So why don’t we use lead shot at waterfowl any more?
Why do they have upland Non-Toxic Shot areas?
Does it affect people too?
Is it really that bad?
Lead is Toxic Shot. It has been proven beyond a doubt that exposure to lead is harmful. There are restrictions on the use of lead in gasoline and paints as well as restricting imported products containing lead. Over exposure to lead can cause Vomiting, Diarrhea, Convulsions and Coma. It may also do damage to the Brain and Nervous System. Even Death.
The affects on wild life are the same as humans. The thing to remember is that animals are much smaller and only need a very small amount to do the same. It’s not the animal that has been shot that it affects. It’s the others around it. Lead must be ingested to be poisonous. Waterfowl can be poisoned by the lead at the bottom of a lake or in a field. The same goes for upland game and predators. Lead is mixed in with their food source and accidentally ingested.
Lead poisoning is not a fast and painless death. It is long painful and drawn out. Even more painful and drawn out, in total, is the predators that feed on dead or dieing animals. Now not only has the pray animal suffered but so has the predator.
The same goes for humans. No mater if you shoot the animal with lead bird shot or with a lead slug and you happen to ingest it, or if you happen to eat a animal that has ingested lead prior to you consuming it. The results are the same. Tragic!
That’s why the federal government has stepped up. Not only that, but 23 states have gone above and beyond to dedicate land that only Non-Toxic Shot may be used. Check to see if your state has any of these dedicated lands.
There are effective and affordable alternatives to lead shot. Steel shot is one of the most common and the least expensive. There is a wide variety and selection of steel shot, also many stores and companies carry these products. There is Heavyshot and Bismith to name a few others.
Remember these regulations have been put in place for the good of game and ourselves.
The last thing and most important, have fun, be safe and pass on the knowledge and the love for the sport to others. The youth is our future and with out us passing it on it will never last.
John Rotter JR
Duck Junkies pro staff member