Is lead toxicity from hunting ammo real?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Kingcreek, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Local radio program yesterday had a wildlife rescue lady ranting against lead ammo causing toxicity in eagles and other raptors. She said the problem spiked when trumps pick for Interior Zinke lifted the ban on lead ammo. And that prior to that, ALL lead ammo was banned for hunting and they weren’t seeing any problems.
    She definitely had a bias. I thought the lead ban was federal land only (and some states) and that waterfowl areas etc remain banned.
    Is there conclusive evidence of lead toxicity from hunting ammo?
    Is she wrong about the previous ban on lead ammo for hunting?
    I might call in Monday and contradict her but I’m looking for solid info.
    Thanks
     
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  2. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I couldn't say for certain if lead toxicity in animals is absolutely true. But the multiple articles I've read suggest that lead fragments left behind in the gut pile or unwanted/damaged meat, is being ingested by carrion eaters. And it's having very negative effects in some species.

    Personally, I don't want to eat a bunch of lead fragments and find out.

    As far as the ban on lead bullets for hunting, I'm not sure that was ever a nation wide thing. I certainly haven't heard anything about restrictions in CO. Perhaps it was banned in her state, and she assumed that it was true everywhere?
     
  3. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    In TN, lead is banned only for migratory birds; ducks, geese, dove, etc.

    As for other animals, I've observed just the opposite. Eagles, hawks, coyotes, and buzzards are all very much more prolific every year for the last 10 or more years.
     
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  4. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I believe that restriction is federal and has been in effect for many years.
     
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  5. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Federal ban on lead shot for migratory birds has been around for decades. The recent years of lead bullet bans for hunting in California Condor zones is a bit misleading. They saw a number of birds showing signs of lead poisoning and refer to gut piles from big game hunters as a possible cause. It was low hanging fruit and completely ignored the huge problem with lead just across the border in Mexico which just might have a real direct impact on the birds. Mexico does not regulate lead like the US and it's still found in just about all paint and ceramics including cookware. You cannot legislate another country and telling birds to stop flying over the border isn't very effective either.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/27/condors-prey-fatal-lead-poisoning/4943507/
     
  6. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    This lady was ranting about lead poisoning in bald eagles in Illinois
     
  7. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I believe that DDT was identified as the leading culprit in bald eagle population declines. It led to thinning of the egg shells so that many nests failed to produce eaglets.
    After the banning of DDT, eagle populations started to climb and there is a healthy population of them now.

    The lady probably was repeating HSUS propaganda.
     
  8. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Read an article this morning the something like 85% of the Bald Eagle tested positive for rat poison. No mention of lead.
     
  9. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    My grandparents lived well into their 90s. They butchered their own hogs and beef every year. A 22 rifles duties on the farm included dispatching animals on butcher day. You ain't lived till you've ate pork heart and kidney from the butcher pot!!
    I think this lead business has been carried to extremes!
    P.S.- How do you cook kidneys?
    Simple- just boil the pi## out of them!!
     
  10. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    No, lead toxicity not real for ingestion. It became an unproven narrative with ducks and it won’t go away.
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    In areas where waterfowl hunting is popular there are thousands of shells fired into the air every hunting season. Those pellets come down somewhere and over time you end up with lots of lead on the ground and water. In small quantities the lead isn't usually a problem, but in large numbers yes. Lead pellets have been banned for waterfowl hunting nationally since the late 1980's and it has made a difference.

    Rifles are another issue. The ground at firing ranges probably qualify as a toxic waste site from all the lead. But for hunting there aren't enough shots fired for lead to be a large scale problem. I'm sure there is the rare animal that ingests some lead from an animal shot by a hunter. But I don't see this as a big problem. As far as hunters ingesting meat contaminated with lead it might be an issue over a lifetime. But not if you're processing the meat correctly.

    She wasn't correctly informed, or was lying, about lead being banned. To my knowledge California is the only state requiring non-lead bullets for hunting. And that is state law which would not have been changed.
     
