Lead Shot OK For Hunting on Federal Lands

The environment takes a hit on this one.

Pictures of used bullets and cartridges

A lot of hunters that we know approve of the use of non-lead shot when they’re hunting because the lead poisoning can have a serious affect on wildlife. Non-lead shot is more expensive than traditional shot, which is why a lot of hunters don’t want to use it. But even the hunters who don’t use it regularly seem to understand that it is important to make this switch, they’re just hoping the price will come down.

Ryan Zinke, the new United States Secretary of the Interior and a lifelong Montanan, yesterday revoked a ban on led ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands. He said that he feared “hunting and fishing becoming activities for the land-owning elite.” The ban he revoked would have forced fishermen and hunters to buy the more expensive steel or copper bullets and tackle.

Of course, we don’t want fishing and hunting to be only for the rich elite. But…science is showing us that lead poisoning affects an estimated 20 million wild animals each year, from animals that scavenge on lead-shot filled carcasses, or birds that consume lost fishing weights. What hunter wants to eat lead-poisoned fish or ducks, or game with tiny lead fragments in it? A single bullet can split into hundreds of fragments. That lead is poisonous to humans too.

We’re not sure what the option is for using non-poisonous ammunition and tackle while still keeping it affordable, but in this instance, we feel the animals have lost one battle.