USFWS Supports Lead Ammo Ban

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The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (what an oxymoron!) announced that it is banning the use of lead ammunition for the hunting of nuisance birds. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC), which bills itself as a bird conservation organization, sent a letter to FWS Director Rowan W. Gould supporting the rulemaking dictate.


Excuse me, but when has the use of lead ammunition to deal with nuisance bird depredations been a problem? Back in the 1980s we hunters took a knee to the groin when lead shot was banned for the hunting of migratory birds in wetland areas. The argument was that hunters concentrated in waterfowl areas were poisoning the very birds they hunt with high concentrations of lead shot in their feeding areas. Whether or not that was a valid claim is quite debatable. I, for one, know it to be fallacious. I was actively hunting many of the state and federal wildlife areas of concern during that time, and I never saw a single bird exhibiting the symptoms of lead-ingestion poisoning.


The so-called Fish & Wildlife Service permits depredation hunts of crows, blackbirds and grackles when it has been shown that the birds are causing public health or safety problems, or are damaging agricultural areas or wildlife. The shooting done in these events is largely short lived. It usually doesn’t take too long for the surviving birds to seek an area less threatening, and the amount of shot left on the ground is miniscule.


Those of you who keep abreast of these assaults on hunters and shooters may recall it was the ABC that petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to ban all lead ammunition for hunting, as well as lead sinkers for fishing this past August. That effort was thwarted because of its ridiculous premises, so the ABC sought a more like-minded agency. As far as I can tell there was no public notice of this latest petition, nor was there a public comment period available.


As far as this old redneck is concerned, it is decisions like this that perpetuate the incompetence and untrustworthy reputation of many federal agencies.


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1 Response to USFWS Supports Lead Ammo Ban

jes wrote:
February 22, 2011

You are wrong on one count: the ban wasn't instituted not because of it's premise, but because of the fact that it was not within that bureaucratic authority to do so. If it had authority, it probably would have done so. Lead is one of the most stable elements in nature. And you and I both have eaten enough to poison a thousand if we believed these characters...Just check out how stable lead is by noticing it's proximity to gold, in the periodic chart of elements.