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Lead bullets: Time for nationwide ban on use of lead for ALL hunting & fishing?

By Gary Bogue
Monday, December 17th, 2007 at 8:48 am in Hunting & Fishing, Lead bullets.

I received this letter from Eric Mills, coordinator for ACTION FOR ANIMALS in Oakland, California, while I was on vacation last week :

In response to the California Fish & Game Commission’s 12/7/07 commendable action on the lead ammunition issue (banning use of lead ammo in the endangered California Condor refuge), I sent out the following:

“Note that .22-caliber lead ammo is banned, a nice surprise not included in Assemblyman Pedro Nava’s AB 821. The vote was 3:1. High time we got a fifth commissioner, before we end up with any tie votes on other issues. What we REALLY need, of course, is a nationwide ban on the use of lead for ALL hunting and fishing.”


“I agree.”(Huey Johnson, Director, RESOURCE RENEWAL INSTITUTE, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco)

(Mr. Johnson gave me his permission to circulate his reply.)

Might now be the time to attempt state legislation for such a ban? And if not for both hunting and fishing, then perhaps just for upland gamebird hunting? I would like to hear your thoughts on this, pro and con.

The toxic properties of lead have been well documented for decades, even hundreds of years. With good reason we’ve banned its use in gasoline, in paint, in ceramic dishes, etc. And for the hunting of waterfowl some 20 years ago, and the duck hunting community didn’t collapse, as some irrationally feared.

And now we’ve banned lead in condor country, surely a step in the right direction. Nor is it only the condors which are impacted. Scavengers such as eagles, vultures, coyotes, ravens, magpies, badgers, dogs, etc., also suffer and die from ingesting spent lead shot. Recent studies in Missouri have shown that quail, doves and other upland gamebirds also fall victim. And probably a few humans.

It’s time to go the next step, for the sake of the environment and our beleaguered wildlife. Surely this is a matter of common sense, environmental protection, and hunter/fisher ethics.

I would appreciate any comments … regards, and Season’s Greetings,
Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS

Dear Blog readers:
I’m curious to hear what everyone thinks about Eric’s suggestion, as he says, pro or con. Just click on “leave a comment” below and fire away (no lead, please). /Gary

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No Responses to “Lead bullets: Time for nationwide ban on use of lead for ALL hunting & fishing?”

  1. Maggie Rufo Says:

    I agree with every word exactly as Eric Mills states it. Too bad we had to lose Judd Hanna on the Fish and Game Commission as a result of this issue.

  2. Gary Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I agree with you about Jedd Hanna. He definitely should be on the Commission. /Gary

  3. Aaron Says:

    I am not the typical person you would here from because i am a trapper hunter and fisherman and while i do several of the activities mentioned on this web site i am not an evil person and do not feel get a perverted sense of joy from killing animals but i can say that lead bullets are worse to the game then lead because lead is more dense then steel so lead hits things harder then steel. i am also a duck hunter and that means i have to shoot steel ammo instead of lead and that i never wound anything with lead but with steel there is a lot bigger chance of wounding animals that you may never find and all though this may go aginst what most people think about hunters i never like to see anything suffer i believe in hunting trapping and fishing i never like to see a animal in pain i think that the amount of animals injured by bullets that are not cabable introducing a strong blow to minimize any suffering as lead is capable of should not be used. it is hard for me to comprehend that thew numbers of animals dieing from injesting a lead pellet can exceed the amount of wounded game that steel would create. there for i would not support the change in regulation

  4. Robert Hillaker Says:

    I am agreement wth Aaron. I have hunted ducks with steel when we first had to start using it at the Delevan Refuge located in the Sacramento Valley. The amount of crippled ducks far outweigh the amount of any game dieing from lead ingestion. I would say with my experience it is about 3 cripples to every duck killed and with geese the crippled amount doubles. Until a bullet of pellets are made with a material as dense as lead this percentage will remain. As for large game my feelings are we will have alot of game animals dieing and supplying the varmits with extra food as they will go to hide and die after being shot with a metal bullet compared to copper/lead.

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