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  1. #1

    Default Lead fragments in hunter harvested deer

    I recently listened to the podcast Randy put out about non-lead ammo and raptors. Very informative on many topics in my opinion.

    On the podcast, this paper was discussed at length:

    http://soarraptors.org/wp-content/up...enison2009.pdf

    They basically shoot 30 deer, send them to different processors, and a bunch of packages they get back test positive for lead fragments. (see the results section of the paper for detailed numbers.) I have to wonder, were the processors too liberal about including bloodshot meat? I always process my own game but, the story I always hear is a guy takes in a bunch of meat and gets way less back than he was expecting....making me think the processor trims pretty hard....

    Any rate, I have to wonder, how would a buck or bull that I processed myself fair in this study? Would bonded bullets have swayed the data significantly? Any thoughts on the validity of this study?

    I don't mean to down play the issue of scavengers ingesting lead fragments from a gut pile or carcass but, this really got my attention. Anyone switching to non-lead bullets after hearing this?...

  2. #2
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    Some points for you to ponder:
    1. The fragemnts you can't see, can travel upwards of 20" from the entrance. You can't trim all that out.
    2. Any amount of lead ingested is bad.
    3. A full grown adult is not as susceptible to your young child who is fed venison harvested with lead bullletts, over several years.
    4. There have been studies (WV and MI, I believe) that measured lead levels in hunters vs general public and its not been appreciatively larger. Take that for what its worth.


    Personally, I switched after I went on a raptor study were we caught eagles and Buteos and they all had lead in their systems. As a falconer, that got me on the path to lead free.

    If you really want to know more, you should look into: Ingestion of Lead from Spent
    Ammunition.


    I agree with Chris Parrish that we are better of self-regulating and encouraging other hunters to make the switch on their own. But if we are truly going to champion the title and cause of conservationist, I don't see how you don't make the switch to lead-free.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  3. #3
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    I have switched because of some unrelated health issues that require me to be careful. But I also have a 2yr old and think "why would I feed my family lead" There will be a lot of people who will say "I've ate it all of my life and I'm fine".
    Remember the top three symptoms of lead poisoning.
    Developmental delay
    Learning difficulties
    Irritability.
    Now how can anyone quantify there current IQ vs there potential biolgic celling without eating lead? It's just not possible.
    I personally don't want my kids to be "fine" I'd like them to reach there full potential if at all possible.
    I'm pretty sure the thermal's hate me

  4. #4
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    I haven’t entirely switched yet, but I have mainly switched due to worries about other animals ingesting lead as well as my own children.

    Plus my E-Tips are tack drivers.
    "I'll put some whiskey into my whiskey"

  5. #5

    Default

    I'll be switching to non lead for hunting purposes this season. I'll still be using lead for banging steel, at least until I run out of reloads. (that'll be a while). I really like that they encourage people to use non lead without having to make it a legal requirement. I don't support the California mandate and when it first came out, I'll admit I was adamantly against nonlead. But present me with unbiased facts, which I think they've done, and I'll gladly consider non lead.
    If you've come this far, might as well go all the way.

  6. #6

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    I use Barnes TTSX, Hornady GMX and Nosler E-tips almost exclusively. I still have some Partitions to shoot up, then it's no-lead for me.

  7. #7
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    I have shot copper bullets exclusively for about 15 years now, and won't go back. I too made the switch because of young kids and lead.
    Fear the beard....

  8. #8
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    I have shot copper bullets exclusively for about 15 years now, and won't go back. I too made the switch because of young kids and lead.
    Likewise.

  9. #9

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    I'm shooting some copper these days, but really only because a good friend owns the bullet company. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have bothered. mtmuley

  10. #10
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    For me, I started shooting them when I drew an Arizona Strip mule deer tag. I didn't go cold turkey, having never done the research to confirm/debunk the many comments I had heard about the topics of lead v. non-lead. In 2013 I started shooting Nosler E-Tips and shot E-Tips for the entire 2014 season. Amazing results. Still shooting them in some rifles today.

    Having talked to Chris in great depth and now having done my own research, I have ordered new CDS dials for all my Leupold scopes and I will be converting over exclusively to E-Tips by 2019. Regardless of what doubt might exist as to the benefits, the information I have found in my research is overwhelmingly stacked higher than the information casting doubt.

