90 year old home. One of our objectives was to remove most of the lead from it. We took out 14 tons of plaster, striped the outside paint, etc. To make sure we stayed a top of the situation we had our lead levels tested from time to time. My wife's showed elevated levels, 39ug per deciliter or something like that. How I found out was the state called me. They asked if we were renovating a home or if she got the levels from work. I said the former. They said okay and tried to disconnect. I stoped them and asked what must I do. They said discontinue contact with lead. I asked should I be concerned they said they didn't know. I wound up calling the head of the state agency, guy with PhD, and asked him. He said he did't know. I asked how high does it have to be to kill, he said he didn't know. The only thing I got the head of the department to acknowledge was "lead is bad." This started me down the road to education on the subject. In human terms nothing is done unless lead is above 50 ug/dl. They will do celation therapy to lower the blood levels if it exceeds 50. They think you are getting into really bad trouble if you break 100 ug. The child who died was somewhere around 200 ug.

Though a bird's digestive tract has a gizzard, which can grind up just about anything, should have increased absorption of ingested lead compared to humans, lead that my wife and I were exposed to was aersolized and absorbed directly through the lungs into the blood stream. So the two should be at least comparable if not us having more in our human mode of transport. Once lead enters the body and makes its way into the blood stream it can effect nervous system operation. The body's response is to deposit it into the bones, kind of getting it out of circulation. They even recommend taking fairly high doses of calcium to help get lead out of the body because lead will kind of bond to calcium and pass out the kidneys.

It is my stupid uneducated opinion that lead can be a problem but not at the levels many are saying. In the home industry it was a great thing to help start a lead abatement industry, kind of a sister industry to asbestos, but I don't think that it is as big an issue as it is made out to be.

I live on the Atlantic flyway and the numbers of ducks, geese and swans continues to climb. Steel shot may be part of that equation but many other factors come into play too. It is easy to blame one thing as the culprit but reality usually has many factors which provide a cummulative effect to harming game.

Lead can be bad, but it isn't the root of all things evil. Then again, what do I know.

Vic

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I doubt seriously that it is about the lead. Remember the story a few days back about lead contaminated venison that was proved to be blown out of all proportion? Also the Big
Brass Hullabaloo that was blocked by the two
Montana Senators?
The enviornmental impact of lead bullets in squirrel guns and deer rifles, or for that matter upland bird hunting or dove shooting,
has to be minimal. (Concentrated shooting over waterfowl habitat might be an exception.) PETA, HSUS, etc. ad nauseum, do not want animals hunted. Period. They are hand-in-hand with the Brady Bunch, the AMA, and all the other anti-gun groups. If they cannot legislate guns and hunting out of existance, they will use junk sience, lead bans, any scare tactic to accomplish their aims. I am only surprized that all the smokless powder smoke and hot lead going down range has not contributed to GLOBAL WARMING! OOPs! Should not have put that thought in their pointy little heads! What ever the anti-hunting, anti-gun groupies come up with, their ultimate aim is the abolishment of our sport.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Banning lead shot seems to have a positive effective on game, and if it were used less should not the price go down? It hasn't of course, and what about supply and demand concept in marketing? The companies loading our ammo are just taking advantage of "panic in Whitehouse" buying mentallity. 50 rounds of LEAD pistol bullets are approaching $50+ a box, which is rediculous! Ban it for the good of wildlife, but make a million in profit for now seems to be the idea?

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from JD wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ken mcloud, You are very well founded in almost all of your statements on this blog site, but tonight I must respectfully disagree.

You say that once lead is banned, quantities increase and competition will force lower prices. If that were the case, why do we pay through the nose for steel shot loads? Why are the premium turkey loads priced close to a car payment? Ken, lots of competition for waterfowl steel rounds, yet the prices are up there why? because they know we have no options. That is also a capitalist quality, good or bad.

Ken, I disagree with your post, but I have no lack of respect for your right to express your opinion, just as I have. I extend the hand of fellowship as a concerned hunter myself.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The lead ban is similar to banning all but medium size panty hose for ladies. One size does not fit all. Here in Alaska we have no need for a lead ban. To my knowledge there is no place where lead has been found to be a cause of death in bird or animal by ingestion. Yet does science make any difference? No, a ban is a ban. Might as well get used to it, gentlemen. However, we must fight the good fight. Onward!

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from Vic wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

There may be some lead issues with waterfowl, and not them specifically but raptors up the food chain. Here in Baltimore DNR believes it has helped Bald Eagles. However, banning lead from rifle ammo is just nuts. Since Phil is slightly older than me I would bet he had split shot in his mouth at times. I bet his daddy's car ran on tetra ethol lead gas. I bet he shot lead pellets and kept some of those pellets in his mouth like I for rapid reloading. I do believe it has caused him to become a low grade moron because of it, right?

A friend of mine became the lead expert for the Dept of the Army. All his research showed that elevated lead levels did cause a reduction in IQ. This was a significant thing. Guess how many points? ONE. There was a child who died from lead poisoning. The child wasn't being fed and ate whatever it could find, lead paint. The child had pounds of consumption. Then again water is also toxic in high quantities. Look it up.

Should we keep and eye on lead and other toxins, yes! You all know, they are talking about bringing DDT back because hundreds of thousands are dying around the world because of malaria. World Health Organization is checking into it. The lady who made all those claims about DDT was found to be a fraud.

Remember the ban on ozone depleting substances, Freon? Know who lead the charge, a company who made Freon but couldn't make any real profits with it. They came up with a new refrigerant, R134, and lobbied congress to ban R12 (Freon). Much money was made.

Have you heard much about the hundreds of Climatologists who talked to the U.N. and said there is no science to say global warming is being driven by Carbon units. Al Gore, lie after lie, after lie. The NASA scientist lied about the 90s being the warmest years since records started to be kept, lie warmest year, 1934. Remember reading about the dust bowl in OK?

Guess what I am trying to say is this, be careful about what is being said. People will rationalize things they want because it is their agenda. There is money to be made. People don't like hunting or guns so they want to believe whatever supports their argument.

Do we need a lead ban, show me scientific evidence that supports it and maybe I will change my position. Where do you think lead comes from anyway, we magically make it appear from the ether, no, it is from the environment.

Phil, check your facts before you start down this road.

The guy who said one pellet will kill a swan, send us the evidence. I can't beleive that one at all.

