Looks like more to come in 2011. What with the rules on federal lands, as well as more state land as well as for waterfowl I made the decisions several years to shot nothing but non-lead shot for all my hunting. With the enactment of RCW 77.15.400 (mandatory $1,000 and 2 year lost of small game hunting privleges for a lead shot violation) using non-lead makes even more sense.
By the way at the recent regulation meeting there was a group pusing the banning of lead in fishing (if I recall correctly no lead less than 2 oz). They are going to submit ideas to the commission this year and expect to hear more and more about it.
Below is what came forth in a report back in April.
"Under one new policy approved by the commission, WDFW will phase in an expansion of state restrictions on the use of lead shot, which are toxic to birds and other wildlife that ingest it. Noting that toxic shot has been banned in hunting waterfowl since 1991, Brittell said WDFW has been expanding that prohibition to other hunts around the state.
New this year, hunters will be required to use non-toxic shot when hunting upland game birds or mourning doves in three units of the Sunnyside-Snake River Wildlife Area, where ingestion of lead shot by wildlife is of particular concern. In 2011, the non-toxic shot requirement will be expanded to all established WDFW pheasant-release sites."
You know, I've been a bird hunter for over a half-century, and while I've heard there are studies out there that support birds dying from ingesting lead, I have yet to see one that's peer-reviewed in any scientific journal. Personally, I believe this is a lot of bullshit. Just that-a "cause" for those idiots who have none to latch onto. In 57 years of bird hunting, the only birds I've ever seen that died from lead poisoning are the ones I've shot. My daughter, the wildlife ecologist, claims that it's true. Show me the studies, otherwise this whole lead hype is like Euell Gibbons' rant about pine trees: "Many parts are edible".
There are lots of studies on the impacts on lead. If you are so inclined just try a couple googles and you will find lots of documentation of problems of lead in the environment and imapcts on various birds. Suggested topics
1) Swan and lead shot
2) California condors and lead bullets
3) loons and lead sinkers
If we hope to see hunting to continue as a valid form of recreational with need to keep ourselves informed on this issues and behave in a responsible manner. Keeping our heads in the sand will not make this problems/issues go away - just our sport.
Curt, never mind Google, tell me the last time you saw a loon, swan, or a condor while hunting forest grouse?
In my 25-30 years I can say never once....
So someone please tell me why I might have to switch to non-lead shot in the uplands, other than to make some warm and fuzzies feel warmer and fuzzier....
Here's a challenge, can anyone find a single pellet in the forest that I shot over the last several decades? I highly doubt it, and neither can the loon, swan, or condor...in fact when did the last condor leave Washington...?
This business of trying to hang on to our lead shot remains me of some of the debates in the angling world against selective fishing, bait bans , etc.
First you don't have to convince me. However there is little doubt that lead in the environment is not a good thing. There has been huge pushes to address leaded gasoline, lead in paint, etc. This has become a very emotional issue for most of the public and unless we have done our collective home work we will have no chance.
Across the landscape when we have lost hunting areas and opportunities it has generally been on emotional appeals by the antis and the public buys it. To fight that we need to use the best science we can and acknowledge the problems and what we can to address bona fide issues.
Lead is much more toxic than steel. It becomes a criticial when an animal such as a swan gets a lead pellet in the grit it eats to aid with the grinding of its food in its gizzard. In the grinding process the lead pellet is reduced to the point that it enters the birds blood. As little as single lead pellet is enough to produce a lethal dose even for a bird as large as a swan (some in excess of 30#).
Curt, so are you saying we should just suck it up and go non-tox so our hunting areas aren't closed down?
So bullshit wins and reality takes a back seat...what a load of crap.
"Lead in the environment" is vague as hell. Can't any of these bureaucraps make logical boundaries for non-tox based on actual land use/hunting impact? Why shoot for a state wide ban when it's not required?
I don't weigh in on much with this forum, but will do so here. I have hunted upland birds and ducks for 40 years. In my opinion, the impact of switching to steel will be greater than lead because it's kill impact is far less. There will be alot more crippled birds that go to waste with steel shot. This is all B.S. Does anyone know if it extends to rifle ammunition?
Jon - at least now I know who might buy some extra lead off me! :clown:
The real bullshit are the ammunition companies that charge 2-3 bucks a pop for a nontoxic shell...who do they think we are...flipp'n Annie Oakleys? Nationally we continue to lose hunters every year...the average if my memory serves me correct is roughly 2%. This 2% represents a healthy chunk of state revenue, environmental funding (habitat restoration, etc.), and of course revenue for stores, filling stations, and lodging. I truly believe if they ask hunters to be lead free and don't do anything about the ridiculous ammunition fees that 2% will be 5.
If anyone is interested in 12 ga. #5 Kent Fast Lead let me know...my goof can be your win!