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  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Based on what? Folks at TAMU Vet school seem to have a very different opinion.
    https://tvmdl.tamu.edu/2018/09/10/lead-poisoning-in-guinea-fowl/

    Other examples...
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27736221/

    Here is a nice link showing basic regs by state. Wyoming has a ban on lead bullets for elk hunting in one range and encourages non-lead elsewhere.
    https://www.longrangeshooting.org/articles/state-regulations-concerning-the-use-of-lead-free-ammunition
     
  13. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Does that mean lead might be being transported into this country by illegulls?:D
     
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  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Kind of funny to me, everyone knows the Romans used lead vessels to cook in and even to plumb water. That was what ~2000-1600 years ago.? We’ve come a long way in that many years.

    Then what, 6 or 7 years ago public officials were saying the water in Flint Michigan was just fine, despite being contaminated by lead in the water system? ...but water foul are dying because of lead bullets in the ground. Yeah, I am sure there is no agenda....

    I did have my lead levels elevate once, I began shooting indoor matches every week and am tested every year. So breathing it, I know isn’t helpful. Once I quit that it slowly went back down despite me still shooting two matches a week (outdoors), practice, casting, smelting, reloading and eating animals I had shot with lead (don’t generally eat blood shot meat and spit shot out, if I encounter it).

    How about these statistics,

    https://www.sierraclub.org/michigan/wind-turbines-and-birds-and-bats

    Note that lead isn’t even in the list and there is no outcry by left wingers to eliminate cats (3.7 billion).

    Also worth noting that 86.3% of statistics are made up..,
     
  15. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Based on a lack of evidence.

    You found a study perpetuating an unproven narrative. Did you read the excerpt of the study you linked? They declined to perform liver analysis to confirm lead poising after finding a lead pellet in the gizzard. Lead toxicity was ASSUMED.

    Pasted from the study: Chronic lead poisoning was the presumptive diagnosis. Due to the presence of lead shot in the gizzard, confirmatory testing of the liver was declined.

    I’m not arguing that continuous lead shot in the gizzard won’t cause long term lead poisoning. I’m arguing that ingestion by ducks in the field was not proven to be a big deal. (I’ve not seen a credible study)

    Field testing for DDT softened bird egg shells (eagles, etc.) was proven and it was a big deal.

    A single #4 pellet of lead shot in the gizzard will be gone in a week (ground down by stones) and blood toxicity levels will be normal in a month (filtered by liver). If a duck eats a #4 lead pellet each week, it will be dead in 1 to 2 years. How long do ducks live, anyway?

    The ...ducks eat one or more pellet per week... is the easily proven, but never tested detail, needed for field proof. Narratives lack proof, and thus “duck shortened lives from eating lead shot” is a narrative and not scientific fact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Okay, I get it now. You are perfectly fine with unproven narratives that support your perspective but are looking for demanding proof for anything counter to it. Now that I understand your bias, your post makes sense. Otherwise, I am confident you would have provided links to studies that proved ingested lead posed no threat.
     
  17. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Um, what? Where is my bias? I didn’t say ingested lead posed no threat. I clearly said the opposite. (The #4 lead pellet example)

    I follow the data. Show me your field study where waterfowl were shown to continuously eat lead shot, picked up from the bottom of a pond, corn field, golf course fairway, etc. I’ve looked and I can’t find one. When mentioned in the studies I’ve read, duck ingesting lead shot in their habitat has been an ASSUMPTION.

    Wait, you don’t have a credible field study? How about lead sinkers for fishing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    While this is true, after poaching, lead ingestion is one of the main threats to Bald Eagles today. We have a nesting pair of Eagles we can see from our house. They are a common sight along most any waterway around here and can be seen on many of the road kill deer carcasses one sees in the ditch on Wisconsin roadways. In postmortems of Eagles found dead, it has been found that approximately 25% of those Eagles died from lead poisoning. Folks can scoff all they want, rant continuously about false facts and make stupid jokes, but they are the ones who need to do some research.
     
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  19. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    How much bigger is poaching, as compared to lead poisoning, for eagles? I’m not doubting you.

    I ask because in my experience, the hefty fine cut poaching numbers quite a bit.
     