Vic

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from lloydwus wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

A lead ban would be worse than useless. It is indeed a backdoor way to whittle away at our hunting heritage and firearms freedoms. The DDT ban was poor science at best and nothing has been found to replace DDT in the battle against mosquito-borne diseases. Millions have died needlessly in the world because a lack of this cheap, effective pesticide. In this country, a variety of encephalitides (St. Louis encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis) as well as West Nile Virus could have been better addressed with DDT in our arsenal.
The bottom line is that the left in this country continue to use junk science to attempt to control every aspect of our lives and attack our standard of living. Polar bears are "endangered" because of a threat of global warming, the battle over the de-listing the wolf, lead in game meat and now lead in the environment (uh, where did lead come from?) – all ruses based in little or science intended to limit our options.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

pearbear,

Here we go Mike-Diehl-style:

"just what division of peta pays you to harass sportsmen and monitor this page"
-The fact that I have been hunting, fishing, and lusting for cheeseburgers more or less since birth means I wouldn't exactly make a welcome addition to the PETA ranks. Though I do love the logic that if someone adamantly supports rational thought, they must be a limp-wristed liberal. For what its worth, I oppose outright lead bans unless they are supported by real evidence (read my earlier post)

"i can see your a single trac person who is a legend in his own mind"
-If my single track is the idea that we sportsmen must use rational, scientific arguments in order to prevent being marginalized, then you are entirely correct. As for my over-inflated ego, It may impact my likability but,I don't see how it impacts the logic of my arguments at all.

"i use the cruell steel trap Kenny"
-OH MY!! You have used a childlike nickname common to people who have my first name; thereby instantly trivializing all of my arguments?! How did I not see such an obvious flaw in my logic?!?

By failing to present any supporting evidence to your argument at all (even the name of this "head of state") you have shown that you are merely spreading conspiracy theories.

I'm more than willing to be swayed, just show me some proof. (or at least some evidence)

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Klobster-

I'm really glad you worded it that way because it brings up a very important topic in this debate; the difference between scientific beliefs and religious beliefs.

Scientific beliefs can be changed when new evidence is presented. For example, we all believe that E=mc^2. Let's say some groundbreaking new research comes out tomorrow saying that it really is E = mc^3. After much additional research to show that the results were repeatable we would all slowly accept that E =mc^3.

Religious beliefs usually cannot be changed based on new evidence. (usually the opposite happens and people try to bend the evidence to fit their belief) No amount of evidence could ever change my beliefs about God, that makes them religious beliefs. I try very hard to keep these two categories separate.

so when you said:
"i really dont think that lead is killing birds, nothing you can say is going to make me believe that."

That is a religious-type belief. I suspect that pearbear's thoughts on DDT are similar. Its perfectly fine to have these types of beliefs, but its important to recognize what they are.

So, when we present arguments, we should always ask ourselves "Could any amount of evidence change my belief?" If the answer is no, then that is not a scientific argument. I think we can all agree that environmental regulations (if not all government policy) should be based on scientific arguments.

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from jjas wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The handwritings on the wall. Lead is dying (if not dead already). Now the question is, what will the ammo companies replace it with and what is the cost going to be for consumers in price and performance?

Hey Dave, how about a guest post from some of your buddies @ Winchester, Remington or Federal to answer some of the questions?

Jim

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

FWIW I have fired Barnes Triple Shock Xbullets in Federal .243Win 100 gr. and Barnes MRX in Federal .30-06 180 grain and had outstanding grouping with both rifles (sub MOA). I still mostly hunt and practice with lead because it's less expensive and performs almost as well as the Barnes in re grouping. But I did run a couple boxes of Barnes through each rifle just to know what I could expect if forced to switch.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

If you have seen magnificent Trumpeter Swan's die from lead ingestion poisoning (from lead pellets, not 100+ gr. bullets), you understand the killing power of lead shot. One pellet picked up into the gizzard and it's all over in a matter of a couple of weeks for the swan and anything that eats it's lead poisoned innards. They feed mostly in fields and not in the water exclusively.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I don't need anybody with good intentions making laws without asking my opinion. They already have a ban on lead for waterfowl. Look at the price difference of lead vs steel shot. Outrageous. As many shells I go through during dove season the cost increase would greatly curtail my outings.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

BTW, why is steel loaded shotshells more expensive than lead? Seems it should be the other way around. Oh I get it, if we're banned from using lead the ammo companies have us by the short hairs.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I have three comments on this subject, one based on politics, one based on biology,

Politics-
The fact that a change will be too expensive is never a good enough reason to stop environmental legislation. Think of how bad a shape we'd be in if the local chemical factory got to dump waste in the bass pond because properly disposing of it would be too expensive?

Also, xenophobic ranting about the President, PETA, etc... being "out to get us" will never work, regardless of its accuracy. All this does is marginalize us in the eyes of the general public. I challenge anyone to cite a single case where this "they are out to get us" mentality EVER won a political argument.

We need to base our arguments on rational thinking and science. Which leads me to my next point...

Biology-
If I remember my high school bio class correctly, lead shot is banned from waterfowl hunting because:

->shot pellets that don't hit the ducks wind up on the bottom of lakes, ponds, wetlands, etc...

->These pellets look and feel an awful lot like small pebbles.

->neither fish nor ducks have have molar teeth. So, they purposely swallow small pebbles and hold them in their gizzard to crush up their food. Obviously, some of the pebbles end up being shot pellets.

->When those shot pellets were made of lead, the fish and ducks absorbed some of that lead into their bodies and it got stored in their blood, liver, muscles, etc... (however, since the vast majority of those pebbles were still actual pebbles the lead concentrations were too low to kill the fish and ducks.

->Thanks to the food chain, the raptors then get the short end of the stick. Bald eagles eat ducks and fish their whole life, and each time they do they accumulate all of that animal's lead in their system. This leads to raptors that have many times the lead concentration of their prey, and eventually dead raptors.

So in order for them to show that lead rifle rounds are having a similar effect on condors they would have to show that:
1)lead rounds routinely end up in gut piles, not embedded in the animals muscle/bone or penentrating completely through the animal. (I find this HIGHLY unlikely)
--Then either--
2)eating single lead round will put enough lead into the condor's system to kill it.
--or--
3)condors feed on gut piles so frequently that they accumulate lead in their system over time (like the bald eagles do with the fish)

I doubt any of those three statements are true, but I am not biologist. Biologist need to do studies to determine if these statements are true, and then policy should be based on those results.

I am not saying that for certain that these studies have not been done but I have not seen any evidence of it.

If these points are proven by science, then we should all get behind the lead ban. If they are disproved, we should fight it tooth and nail, like any other regulation based on faulty reasoning.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

and one based on economics!

Currently, most hunters use lead, so there isn't much of a market non-lead rifle rounds.

If a large portion of the country goes under a lead ban, it will be very profitable for someone to develop a low-cost non-lead round. (they would capture almost the entire market) Other companies will then try to compete and overall prices will come down.

This hasn't happened yet because there simply aren't that many players in the non-lead rifle round game. However, if a large portion of the country goes under a lead ban it will.

