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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone out there using lead free ammo for shooting groundhogs and such? If you are, what is the availability like? Do the local gun shops carry it or do you have to order it online? I just did a quick check and it looks like there is lead free ammo available for my .17hmr.

I've been reading more and more articles about lead poisoning in birds and I enjoy letting the turkey vultures clean up my groundhogs. Just a different kind of bird feeder if you ask me. Once last year, I even had an immature Bald Eagle join in. But now after reading about all the reports of birds with lead poisoning, I am thinking this isn't such a good idea (my feeding the scavengers).

Comments or thoughts?
 

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The no-lead ammo argument was first brought up by anti-hunting groups in an attempt to make it more difficult and expensive to hunt. I've read some articles on the topic of lead poisoning in birds, but have yet to find a scientifically accurate research study performed by a credible source. If someone has a link for a truly credible study on this topic I'd love to read it.

As for the availability of the ammo, I've not seen any in the several gun shops I visit. It's readily available in California and some other western states, but I don't think it's caught on here in the midwest. Online may be your only option.
 

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Did anyone stop to think about all the lead in roadside coming off tire wheel weights?

I also think most bullets pass thru varmint size animals so if the carcass is eaten, there is no lead in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The more I read and the more I just sit and think about this and about what my schooling taught me, I am becoming more and more convinced this is real and something we as hunters can do something about. I wasn't remotely convinced a few years back, but I am now.

As far as bullet pass through, it does not happen with my 0.17hmr on groundhogs on most shots.

Some articles and studies that I consider from reliable sources:

From the USGS National Wildlife Health Center
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/lead_poisoning/

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/documents/PbExposureinWIBirds.pdf

From the University of California Davis (researchers from their School of Veterinary Medicine, the California Fish and Game Department and Department of Fish and Wildlife, University of Idaho)
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0017656
 

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I've tried it once in a 500 S&W and they performed well. The rounds are somewhat more expensive depending on what your buying and yes- they don't have lead, but in my reading about the subject, it takes a lot of lead in concentrations to cause some contamination. You can get the ammo on line at Cabelas, Bass Pro, Midway and a few other on line retailers. The Fin had a shipment once, but I am not sure if they currently have it.

Will I use it exclusively- at this point I am not.

This is the copper line we tried-tested last year.





 

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The more I read and the more I just sit and think about this and about what my schooling taught me, I am becoming more and more convinced this is real and something we as hunters can do something about. I wasn't remotely convinced a few years back, but I am now.

As far as bullet pass through, it does not happen with my 0.17hmr on groundhogs on most shots.

Some articles and studies that I consider from reliable sources:

From the USGS National Wildlife Health Center
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/lead_poisoning/

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/documents/PbExposureinWIBirds.pdf

From the University of California Davis (researchers from their School of Veterinary Medicine, the California Fish and Game Department and Department of Fish and Wildlife, University of Idaho)
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0017656
These are better studies than I've read in the past, thank you for posting them. Can't say I'm totally convinced on their findings, but definitely some good food for thought.

I think the fact that they don't examine alternate explanations for lead poisoning in animals is what concerns me. When doing a scientific study you need to allow the data to drive the research while considering all the variables. I'm not sure all the variables are being considered, such as water pollution and the levels of lead in fish, which many of the birds in this study eat. Also, the fact that almost no birds have been found with lead shot in their organs is inconsistent with the hypothesis that so much lead is being ingested.

Also, their sample size is generally less than 1,000 birds and are in a localized area. A broad sample size across the US of 10,000 birds would be a statistically relevant study considering the millions of birds in the wild.

I will say, however, that the results of the lead ban in California are tough to argue with and do favor the assumption that a lead ban significantly decreased lead-related mortality rates in the condors, eagles, etc. It'd be interesting to see if the coyote population experienced the same levels of decreased lead toxicity druing this same time period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ordered a box of the Hornady 15.5gr NTX bullets for my .17hmr. Going to give them a try. If they work out well for me, I will save my lead bullets for squirrels this fall since I am taking head shots and I am eating the squirrels myself. I'll let everyone know how it goes with the new ammo when I get it in.
 

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You could start eating the groundhogs. They are tasty if you learn to cook them right. So I hear. You could just take head shots on the groundhogs and cut their heads of so the crows and other critters don't get the lead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You could start eating the groundhogs. They are tasty if you learn to cook them right. So I hear. You could just take head shots on the groundhogs and cut their heads of so the crows and other critters don't get the lead.
Yes I COULD. LOL! Not quite there with eating the things. Hey but give it time. I thought about the head shot thing and maybe someday as my shooting improves. Right now they just need to be gone. Plus I'm lazy. Not sure I want to carry all that would need to cut heads off and stay clean and then find someplace to stash the heads. Yep I'm lazy. Might take an attitude adjustment on my part for that to happen. :)

Sent from my SCH-I405
 

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Put them in your garden and plant corn around them. Try to stalk close enough for head shots , I was told it will help your hunting skills more than long shots.
I have used Barnes TSX ammo in my 7mm08 and 30-06 and it works great on hogs. But those hogs are for bacon and porkchopes. Not crow bait. Have fun.
 

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Yes I COULD. LOL! Not quite there with eating the things. Hey but give it time. I thought about the head shot thing and maybe someday as my shooting improves. Right now they just need to be gone. Plus I'm lazy. Not sure I want to carry all that would need to cut heads off and stay clean and then find someplace to stash the heads. Yep I'm lazy. Might take an attitude adjustment on my part for that to happen. :)

Sent from my SCH-I405
use a 30-06 and the head will come off!!!
 
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