Give some thought to using lead-free ammo

Lead has long been a hot topic in hunting, and there are pros and cons to using lead shot and bullets or non-toxic alternatives. But there’s a Wyoming-based organization that’s leading the way in encouraging hunters to use lead-free options.

There are a lot of conservation organizations out there, because there are a lot of things that need to be funded in order to keep wildlife and wild places healthy. One of the newest orgainizations,  Sporting Lead-Free, began in 2021, and their mission is to help hunters and anglers make the switch from lead bullets, shot and fishing gear to lead-free options.

The main reason for choosing lead-free options is to reduce the amount of lead that gets left in the field, where it can be consumed by wildlife. Estimates show that an average of 160 tiny lead fragments are left in gut piles from big game harvests, and those remains are eaten by eagles, hawks, and other scavengers. Researchers have estimated there are toxic lead levels in 840,000 unretrieved upland game birds each year, and they say anglers lose nearly 5,000 tons of lead fishing gear annually. And scavengers aren’t the only animals that pick up that lead. Waterfowl can also inadvertently scoop up lead from fishing gear while they’re feeding, and that can also lead to lead poisoning.

Lead can affect people who use it, too. Reloading ammunition and spending time in indoor shooting ranges can result in elevated blood lead levels.

Sporting Lead-Free is in favor of voluntary adherence to lead-free choices, rather than legislative mandates. Brian Bedrosian, the founder of Sporting Lead-Free, said they have no interest in pushing for laws to outlaw lead. The idea is to increase awareness and education of the alternatives and allow people the choice, and if enough switch to lead-free options of their own accord, we can solve the problem without being forced to do so.

Check out Sporting Lead-Free and see what’s out there. It may surprise you.