To the editor:

Responding to Bob Meinecke’s column about lead bullets in the Jan 9th issue of the Enterprise. 

Susan Ahalt, our local bird rehabilitator, has written about the heartbreak of trying to save eagles who have ingested lead from carcasses, and watching them die. Here is some research on the topic:

According to the American Journal of Medicine, a deer killed with a lead bullet contains on average 356 bits of lead, some microscopic. Lead bullets fragment into many tiny pieces that radiate from the wound channel. 

Eighty percent of tested packages of ground meat from deer that had been shot with lead bullets contained lead fragments. This meat was fed to pigs, which showed elevated levels of lead in their blood within two days. Just a few of these fragments can sicken or kill an eagle.

The National Park Service reports that free-flying condors, which feed on hunter’s gutpiles, have blood lead levels high enough to be considered toxic or lethal in a human. By the time they reach reproductive age of 7 years, most have had to undergo emergency chelation (lead removal treatment) at least once.

There is no safe level of lead. Pregnant women are at high risk for the damage it can do to their fetus. Children are documented to have reduced IQ as a result of lead poisoning. We’ve known this for a long time. Less toxic ammunition is now available to replace lead bullets and shot. Choose how you want to feed your family.

(s) linda raynolds


(3) comments

Gunrunner Auctions

This "lead kills birds of prey" has been a rally point for anti-hunters for decades now. For those who are well educated and experienced with modern ballistics and bullets it makes NO sense whatsoever. In fact lead occurs naturally in the bird of prey environments.

The modern big game bullets are NOT solid lead. In fact, they contain a tremendous amount of copper/synthetics, NOT solid lead. And these modern bullets retain nearly 100% of their payload. So to say that lead somehow “sprays” through a carcass is not only highly inaccurate, but absurd. The big game hunter uses a RIFLE, not a SHOTGUN.

Even more absurd is to suggest that there are high lead contents in of all things gut piles. A hunter does not shoot for the guts. And the hunter hauls away the meat. It most cases the modern rifles shoot clear through the big game animal.

Back in the early 1980’s the same premise was advanced in terms of “lead poisoning” with waterfowl. So lead was banned. What occurred was something that the anti-hunters never envisioned: They traded one perceived evil for one very real evil: The amount of ducks/geese/swans wounding went sky high due to low energy of the steel loads available at the time. I saw the direct results of this.

Anti-hunters have tried many, many attempts at stopping hunting as we know it today. IF lead was a factor in birds of prey deaths then wouldn’t all kinds of predators and prey bird/animals (like ravens and crows) be affected by these supposed “lead laden” carcasses? Of course not.

The premise that these gut piles are lousy with lead is absurd and is merely a liberal political hoax.


Love your fourth to last paragraph, my thoughts exactly. Anyone that has looked at an ammo shelf will see lead is not the thing. This whole issue reminds me of the DDT fiasco.


I would like you to define lead bullets. Sounds simple but as most bans wanted its not.

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