It' capitalism 101 and its why its such a great system.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Lead bans for hunting scare me because it leads to an all out lead ban which would effectively kill the shooting sports. Yeah a hunting ban means a $40 box of shells for the 270 instead of a $15 dollar box of generic softpoints that wal-mart puts on sale every hunting season. But if my 9mm, 45ACP, and AR goes to monolithic bullets and prices get even more ridiculous than they already are the many shooting sports will up and die. The lead shot ban for waterfowl I do feel had some justification but it was enacted before I started hunting so its just the status quo to me. I guess I just fear change.
If lead starts drying up I think we should get some folks together and go to China and raid a toy factory. Should have enough lead to last till thy kingdom comes. haha

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from rocky d bashaw wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i agree that there might be a enviromental problem caused by lead bullets and lead shot. we as hunters have used lead forever,the only animals that might eat the lead are the birds if they do. there are as many birds flying around as there was years ago. my shotguns have removeable chokes and i do not like steel shot. the rifle bullets out now with the accu-tip, i do not like the way the bullets pattern nor the penetration it gets on deer and hogs. there is not much we can do i think except stay behind the nra. i hunt in the national forest of texas.good hunting or fishing or what ever makes you happy.

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from Vic wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WMH,

You said one piece of ingested shot would kill a swan. I am about 99.9% sure that one piece of shot won't kill a swan. Ken talked about the raptor population being more at risk and he is correct.

I live in civil war territory. My father in law has tons of bullets from 100+ years ago. Other than being dirty they look shootable. The earth like our stomaches digest that which is left within it. I am sure I have ingested shot and other chunks of lead in my past and I still walk and talk.

I said one shot pellet just isn't enough to cause lead poisoning to a swan, unless of course it is properly placed traveling 1100 FPS.

Vic

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from Paul Wilke wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Prevailing wisdom seems to say that lead is toxic (poison) in some concentrations.
I'm still alive so I'll claim that holding lead split shoot (sinkers) in my mouth and occasionally swallowing one or two will not kill me, I won't claim that it did not lower my I.Q. I simply have not ingested enough to reach the critical level.
But there is another possible for the increase in raptor populations. I see many more hawks and eagles than I ever did before. Hawks have discovered that I feed song birds and squirrels, the Hawks visit on a regular basis and do a little feeding themselves.
Years back I often visited farm country in Wisconsin and Indiana , It was the practice of every farmer I meet to kill every Raptor that they saw.
I'm thinking--less farmers, more raptors. Less shooters in general and better educated shooters= more raptors.
I'll miss lead, if it comes to that and it will effect my hunting and shooting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Vic

Thanks for your insightful reply. If you had read several of the websites that you should have found when Googling "lead poisoning swans", you might not be quite 99.9% sure. A Washington State DFW field biologist stated that fact to me in person as he was removing a sick and dying swan from my property.

So, I suppose you are entitled to your opinion and the biologist was either lying or misinformed. Your 99.9% statement has no basis of fact or proof presented other than "I am about 99.9% sure".

I agree that there are political agendas behind damn near everything that comes out of the government, since the government is all about politics. We should all examine the facts and data, not opinions, before we accept or reject some notion put forth by the geniuses in the capital.

WMH

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from s-kfry wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I could agree with you that the lead ban was not a back door approach to killing out gun rights if it was not proposed during an administration dead set on taking our 2nd Amendment rights away.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ken.mcloud stated a point I had been thinking waaay back in all the above posts. The following is only anecdotal evidence at best however it is repeatable and based upon direct observation during > 35 years deer hunting. It is repeatable in the sense that in all the deer I have cleaned and assisted others in cleaning, I have never found a rifle bullet in the guts or gut pile. I did look for such things having a minor in biology in college. I observed that most bullet impacts were shoot throughs, or bullets lodged in muscle or bone. The exception was buckshot. Occasionally we would find a buckshot pellet lodged in the liver oe heart. The buckshot pellet obviously expended most of its energy penetrating muscle tissue and came to rest in the softer tissue of the above organs. WA Mtnhunter I fully concur with you that we all should be aware of the facts and keep our data references handy when talking to politicians or anyone regarding any proposed legislation. I do however disagree with your Washington State DFW field biologist who removed the sick and dying swan and proclaimed it to be dying of lead poisoning. Did he perform a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death or did he have a field test kit to determine lead levels in the swan's body? I mean no disrespect, I am just trying to understand how a field biologist can retrieve a dying swan and immediately diagnose lead poisoning. Now if he took the bird and later called you after performing a necropsy, then it's my humble misunderstanding. My point in reference to the previous chatter is that in addition to unfounded data and opinions that are opined by members of our own hunting community, it bodes us no favorable wind if our state fish and game biologists follow suit. We must hold them accountable to their facts and theory just as we ourselves must be accountable.
An interesting aside; I read an article last fall that descibed hunting in Europe and other countries. I was surprised to learn that the most popular bullet in use there was the solid. One of the reasons listed was that it wasted less meat. One of the European guides couldn't understand our obsession with expanding bullets. He wasn't passing judgement, he obviously grew up in a different culture and didn't understand. I knew a few people during my youthful years who hunted with military surplus ammo (it isn't illegal in my state). They didn't appear to have much difficulty filling their deer tags and I don't remember them having to chase the deer after shooting them. Most of the deer they shot were shoot throughs. I believe that shot placement was a major factor in their success. Maybe that's an alternative that should be explored. Encase the lead in enough copper so that it can never be metabolized.
Just a thought.

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from dogman wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I hate to get in this fracas but the important issue here is the surface area of the lead particles. To repeat what has been already stated "birds don't have teeth they swallow pebbles, sand, gravel and yes shot if it's there. if you take a piece of #2 sand and compare it to a single particle of clay the difference in surface area of the same weight of both is 2,000,000 times greater for the clay than the sand. While the ground up lead in the bird may not be quite as fine as a particle of clay it certainly has at least a several thousand time greater surface area than the single piece of shot. The acid in the digestive juices dissolves a lot more lead than if a single shot or bullet were ingested by another type of animal. This is why the fumes (molecules) of airborne mercury and lead are much more rapidly assimilated into one's blood than swallowing liquid mercury or solid lead.

Who cares about an ugly vulture? I do! Did you know these birds are survivors of prehistoric species? Did you know there are only 300 plus remaining California Condors? Did you know they are the longest lived bird attaining and age of 50 years? That's a long time for its system to be exposed to lead fragments that they might ingest from gut piles or escaped wounded animals? I love to hunt but I certainly think we can share the earth with other creatures. Do I support a total lead ban? of course not. But I think we can afford to shut off a given area to the use of lead bullets in hopes of prolonging or saving such a magnificent species from extinction.

The banning of lead shot for waterfowl and other species in Waterfowl Production Areas has been effective because sedimentation continues to bury old shot deeper and deeper. Pheasant hunters who hunt on Waterfowl Production Areas in SD have switched to non-toxic shot. For those of us who eat the waterfowl we shoot this will have a very beneficial affect over the long haul. Sometimes it's what we don't know that can hurt us.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

This lead ban is just another back door attack just like the hype about gun and explosives smuggling into Mexico. Never seen a Bald Eagle until the last ten years here in Arkansas and two months ago, one flew over the house.