    I think Chris has a great idea of promoting voluntary use. In a community of people inclined to dig in when told what to do, his effectiveness will be far greater.

    Looking forward to doing some "hawking" with those guys this season.
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  11. #11

    Default

    I really appreciate everyone's comments. This forum is such a great place to exchange information. The pub that 406life linked above looks like a very interesting read. I hope I'm smart enough to understand it!

    In grad school, I took this class on advanced beef production. Part of it was reviewing research that had "bais" in it. Half the papers we were assigned made it sound like everyone that ate a lot of beef would have a heart attack by age 50 and the other half of the papers made it sound like they key to health and athleticism was to eat beef. I was thoroughly confused by the end of the course!

    That being said, a lot of folks I respect have said there aren't many bad bullets made today. Seeing as I'm in the middle of switching loads anyway, I intend to give the "coppers" a try. I have seen really good luck with a copper type bullets on a couple muzzleloader elk...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paisano View Post
    That being said, a lot of folks I respect have said there aren't many bad bullets made today.
    This really depends on what you mean by bad. If you mean it kills an animal, I agree. If you mean does it retain most of its weight, maybe. If you mean a lead bullet that does not leave any fragments, then I disagree.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 406LIFE View Post
    This really depends on what you mean by bad. If you mean it kills an animal, I agree. If you mean does it retain most of its weight, maybe. If you mean a lead bullet that does not leave any fragments, then I disagree.
    Coulda swore you shot Choice with Accubonds. mtmuley

  14. #14
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    I don't really care about the lead being ingested by people, even kids. I think if you use a good controlled expansion bullet, the impacts are minimal at best. At my age, I really don't really give a shit about tiny amounts of lead. I butcher all my own game and my philosophy of "when in doubt, throw it out" limits lead exposure to about zero. I also try to stay off shoulders and other large bones, shoot controlled expansion bullets, and carefully watch my shot placement, both because it makes a mess, and secondly because of the lead. I also try to make sure all my bullets exit, or at the very least, make it to the off-side so I can recover them.

    But, the impacts to birds, I do care about that and honestly if I make the switch to all copper it will for the potential impacts to wildlife.

    I do have concerns about all copper bullets and their performance, in particular in rifles shooting less than 3k FPS in regard to how they kill game. I also hate having to work up new loads for every rifle I own.

    If this is something that is going to be legislated, I hope the bullet manufacturers continue to work on improving the all copper bullets. I also hope they work with rifle manufacturers to extend magazine length and throat geometry to something better suited for all copper.

    My 2 cents.
    Last edited by BuzzH; 07-08-2018 at 01:41 PM.
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
    -Norman Maclean

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmuley View Post
    Coulda swore you shot Choice with Accubonds. mtmuley
    yup. used to.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  16. #16

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    This thread, and Randy’s latest podcast have really got me thinking. I haven’t shot all copper, but I’ve got two little kids, and I like raptors a great deal. Time to try some E Tips or Hammers I think...

  17. #17

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    How about this for a semi-voluntary solution . . .

    States issue two different hunting licenses (a) traditional and (b) lead-free; the hunter is free to choose between them each season/tag. The only differences are that (i) the lead-free license/tag is $25 cheaper (shifting the cost of premium copper vs traditional lead to the public who benefits), and (ii) only a lead-free license allows the hunter to leave the carcass/gut pile in the field. No more lead in the carcass/gut piles so birds are safe, less whining about "expensive ammo", and folks can transition over at their leisure. I understand that having to take carcass out is a burden in some situations, but so is leaving lead in the food chain - each hunter would get to choose how to solve the problem for themselves.
    "Freedom is NOT Free"

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtraverdavis View Post
    This thread, and Randyís latest podcast have really got me thinking. I havenít shot all copper, but Iíve got two little kids, and I like raptors a great deal. Time to try some E Tips or Hammers I think...
    Get some Hammers. Hammers are why I'm shooting copper this year. And I'm not done with my lead bullets. Probly never will be. mtmuley

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by VikingsGuy View Post
    How about this for a semi-voluntary solution . . .

