Lead is a potent toxin, and our lawmakers have removed it from paint, pipes, and gasoline to protect human health.
Despite this, we pump many tons of lead into our environment every year in the form of lead ammunition used for deer hunting. Eagles scavenging deer carcasses and gut piles may consume small pieces of the lead ammunition.
Most of these birds will die, despite the heroic efforts of wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife veterinarians. The best way to safeguard their future is to avoid using lead ammunition in the first place.
Good alternatives to lead ammunition are available and reasonably priced. Though their cost is slightly higher, at about a dollar more a bullet, few hunters we know use more than a few bullets each season, and agree that sparing the life of our iconic national bird, the bald eagle, is well worth a few extra bucks. We’re sure you agree!
Lead weights and Sinkers
Have you ever thought about what happens to the fishing tackle that we all sometimes lose on fishing trips? If you’ve used lead weights, jigs, or sinkers, your relaxing day at the lake may leave behind a fatal legacy for the lake’s loons and trumpeter swans. When these birds ingest gravel from the bottom to help them digest their food, they may accidentally ingest one of these items and then die from lead poisoning.
Bottom line…lead is a toxin. Please don’t use lead ammunition or lead fishing tackle, and encourage your friends who hunt and fish to use lead-free alternatives. Nobody wants to leave behind a dead eagle or loon as their legacy of that fun-filled day at the lake, or that memorable hunting trip. Think ahead; don’t buy lead.