By the way, today a Wyoming Congressman was on Fox News saying and giving the impression that all the illegal guns in Mexico came from the US. For those of you have been following this, the “FULLY AUTOMATICS AND EXPLOSIVES” are coming in from the corrupt Mexican Government, South America and overseas, not from Wal-Mart isle 5 as Shrillary Clinton has everyone believe. I called Congressman John Boozman Office and they to agree with the hype that is being given.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
-H.L. Mencken

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from jjas wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Sorry, I meant Phil not Dave.....I got my posters confused.

Jim

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from Devil_Dog wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Mr. Matthews hit the nail on the head on this one. Makes you wonder what solution California Fish&Game will come up with the cover the cost of lost license fees if they ever go to a state-wide ban. I'd also love to see the 'science' behind the initial ban.

Jeff4066, I think the hassle of shooting non-lead ammo comes into play if your rifle doesn't like the limited selection of bullets. We've all seen how some rifles will shoot whatever they're loaded with while others only shoot well with a specific load. Personal example is my .270 will shoot just about any regular softpoint, but try and load it with any type of polymer-tip bullet and watch the shotgun patterns appear. I also have a Rem. 700 that simply refuses to print acceptable hunting groups (less than 3 MOA) with Barnes bullets. And since no one else yet makes a .35 cal non-lead rifle bullet, I'm SOL for that rifle.

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from shane wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Is lead not banned for all waterfowl hunting? Is that not good enough? The only other lead ban I can see making any environmental impact is a ban on lead shot for other migratory bird hunting, like dove hunting. Very few other types of hunting involve a high, or even appreciable volume of lead flying around.

Any lead ban needs to be on an area by area, type of hunting basis. If there is a specific area where hunters are really letting the lead fly, consider a ban there. Any sort of catch-all ban is silly, pointless, and just another roadblock on the list of why our numbers are shrinking.

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from shane wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

And if you really want to kill something good and dead, use the best. Barnes bullets are just about the deadliest around, and as far as I can tell, they are non-toxic.

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from lwolford wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Dann,

I guess I am ignorant. What is the difference in toxicity between metallic and inorganic lead?

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from duckcreekdick wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Reading these comments makes me want to fire up the Lyman Mag-20 and cast some bullets for my .348. If the government doesn't outlaw wheel weights, I'll be o.k.

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from Shaky wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Mike Diehl; I think maybe we all dream sometimes, but the idea that Nobama will allow science to interfere with a good opportunity to ban anything that will hamper the law abiding citizen in his possession/use of firearms is simply wishful thinking.
On lead; when I was a youngun, an old fellow and I used to participate in balloon shoots with muzzle loaders.
In the group we shot with, there was a man who was 86 yrs. old, who held 5 lead balls in his mouth, and would spit one down the muzzle, start it with a wooden peg then ram it home with the ram rod. He could reload extremely fast. Once a newbe asked him if he wasn't worried about getting lead poisoning from this practice. The old gent replied that he had started shooting a muzzle loader when he was 17, and had learned the method from his grand dad, who died at the age of 93, and didn't think the lead had shortened his life more than "that cigarette you've got in your mouth".
He asked why did he need 5 instead of 1, and he said because to remain competitive he needed to clean his rifle after 5 shots, so when his mouth was empty it was time to clean the rifle, simple. He did't only reload very fast, he was a crack shot.
So, maybe there is something to lead poisoning from
ingesting lead, I have no argument with that, but the small amount a condor might be able to pick up from a few dozen gut piles, and dying from it,is a bit far fetched. Most of us don't shoot a game animal we plan to eat in the guts.

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from dwaynez wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The lead debate has been going on for quite a while and will continue to do so, I look to some of the old timers in my family who have been around it for years and they have not had any health problems, but nowadays people seem to get sick from the smallest amounts of stuff.

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from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Now that you talk about lead and lead poisoning, I have a doubt since last December, when my brother shot a buck and we found a .223 bullet inside his buttock in perfect mushrom shape, from a previous year. I noticed that the kidneys didn´t have any fat attached, and wondered if we should keep from eating this meat.
A bullet incarnated in the muscle can poison a deer? And what are the signs to look for in a harvested animal?

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from bigdaddyjunior wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Hmmm, gut pile contaminating big ugly vultures. Why not ban gut pile? Just require hunters to bury the mess or bag it and haul it out. Be easy to enforce from a small fixed wing aircraft. Wonder if the vultures will thrive with less food available.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

pearbear,

please explain the rapid rebound of raptor species after ddt was banned?

You will need to somehow show that the experiments showing direct correlation of ddt levels in birds to the thickness and strength of their egg shells was invalid.

Also, please show the evidence discrediting studies that show how toxins accumulate as you move up the food chain. (explained in better detail in my earlier post)

Conspiracy theories without any supporting evidence will not suffice in a case where the science is so well established. Please cite articles / studies from peer refereed academic journals. Research you yourself have conducted would be acceptable if you have an applicable degree from an accredited institution and can show reproducible results.

I am open to accepting views that are contrary to my own if they can be proven using rational thought and sound science. (can you say the same for yourself?)

(see my earlier post about why we need to base our arguments on sound science and rational thought for why I feel so strongly about this)

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from semp wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ban this! ... Ban that! ... Ban Ban Ban? I waiting for the ban on 'Raisin Bran' within 12 hours of entering city/town/village limits. This would be enforced by the flatus police(former ICE and Border agents fired by Obama Momma when he removed the CONUS borders). Those still wishing to consume Raisin Bran and other flatulant fuel could legally do so only in unincorporated rural areas :-)

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Couple of thoughts:
Lead is a naturally occuring metal. By banning it from ammo, we will not eliminate it. We used to uselead based paints. Since we spray this in the woods, we also inhale some of it. I've had the privilge of knowing many foresters who lived and worked well into their eighties. They took the lead out of tree marking paint, somewhere in the early 1990's. While paint quality is somewhat diminished, I don't know any foresters who say that they feel any better.
They new POTUS (or TOTUS) is very rigid on matters of science. He WILL NOT allow facts to get in the way of his agenda. His agenda, long term calls for disarming the American Public. Follow the logic. We'll see a lead ban by the end of his first term.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

pearbear,
first off, thanks for that -1 feedback, real classy move.

Secondly, There are millions of outdoorsmen in the lower 48 states (myself included) who can remember a time in their childhood where the only place you could see bald eagles was the zoo, or maybe the wilds of Alaska. Fast forward to the present and I can think of at least two bald eagle nests within a few miles of where I am sitting. It is a fairly common sight to see them when you are boating or fishing on the river. That my friend sounds a lot more like proof than like "swallowing government propaganda" to me.

finally, like I said in my first post, empty conspiracy theories don't hold water in cases like this where the science is so well established.

Please cite sources!!

-please present an article from a reputable source with a quote from this "dying head of state". (or at least provide his/her name?)