    States issue two different hunting licenses (a) traditional and (b) lead-free; the hunter is free to choose between them each season/tag. The only differences are that (i) the lead-free license/tag is $25 cheaper (shifting the cost of premium copper vs traditional lead to the public who benefits), and (ii) only a lead-free license allows the hunter to leave the carcass/gut pile in the field. No more lead in the carcass/gut piles so birds are safe, less whining about "expensive ammo", and folks can transition over at their leisure. I understand that having to take carcass out is a burden in some situations, but so is leaving lead in the food chain - each hunter would get to choose how to solve the problem for themselves.
    Seriously? How about a cheaper license for those who drive a Prius to their hunting grounds vs a pickup truck, or a cheaper license to those who use barbless hooks? It always comes down to .monetarily punishing someone

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjay73 View Post
    Seriously? How about a cheaper license for those who drive a Prius to their hunting grounds vs a pickup truck, or a cheaper license to those who use barbless hooks? It always comes down to .monetarily punishing someone
    It's called accounting for "externalities". It can be tricky because they can be a bit of a rabbit hole if one isn't careful, but overall cost in use should account for negative consequences of use.
    "Freedom is NOT Free"

  21. #21
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    Chris is one of the coolest guys you'll meet, passionate and dedicated to his research. I switched long before I ever met him, but there's no doubt I would have switched as soon as I met him if I hadn't already. He just knows his shit and knows how to communicate it. I'd love to be with him when someone comes up to him and spits conspiracy theories at him, it'd be damn entertaining.
    Four of a kind, 7x57, 284 winchester, 7 Remington Mag, 7 Mashburn.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmuley View Post
    Get some Hammers. Hammers are why I'm shooting copper this year. And I'm not done with my lead bullets. Probly never will be. mtmuley
    I look forward to hearing how they work on your elk hunt. I’ve got an Accubond load that I have a lot of confidence in that I’ll be using this year, but next year I’ll start tinkering.

  23. #23
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    I switched to copper several years ago after talking to an eagle biologist. We also had Chris come out and give a presentation for folks in the Ruby- he’s great! More recently I’ve switched my rim fire ammunition, both .22lr and .17hmr, to non lead for shooting ground squirrels. This has a huge impact to raptors scavanging carcasses. Regarding the concerns over the cost of non lead ammo, prices are the same as lead now with the exception of the extremely cheap ammo. Federal released a new round last fall in solid copper that is reasonably priced and works extremely well. There are also more rim fire options becoming available every year.

    Thanks for having Chris on the podcast and for discussing this issue. Presenting hunters with the facts and letting them make their own informed decisions is the way to go.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzH View Post
    I don't really care about the lead being ingested by people, even kids. I think if you use a good controlled expansion bullet, the impacts are minimal at best. At my age, I really don't really give a shit about tiny amounts of lead. I butcher all my own game and my philosophy of "when in doubt, throw it out" limits lead exposure to about zero. I also try to stay off shoulders and other large bones, shoot controlled expansion bullets, and carefully watch my shot placement, both because it makes a mess, and secondly because of the lead. I also try to make sure all my bullets exit, or at the very least, make it to the off-side so I can recover them.

    But, the impacts to birds, I do care about that and honestly if I make the switch to all copper it will for the potential impacts to wildlife.

    I do have concerns about all copper bullets and their performance, in particular in rifles shooting less than 3k FPS in regard to how they kill game. I also hate having to work up new loads for every rifle I own.

    If this is something that is going to be legislated, I hope the bullet manufacturers continue to work on improving the all copper bullets. I also hope they work with rifle manufacturers to extend magazine length and throat geometry to something better suited for all copper.

    My 2 cents.
    This is where I'm at. All the studies I can find show marginal difference in lead levels of those who eat wild game vs store bought meat, and the levels were well below the CDC's recommended levels. The thought of harming other creatures though is definitely something to consider, and should be important to those of us that enjoy this resource. I just cannot get solids to shoot acceptably through my rifles yet, though I have only tried Barnes bullets so far. Good bullets, I just can't find the right recipe. I'm a Nosler guy anyways, so hopefully E tips will be the ticket. I'll tinker with them after this years hunting season.

  25. #25

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    I've shot copper exclusively since 2011 and will never go back to lead. I insist that anyone who wants to process their meat with me shoots copper as well. My daughter's first ever solid food was chunk of elk steak when she was 6 months old. She's had wild game meat for most meals since then and I'm not ok with there even being a chance of lead in her food. I have found exactly zero reasons to not switch to copper.

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