  20. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I did a search online before I started this thread. I saw the articles by wildlife orgs and veterinary schools etc blaming ingestion of lead fragments for lead toxicity in eagles and other raptors.
    I was looking for evidence to debunk that position if it exists. I was certain she was wrong about a nationwide ban on lead hunting ammo being banned by trumps pick for interior and increased problems since.
    Her anti hunting attitude and her bias was obvious. I would call in and present an opposing view if I could find evidence.
    I think there might have been a ban on lead ammo on federal land or at least talk of it. Maybe that was overturned by Zinke?
    I’ve been eating my harvested wild game for over 50 years. I have probably eaten a couple of pellets or fragments in my day. would rather find a lead pellet between my teeth than steel shot any day.
     
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  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Actually, you stated quite clearly that lead toxicity is not real for ingestion. So I will cite the same passage again.

    Doesn't sound like to me that you are following the data.
     
  22. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Siting only part of my quote is disingenuous. Site my quote in post 10 in full. I’m talking about ducks and field data in all of my posts. Admittedly a little clunky in post 10.

    It seems your feelings were hurt when I threw the study you linked back at you. It’s not my fault you didn’t read and understand the study you posted.

    Show me your proof of ducks and field data.
     
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  23. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    I would like to understand where eagles are picking up lead in Wisconsin. You might make an argument it's from gut piles, but that would seem unlikely given hunting is seasonal and other animals like coyotes are top on scavenging. Plus why aren't we seeing the same issue with turkey vultures? They greatly outnumber eagles and are usually faster to find carrion. I would think there is some other source of poisoning for eagles, especially since the majority of their diet is fish.
     
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  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I would start with the question of how many birds die annually from bullet lead ingestion? The first liar doesn’t stand a chance, so you would rather her start. This way you have her estimate before you regurgitate the Sierraclub numbers to her.

    Instead I would ask for an extermination of all cats worldwide, as they are the #1 killer at well over 1 billion a year.

    Next ban all windows as that is the #2 killer, would boost goggle sales but I would ditch your American Airlines stock anyway and put that into a paperweight company. Also would keep from humans risking their lives cleaning them on the outside of high rises.

    As power lines are #3 at 25 million, would have to be government mandated to all underground, no overhead lines at all. This with the no windows mandate would really put a boost in the candle market.

    Then throw in communication towers and wind turbines and there 7 million dead birds a year for good measure and get rid of them.

    Of course she would think all of those are ridiculous, despite the fact any one of them would save more lives (per the number she made up first). This is how you know, saving lives isn’t the agenda.

    I find many people like that don’t want to deal with facts and if she’s antigun/hunting at all, would be happier if they were all just gone and eliminating the most common material for projectiles, would just be a good step.

    I have a 16 ft wide bullet trap in my backyard and unless lead makes their feathers fall out and carries their dead body away, I think it’s other predators that kills them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  25. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Ru4real has a very good point. Back when the Fed banned lead on federal property, they said lead was the problem. Now the real problem was that lead can come from many sources. Ammunition lead has very specific alloy, but federal testing never actually tested for that alloy. They just said lead is bad. Now back then the federal government was far more anti-gun than they are now and this was an excuse to ban lead. Two examples of craziness. Years ago I hunted in the federal Horicon Wild Life refuge. When I hunted ducks in that area, I was required to use steel shot, but on the same day, if I wanted to hunt pheasants, I could drop off my steel and grab lead shells and go hunt pheasants is basically the same area. Also, California, banned lead in many areas for same reasons. However, the decline of lead poisoning they claim never went down after the lead ammo ban. And Calif. DNR couldn't understand why there was a great loss of revenue from small game permits the following years. Really? Now I understand how lead could affect birds that grind up food by using gravel in their throat having those pellets stay in their body a long time, but as Ru4real has stated no one has ever proved that to be the case. You might be able to look up some information back then; Don Zutz, noted writer for multiple outdoor and shotgun shooting magazines explored this question quite thoroughly and came up with the same info that I just described. I cast lead for muzzlel oading, pistol and fishing. And I have consumed my share of pellets and fragments at Thanksgiving dinners for over 55 years. And I have been been tested for lead poisoning and I keep coming up as normal from the results. Now we all know I'm not normal cause I'm one of those "hunting gun-nuts." But I am still alive, walking around and to some doctors quite healthy.
     
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