-please find me these 4 scientists you are talking about. More importantly, provide me papers these scientists have published in peer refereed scientific journals. If these scientists have produced repeatable results that refute such widely held scientific beliefs, surely they would have shared them with the rest of the world?

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Pearbear,

Look at how skillfully you dodged those questions! ever consider a career in politics?

secondly, I suggest you brush up on the biology we're talking about here. The fact that ducks and geese live happily on your pond has no impact on the discussion at all.

direct quote from my earlier post:
"->neither fish nor ducks have have molar teeth. So, they purposely swallow small pebbles and hold them in their gizzard to crush up their food. Obviously, some of the pebbles end up being shot pellets.

->When those shot pellets were made of lead, the fish and ducks absorbed some of that lead into their bodies and it got stored in their blood, liver, muscles, etc... (however, since the vast majority of those pebbles were still actual pebbles the lead concentrations were too low to kill the fish and ducks.)"

No one is suggesting that lead pellets kill waterfowl. (unless they are moving at ~1500 fps) The problem is that these toxins move up the food chain and accumulate in the predators (raptors).

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from The_UTP wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I live in the lead-free zone in California. The problem goes a lot further than the lead ban: The cost of living in the state is already higher than much of the country, its regulations are byzantine and its tags cost a lot. A deer tag here is $26 -- and that's for in-state residents. When you add on the extreme cost of non-lead ammo, it's just too much unless you have a lot of free time or a lot of money.

I am a white-collar "knowledge worker." I get a decent amount of free time and a reasonable (though not large) paycheck. So if the regulations leave me so baffled and broke that I simply decide to not hunt, I can only imagine it's hopeless for a guy out there busting his @$$ to earn a living with his hands.

I moved here two years ago from the Midwest. And I've pretty much given up on hunting until I leave.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Each winter we have plenty of eagles in my part of the state and vultures are abundant throughout the year. Am I worried about gutpiles poisoning the birds? Nope. With the population of coyotes we have those piles are cleaned up by the next morning. I've hunted over them and I've sat out at night listening to the yotes travelling and yipping from pile to pile.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Gotta love THAT science.

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from Ranger 1000 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

here it comes boys!!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ken.mccloud, crm3006, et al

Letters to elected officials that contain ill-informed opinions like some of those expressed above do nothing to help the image of the hunting/shooting community at-large. Congressional staffers are very adept at weeding out the crackpot letters and emails and listing them as such when reporting the support for or opposition to an issue to the Rep/Senator.

You are correct. Nothing can change the minds of those whose position is based on "that's what I think so it must be right" logic. I, too, am highly opinionated but can be persuaded with fact and logic, but not bull$h1t. But, I have been on the planet long enough that my BULL$H1T METER is sufficiently calibrated.

WMH

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

-
I have not been convinced by the studies conducted in CA that predator birds are dying from lead in their prey that was derived from hunting activities. However, I do believe and support non-lead shot for waterfowl hunting.

Wouldn't you know it after having collected wheel-weights, lead ingots at garage sales, etc. for the past 15 years it's all been for naught.

Guess now I'll have to start collecting pre-‘82 pennies for the copper content and start melting those down!

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from micko77 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

This should go beyond hunting before long. California was the birthplace of the International Practical Pistol Confederation--IPSC. There are MANY firearms competitions annually in that state, from revolver championships to cowboy shoots to SWAT competitions. Multiply the rounds shot from pistols, rifles and shotguns in competition by about 500 for practice, and there are probably a billion rounds of ammo pounded into backstops across that state. Personally, with California's laws regarding guns in general I would follow Ronnie Barret's example (a major manufacturer of the banned .50 cal.rifles) and refuse to operate in the state-period. Imagine the financial impact on the state if the so-called environmentalists actually got what they want. No ammo bought. No guns bought . No excise taxes from Pittman-Robertson Act. No out-of-state visitors for competitions. This column has, I believe, commented on the financial impact of gun owners nationally; let's see what it would do if it were lost in The People's Republic of California.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter-
Could not agree more. My BS meter is also finely tuned, and IMHO the trick is, when writing an elected official, try not to state an opinion on the merits of a piece of legislation, just that you oppose the legislation because it will have a negative impact on your spor, or that you don't think sufficiant reasearch has been done, etc. Be generic, yea or nay is about the only thing that staffer is going to remember as long as the letter is not crackpot, as you stated.
Airborn All the Way! crm

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ken.mcloud stated a point I had been thinking waaay back in all the above posts. The following is only anecdotal evidence at best however it is repeatable and based upon direct observation during > 35 years deer hunting. It is repeatable in the sense that in all the deer I have cleaned and assisted others in cleaning, I have never found a rifle bullet in the guts or gut pile. I did look for such things having a minor in biology in college. I observed that most bullet impacts were shoot throughs, or bullets lodged in muscle or bone. The exception was buckshot. Occasionally we would find a buckshot pellet lodged in the liver oe heart. The buckshot pellet obviously expended most of its energy penetrating muscle tissue and came to rest in the softer tissue of the above organs. WA Mtnhunter I fully concur with you that we all should be aware of the facts and keep our data references handy when talking to politicians or anyone regarding any proposed legislation. I do however disagree with your Washington State DFW field biologist who removed the sick and dying swan and proclaimed it to be dying of lead poisoning. Did he perform a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death or did he have a field test kit to determine lead levels in the swan's body? I mean no disrespect, I am just trying to understand how a field biologist can retrieve a dying swan and immediately diagnose lead poisoning. Now if he took the bird and later called you after performing a necropsy, then it's my humble misunderstanding. My point in reference to the previous chatter is that in addition to unfounded data and opinions that are opined by members of our own hunting community, it bodes us no favorable wind if our state fish and game biologists follow suit. We must hold them accountable to their facts and theory just as we ourselves must be accountable.
An interesting aside; I read an article last fall that descibed hunting in Europe and other countries. I was surprised to learn that the most popular bullet in use there was the solid. One of the reasons listed was that it wasted less meat. One of the European guides couldn't understand our obsession with expanding bullets. He wasn't passing judgement, he obviously grew up in a different culture and didn't understand. I knew a few people during my youthful years who hunted with military surplus ammo (it isn't illegal in my state). They didn't appear to have much difficulty filling their deer tags and I don't remember them having to chase the deer after shooting them. Most of the deer they shot were shoot throughs. I believe that shot placement was a major factor in their success. Maybe that's an alternative that should be explored. Encase the lead in enough copper so that it can never be metabolized.
Just a thought.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

John R

To clarify; the biologist did not mean to imply that the bird we were removing was in fact dying from one pellet. Having removed hundreds over the past several years and performing post mortems on the birds was the basis for his statement. He stated that it could take as little as one pellet in the gizzard to cause the organs to shut down. The symptoms he observed on the bird (swimming breast down more than normal, moving the beak in a manner sort of like mouth breathing, shaking the head side to side in a twitching manner, and inability to fly) led him to believe it was a victim of lead ingestion, as are hundreds in our area each year.

