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gunflint

They won't come after our guns.

12 posts in this topic

Editorial: Ban on lead bullets appears all but inevitable

6/18/2008 11:55:02 AM

This month officials from seven Midwestern states gathered in Bloomington to discuss a topic that will only become hotter as November approaches.

No, not the election -- the use of lead bullets by deer hunters.

At issue is the fact that lead bullet fragments were discovered in venison that was to be distributed by food shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota. Within days, thousands of pounds of hunter-donated venison was pulled off the shelves, including 7,000 pounds in Rochester, and a nationwide debate began about whether hunters have been poisoning themselves and their families for years by eating big-game animals that were killed by lead bullets.

Currently, the best answer to that question appears to be, "Not as far as we know."

That's not good enough, of course. Before hunters take to the fields and woods five months from now, they'll need to know a lot more about what happens to a bullet when it hits a deer -- and what could happen to the people who eat that deer.

And presumably, they will know more. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will conduct tests this summer to determine how much lead is dispersed in a deer through bullet fragments when it is shot, and North Dakota is doing blood tests on 700 people -- some who eat venison, some who don't -- to determine if lead bullets have caused an increase in their lead levels.

Meanwhile, the experts had some interesting ideas about how hunters could shoot deer more "carefully," and how meat processors might examine venison closely to make sure no microscopic bullet fragments end up on the dinner table.

These far-from-practical suggestions will sound even more far-fetched if North Dakota discovers increased lead levels in people who eat wild game. If that happens, then all forms of lead ammunition should be and will be banned. It's that simple. Ammunition manufacturers will complain, but they'll also scramble to provide non-toxic substitutes. These bullets will cost more, but an extra $15 for a box of copper bullets won't keep many hunters home.

Even if the blood tests turn out just fine for everyone concerned, a ban on lead ammunition appears inevitable. We know that lead is toxic, that it poisons birds and is particularly dangerous if ingested by young children. And we suspect that Minnesota's venison donation program won't happen again as long as lead bullets are legal for use by deer hunters. If state health and agriculture officials can't guarantee a food's safety, that product won't be distributed by food shelves.

This situation is a tough blow to hunters and Minnesota's economically important hunting industry, which is struggling to recruit new participants. The venison-donation program was supposed to bring good publicity for hunting, but it was cut off at the knees in its very first year. The only way to get it going again soon will be for hunters to demand non-toxic bullets now, rather than later.

Meanwhile, the owner of a butcher shop in Hillman, east of Little Falls, didn't help matters by saying "I think they're making something out of nothing. There's no way you can get all the lead out of venison."

With friends like this, the ammunition industry doesn't need enemies.

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oh for the love of God... first the lead slugs, then WHAT NEXT!!!!!

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I stated in another thread that the end result would be a new more expensive bullet. Seems these deals always come down to dollars for some company. I'm sure they didn't start it though.

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Fellow deer hunters, welcome to what us duck hunters have gone through about 20 years ago... and what upland hunters will be going through in the not so far off future.

Me, I am not afraid of what lead might be in my venison, but I do see the writing on the wall... and for us anglers as well. I won't be surprised when jigs as we know them will be gone.

I won't stock pile up on my lead bullets though. But I will shoot them.

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I guess I'm a bit uneducated when it comes to ballistics, ect... But what is the REAL problem with eliminating lead?

Would this not just be an all around good thing? Not only for our health and the health of the environment, but also for the health of the next generations?

If it is all about ballistics, well, what is the fear? Not being able to shoot game that far away for fear of not being able to kill it? Oh well, I guess shooting bucks past 100 yards can't happen anymore. I say GOOD! Less wounded deer running around.

I've knocked down some phesants on WPAs with lead-free shot from the same distance as w/ lead shot. Same outcome....Dinner in my belly!

I'm not posting this as an attack at those who are completely against a lead ban, I guess I just want some reasons why that side is so adiment about it.

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Cost and its effectiveness, IMO. I am not totally against it, heck I have not shot lead through my shotgun for years, except for trap. Even upland I use steel just so I don't make a mistake and have one in my pocket when ducking. If you are shooting birds, and they are DYING DEAD, with non-lead shot, then my guess is that you are either using some pretty spendy shells (i.e. not steel) or else you are quite a shot. Lead is more lethal, ask anybody who hunted ducks before and after steel (and any non-steel is more expensive by far than lead or steel).

The main thing is you just need to get accustomed to the new ammo. We used to complain about steel as a crippler, and it is, if you take long shots. Lead kills them dead. Not sure about rifle as much, so can't say there.

For me, I will go with the lead-free flow when it hits. People can adapt. But just not wanting a lead-ban does not make any of us so evil wink Heck, to say we should go to "no lead period" is the same as saying we should convert to all 25mpg vehicles right now. Give us some time to switch over, I think that is my main point regarding the change to non-lead. But I will follow the law whatever it is. Don't want any tickies smile

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But just not wanting a lead-ban does not make any of us so evil wink Heck, to say we should go to "no lead period" is the same as saying we should convert to all 25mpg vehicles right now. Give us some time to switch over, I think that is my main point regarding the change to non-lead.

Very good point there! And I definitely do not think anyone is evil for not wanting a lead ban at all, justwas curious as to the reasoning behind being against it.

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Some companies will make a ton off this one just like all the other laws with ammo passed.

There is always a reason for some new laws passing and it is usually brought forward by a company that will benefit.

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If I had a dollar for every lead #4 or #6 I have eaten in ducks, geese, pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, grouse etc, I would be a rich man. Then throw in the risdual lead in the MANY, MANY deer, moose, antelope and elk I have eaten....I should sink like a rock when I go swimming. Or, according to this report, I should probably have lead poisoning. Last physical I had I was just fine. I think its all overblown hype.

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Wade, haven't you heard?

The sky is falling you know.

Do you suppose if man never used lead, we would all be NASA scientists and live about 209.8 years?

smirk

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Some companies will make a ton off this one just like all the other laws with ammo passed.

There is always a reason for some new laws passing and it is usually brought forward by a company that will benefit.

More than anything, this is the main reason for most laws and statutes.........MONEY

Now, I just need an invention.

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