I am no expert on lead poisoning, just relaying what I know based on fact, not like some uninformed ignoramus. I am not for a total ban on lead bullets. Small lead shot is fatal when ingested by waterfowl in a given quantity. Denial of that fact is not justified when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Just because one does not "think" it so doesn't mean it is not.

WMH

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

John R
I really liked your post and how you presented it until you mentioned FMJs on game. Naaaw, lets leave that to the Europeans, I really like soft points on NA game, we do have that right.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter
Thanks for clarifying about the swan. The reason I asked about the swan is that I've known a few state wildlife biologists personally throughout the years. Most of them are pretty sharp and do a great job for us. There have been a few (and only a few) however that should have majored in something other than biology. I was in no wise implying you were uninformed. I did not share my opinion about lead shot either way. I do live on the coast and for the record I do heartily agree that lead shot can be and is ingested by waterfowl with dire consequences. I also agree that one must follow the evidence and data logged on any particular subject. Just wanted you to know that we're on the same page there :-). My point about the wildlife biologists was meant to be broader regarding the whole lead bullet ban issue. It wasn't purposefully directed at your post. I was simply implying that it doesn't do us or the game any good when decisions and/or laws are based upon junk science rather than good research. As I'm sure you're aware junk science usually comes from junk scientists.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Jim in MO, it was just a thought. Actually there are quite a few states that currently prohibit the use of FMJ bullets so it is a moot point in those states. This whole lead thing (excluding lead shot use in waterfowl hunting) really is a somewhat sad current state of affairs. It appears to have started with the report about lead bullets impacting Condors in California and afterward there was the flap about lead contaminated deer meat started by Dr. William Cornatzer. What I've read about the Condor issue seems to imply that the original study was flawed. I would like to look at the credentials of those participating in the Condor study to determine if it was genuine research for empirical data or did the researchers have another agenda? In regard to lead levels in deer meat, it has been reported in either this blog or the Field Notes section that a couple of states have run tests on processed deer meat and have not found any significant traces of lead. I selfishly wonder if buckshot is the next target. Buckshot remains legal for deer hunting in most of the southern states and is very handy back in the low thickets. God forbid someone dies from lead poisoning from buckshot (other than being shot).

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

JohnR, dogman, Wa mtnhunger, Vic -

Here's to outdoorsmen who base base their opinions on sound reasoning, and are willing to change those opinions if presented with good evidence.

I look forward to many more debates on these blogs based on scientific rather than religious reasoning.

Now, if only our political leaders would follow the same path!

and pearbear-
the five of us are eagerly waiting for you to cite your sources.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The waterfowl lead ban is ok by me. I wouldn't even be too against banning lead in any scatter gun, though i know many would be. But banning lead in single projectile bullets is where i draw the line. I hope never comes to pass. Some similarly priced non-toxic alternatives should be offered but not mandated.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Steve182
If, IN YOUR STATE, you can convince enough people so that the lead bad is enacted, so be it. The Constitution, at one time, clearly granted powers to the states to establish and maintain their individual destiny. Problem is, that doesn't work anymore. A few states with mega million populations have been,largely, determining policy for Alaska for what is getting to be a long time now. If you do get it passed, please keep it to yourselves and do not then make a determination that if it is good for you it MUST be good for Alaska. In most cases, on these matters, our puny delegation to Congress - one Representative and two Senators are powerless to stop it.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Dickgun,I am NOT for the ban, though i can see how the aregument can be made for shotguns, especially waterfowl. I will contact my legislators, as i do often, but it will not be to support such a ban(s). Interesting name

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

While I remain skeptical about the effects of lead ammo used in grouse, deer, elk, etc., if it is ever proved that the lead from my guns is hurting any species, swans, raptors, buzzards,etc., I will switch to lead free ammo. I won't like it but if it will help the environment, I will do it. I guess what would be needed, would be some comments from vets and wildlife biologists that I know and trust.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

steve182,
thanks, steve, glad we are on the same side!

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from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

knowing that California is the leading non hunting and fishing state in the U.S with less then 10% of the people there actually buying licenses it doesn't surprise me that they would do something like this. But I personally don't see why there are needs to completely ban lead bullets. I understand the lead ban for animals like ducks and doves.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I'll tell you what this lead ban is.

I'll start my rant by saying that it is evident that every day in the news there is another study showing that food or exercise or games that were supposedly 'good for you' are now potentially life threatening because a couple of retards had either a disability they never told their doctors or misused whatever they were using. Almost every time the activity or food is not bad for you, but what else are college kids supposed to do besides make an important looking study based on their research? I am not 'hating' on college kids, but i am getting sick of the bulls*** studies that come out every day.

What i am trying to get across is that the lead poisoning frenzy is exactly that: bulls***. How many years have hunters been using lead ammunition and this is the first time that anybody has gone this far to stop it. THERE IS NO PROBLEM. This is just a few people trying to prove something, but as i said and will say again, lead ammunition has been used for many decades and there is no problem.

Nate

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

On a related note:
I live in North Dakota and have gotten to listen to many born-and-raised North Dakotans and let me tell you that they are 100% opposed to the ban. YA HEAR THAT HOEVEN??? WE DON'T WANT IT!!

Nate

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from LutherMartin1517 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I don't mind lead bans over water or in certain areas that are sensitive but blanket lead bans extended to all areas and ammunition I think is extreme and unnecessary. We need to remember the Laffer Curve, eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns. I think that is the end of most extremist environmental policy. Lets balance benefits and costs.

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from ken.mcloud wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

60256-
You are right but for the wrong reason.

read my post above about the difference between scientific and religious beliefs.

The lead ban is B/S because it isn't supported by sound science, NOT because you say so. In this case the two coincide, but that does not make them the same.

We will win these arguments if we base ourselves in good science and rational thought.

If we oppose bans based on studies being bogus "because we say so" and because non-toxic rounds are expensive and because we can't get them to group well, we will get marginalized and steam rolled.

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from Orion_70 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

WOW!! I can't believe the people here totally miss the objective to attack hunters through another area, lead in bullets. So why not ban all lead fishing gear? The amount of lead fisherman put in the water clearly outweigh what any hunter would, right? Why not ban lead weights on tires? Oh my, the amount of lead that gets thrown on the side of the roads is horrendous!!
Wake up People!!!!!!
Any amount of lead a hunter or fisherman puts into the environment through a bullet or sinker is miniscule compared to just one plant putting toxins like lead and mercury into our ecosystem. If you want to target something, why not make EPA standards higher first, anything coming in to that plant/factory, goes out as clean or cleaner than how it came in.

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from RonDak wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

"So why not ban all lead fishing gear?"

Ok. If it will help the environment, why not?

"Nature has enough to fulfill the needs of all, but nothing to satisfy the greed of a few."

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from Orion_70 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Are you that blind that you completely missed the point? Do you not understand that the toxins released by just one plant/factory would exceed all the lead hunters and fisherman in total would put into the environment, not to mention mercury and other harmful toxins. Now multiple that by the thousands of factories built on our rivers and streams dumping pollutants into our ecosystem on a daily basis. If you want to make a difference, start with the clear Offenders! Enforce the EPA rules on toxins these factories release, strengthen the rules currently in place.

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from Dann wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

A few bucks more? It costs quite a bit more! Winchester e-tips cost $45 a box. Not to mention the money and ammo needed to sight in. If I honestly believed that lead from BIG GAME hunting was adversly affecting the environment, I'd be all over it. Fact is, there's no proof.

Because birds have diffrent digestive tracts, there's a hazard there. No argument. But not so in big game animals.

Here's proof, eat a penny and you'll see it again in the toilet the next day. Did you get zinc/copper poisoning? No! Same with lead, eat a bullet and you'll see it the next day.

Fact is, none of us sport hunters eat enough lead-shot venison to make a difference. CDC's proved it! So why ban rifle bullets? Because its bad for the environment? Pullleeeze! Walk the highway, more lead tire weights than you can shake a stick at out there. Much more than all the hunters can shot during the hunt.

Its overkill, not necessary and totally alarmist.

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from chuckles wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I switched to lead free ammo for one reason only. My child! The MN DNR did a study after the commotion started and they found that shooting animals with lead bullets did leave some lead in the carcass at distances I would not have believed without the study. That was enough for me. Children under six are much more vulnerable to lead than adults and my boy eats venison.
I do believe that lead has toxic effects on animals and the environment so alternatives are necessary. Does the cost decrease my shooting, you bet. However, I am not so concerned with my own pleasure that I am willing to poison other creatures or my family to indulge myself. Add any potential danger to my child and the decision was easy for me. I no longer use lead fishing tackle either. I don't need "proof". Lead is toxic and the argument that it is not toxic enough to hurt anything does not convince me at all.
@ ken.mcloud, Good posts! Calm and rational discussion based on facts are the only way to debate the issues. I am very frustrated with the "agree with me or you are a peta loving socialist liberal wimp" attitude. The extremists on the animals rights side of the issues will not change opinions no matter what anyone says. The issues will be decided by the vast majority of voters in the middle who are put off by the ranting and lack of willingness to respect opposing viewpoints they often encounter.

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from chuckles wrote 5 years 1 week ago

For anyone who is interested you can view the results of the study by the Minnesota DNR at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/lead/index.html
I want to be clear that I view the use of lead as a personal choice. I do not necessarily support a ban on lead ammo but I also can see why people would think it was a good idea to decrease the amount of toxic metals deposited in the environment no matter the source. I make the choice to avoid any possibility of doing harm to my child or the environment that nurtures me and my family and I hope many of you will do the same.

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from Gunslinger wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I doubt Lead is a problem with large game hunting. I was told that China was buying all the lead they could get from the USA. I do believe that the Companies aremisleading ud on this subject. I think that Copper will replace lead in big game rifles. It is cheaper to mfger with copper than with lead I;m told. So now the Ammo Co's can raise teh price of our Ammoand say is due to the loss of lead and copper cost them more???? Not sure on the accuracy of Copper or the effect it will have on out nice rifles, handguns and pocket-boo and will it kill game as does the lead Ammo. I suppose we will see shortly as ammo has gone sky high in just 2 yrs.I have a good supply of lead ammo and I plan to use it up prior to purchasing new.Maye you handloaders can use steel and copper coated bullets and have the wt needed for biggame hunting,.i do love the Poly tiped ammo I now use, it opens the bullet well inside the animal for a deadly kill and goes thru the other sde of the game which makes for good tracking if needed.

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from Gunslinger wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I doubt Lead is a problem with large game hunting. I was told that China was buying all the lead they could get from the USA. I do believe that the Companies aremisleading ud on this subject. I think that Copper will replace lead in big game rifles. It is cheaper to mfger with copper than with lead I;m told. So now the Ammo Co's can raise teh price of our Ammoand say is due to the loss of lead and copper cost them more???? Not sure on the accuracy of Copper or the effect it will have on out nice rifles, handguns and pocket-boo and will it kill game as does the lead Ammo. I suppose we will see shortly as ammo has gone sky high in just 2 yrs.I have a good supply of lead ammo and I plan to use it up prior to purchasing new.Maye you handloaders can use steel and copper coated bullets and have the wt needed for biggame hunting,.i do love the Poly tiped ammo I now use, it opens the bullet well inside the animal for a deadly kill and goes thru the other sde of the game which makes for good tracking if needed.

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from ChevJames wrote 5 years 6 days ago

The things that are driving hunters out of the field aren't $1 increases in hunting license fees or lead bans: they are loss of hunting land and their kids' team sports. We should have enough publicly owned land set aside to accommodate all the hunters in a state, but we don't. So we either hunt in overcrowded woods or we pay $2,000 - $10,000 a year for our share of a "hunting lease." Then there are the team sports--Dad has to be at his son's soccer game on Saturday morning, so he cannot be out in the woods. Lastly, there's the issue of places to shoot. You will most likely have to go to a public range that doesn't have proper facilities for sighting in a rifle. But you'll still end up paying $10 an hour or more. The price of guns and ammo is going way up, and that doesn't help. What we need most, though, is good public hunting land, public shooting ranges, and parents putting their foot down about the Saturday team sports!

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

I'd go along with the current lead ban for waterfowl, but that's as far as I'm willing to go. Lead bullets, I believe, cause no significant issues with the environment,with humans or the wildlife that we hunt. The cost of exotic material for bullets can and will drive a huge numbers of hunters from the shrinking ranks. In my opinion, all lead ban proposals are simply a backdoor approach to limiting the general public access to inexpensive ammo.

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from OneShotHarvest wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Have you ever heard the quote that we (hunters) are the original and true conservationists? After doing a lot of research on lead poisoning from spent lead ammunition and doing a lot of blogging, I'm starting to question whether we can keep saying this. Before I go any further, I'd like to first say that I am an active advocate of both hunting and the 2nd amendment. In fact, I have a job because of both of these rights. I'm a contract hunter AND a wildlife biologist. I'd also like to mention that when I first started hearing about this issue I was also very skeptical. I'll share with you the thought sequence that went through my mind in the beginning of my research. First, what would have to occur for lead from rifle bullets to result in poisoned wildlife? Here's the list that I came up with and began testing. #1: Lead core rifle bullets would need to fragment. #2: These fragments would need to be retained in the carcass and gutpile. #3 These fragments would need to be consumed by scavengers. #4 The lead used in rifle bullets would need to be absorbed into the bloodstream and result in a lethal dose.

So have you ever recovered a lead bullet and weighed it? If you have you've probably noticed that the average lead core bullet retains approximately 70 percent of its original weight. The remaining 30 percent of that bullet was shed within the carcass. If you don't believe this I encourage you to take your next deer to a veterinarian and have it x-rayed. I have personally done this and have been very suprised by the distance that these fragments travel from the wound chanel. Up to 18 inches in some cases! #1 and #2: Likely.

So are these fragments consumed by scavenges? Do I even have to prove this? Of course they are, whether its hawks and eagles or coyotes these gut piles/lost game don't last long. #3: Likely.

To address whether these fragments would leach lead and ultimately be absorbed I looked at experimental lead dosing studies. A quick search of these showed me that the elemental lead that is used in bullets is in fact absorbed into the blood stream. In fact, due to the surface area/weight, the small fragments of lead would be much more easily absorbed than the shot pellets used in the study. #4: Likely

I know that I'm going to get some heated responses to this, but I think it's important to note that this issue isn't impossible. In fact, as you've probably gathered, I find it to be VERY possible. I think the only thing that is debateable is how much of an impact this is having on a population level. But even then, if we know we're killing unintentional individuals but it isn't resulting in a dramatic reduction in that species numbers...is it OK?

I want to note that I'm not for lead bans. I'm for being an educated hunter and making responsible decisions. My personal choice has been to go "lead-free" for all my hunting applications. Including my contract/depredation hunting. As a result, I don't have to worry about feeding lead fragments to the wildlife that make my hunting expeditions more enjoyable. In fact, I don't have to worry about feeding these fragments to my family either. The choice is yours for now. This isn't supposed to be an anti-hunting issue, but anti hunting groups are using it.

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from OneShotHarvest wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Please let me note that I still think that most hunters are conservationists at heart. I just get disgusted by the "I don't give a crap" responses. I think that we just need to be educated on the science before claiming that it's "junk science" or that there is none. Anyone can claim that science is junk if it doesn't agree with their thoughts. That doesn't make it junk. If science shows that we are unintentionally poisoning scavengers by using lead rifle bullets I think we just need to look into it. We're already attacked enough by non-hunters. This "I don't care" argument will only add to that. My opinion is that we need to show that we're willing to change if there is enough proof. Which brings up another question. How much proof do we need? There are already over 500 scientific peer reviewed studies that look specifically at lead poisoning from spent ammo sources. This covers at least 136 species both avian and mammalian. If you're curious, I would be more than happy to give some sources and a brief summary for some of these.

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from alabamahunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Auburn Hunter, War Damn Eagle, even if last night wasn't Au's finest moment.

The California lead ban seems like a push to make ammo to expensive for the average joe to buy. The same thing with microstamping and excise taxes. That said, Philip does make some good points. Lead can most certainly harm waterfowl, although to what extent seems unclear. I can't complain, the price of shot has dropped by about $20 per 25lb. bag. It sure drops the cost of reloading. Now if factory ammo will make that marked a drop!

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from JD wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Waterfowl, yes, not a problem, we have been see the value, the return on our investment, so to speak. But I pity the fool that really believes that "Golden Bullet" .22 is actually a hazard except for that squirrel in my sights, or that Power Point in my old 30-30 will change the balance of nature!
People, please! A lead ban on woods animals is going too far. Coming from the government that likes bullets of depleted uranium? Hmmm? Let me point out that bad legislation such as this will weaken our ammunition companies more, and without them who supplies our brave troops with the tools of battle? Are we going to buy our military rounds from NORINCO soon? The peoples' republic can't wait to see us weakened further. Nuf said!

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i have a 3 acre pond 4 ft deep for 30 years shot ducks geese on it with leadshot now i raise ducks geese on it aint lost a one and they sure dabble one pellet kills a swan hard to swallow, maybe because the illinois river and others like it had soap suds and heavy pollution in 60s 70s ,heard it caught on fire once is the real reason you didnt see any eagles then

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Vic

Go to the internet (you can find that, right?) and Google "lead poisoning swans".

You will find many credible sources that document lead poisoning in swans and other waterfowl.

Your post is bordering on ignorance.

WMH

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from RonDak wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Yup, I'm blind. But Orion, which is easier:

Passing legislation in government and spending billions of dollars, or not buying a lead product?

I just think all this " oh no the science is fixed, i need proof, blah blah we did it in the past and we're fine blah blah " is BS. Just don't be selfish, think logically and long term, and maybe try to use less lead. Heaven forbid it may cost a few bucks more.

I'm not saying it will solve the problem, but why not do your part?

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from Huntingwithdaughters wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

My 12 year old daughter will ONLY shoot with non-toxic shot. Her generation is very environment conscious. Polywad has come out with a new Greenlite shell that is supposed to pattern well. Lead shot's days are numbered.

Once upon a time there were no season or bag limits for waterfowl and market gunners shot them with punt guns, entire flocks at a time.

Hunters adjusted to the new regulations and still have fun killing fewer birds. Our children will have fun shooting with non-toxic shot. When it is the only kind, the comparisons with lead will be irrelevant. Lead is poisonous and we must move on from it.

David Bershtein
www.huntingwithdaughters.com

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

ddt never killed a single eagle was most effective and safest perticide ever made was just a start of many major bribes to politicians by drug and chemical companies and cover up and other b.s. any writer suporting nolead bullets can take a frickin hike lead shot in marshs maybe lead out in the woods aint hurting nothing ,your arm chair experts,a lot of sports writers fallin this catagory are always supplying peta and those idiots ther data why let them get away with it lead bans just like 40 a barrell oil 1994 1.10gallon gas now its 2.10 a gallon for 38 a barrel oil time to take back the country

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

the raptor rebound who told you there was one ????the goverment? the propoganda was swallowed again ,the retired dying head of statefrom the ban period confessed it was all a pack of lies and bull i can find you 4 scientist that say the shell thickness was no different and 2 that swear The real culprit was wash machine soap Phosphates etc at time period

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from RonDak wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I don't understand why this is so difficult. Lead is basically a poison. If you are an outdoorsmen, do you want to be putting poison all over the ground? No. So saddle up, pay an extra few dollars, and hand your kids a better environment. Just because " we've been doing it for years and it was never a problem" before, isn't an excuse.

Leave the land better then when you arrived. It's simple.

We can put a man on the moon. I think we can come up with an alternative to lead shot.

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Hi ken just what division of peta pays you to harass sportsmen and monitor this page , i can see your a single trac person who is a legend in his own mind why dont you give it up,Here ashland county wisconsin has had a healthy pop of bald eagles people who go outside have seen daily for last 50 years lord forbid i been feeding them beaver carcasses for that long every winteryes i use the cruell steel trap Kenny

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from kolbster wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i really dont think that lead is killing birds, nothing you can say is going to make me believe that.

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from pearbear wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Hi ken just what division of peta pays you to harass sportsmen and monitor this page , i can see your a single trac person who is a legend in his own mind why dont you give it up,Here ashland county wisconsin has had a healthy pop of bald eagles people who go outside have seen daily for last 50 years lord forbid i been feeding them beaver carcasses for that long every winteryes i use the cruell steel trap Kenny

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