Copper vs.lead


I was recently on a Native American reservation in Colorado for work. I had to go in and buy a commercial access permit for the reservation. While there I noticed they had a wildlife division in their office where you could buy a fishing permit so I bought one of those as well. In that office I noticed a poster on the wall with 30 some odd dead bald eagles. All of which died in one year from lead poisoning. They believe they got the lead poisoning from eating gut piles left by hunters. So I think the anti lead argument could be a good one. I don’t think it should be banned but maybe restricted on hunts.


Eagle breast are good fried up, just sayin……

Ok, i’m lyin, It don’t matter to me if the round is copper long as it takes the animal down i’m hunting.


Sounds like anti gun rhetoric, 30 hunters gut shot game, 30 Eagles eat said guts, including the spent round,
and die?

No other environmental causes come to mind?

Polluted fish perhaps?


I always thought bullet placement (also known as accuracy) trumped bullet design.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t like eating anything contaminated with lead.
And I’ve taken precautions when reloading lead bullets.
Like wearing protective gloves and not eating.


I wouldn’t call it anti gun. Banning an ammo all together would be anti gun (They didn’t ban lead shot for shotguns). This is just wild life management. I use copper bullets anyway, I really like barns bullets. However I think it’s a good idea to look at science for wildlife management.


I doubt that there is enough lead in a “gut pile” to kill one eagle let alone 30 - plus we would be seeing a much higher incident in other species from lead “poisoning”
The 30 eagles may have died from lead poisoning but more a long the lines of a high velocity ingestion then from consuming some guts.


There’s also a study that suggests that animals lead intake can be linked to acidic things on the ground like oils from crank cases, old batteries, and things of that nature. But the studies on bullet fragments left behind within the gut pile and the meat also can’t be ignored. I know I like hunting so I made a personal choice to use copper to try and preserve wildlife. Knowledge is power and I read a lot. More than most people I know. I use that information to pass down to people and for me to make my own decisions. I’m not forcing anyone to do what they don’t want, but me personally I go with copper.


Untrue story here.
I once had to go to court cuz I was caught eating a bald eagle and was accused of hunting it. Seems like that’s a big deal. But I swore my innocence and told them I would never do such a thing to a protected species. I ended up winning.
When it was all over the judge called me aside and asked me what the eagle tasted like.

I said, “Just like Spotted Owl.”


As of July 1st, hunters in Commiefornia are no longer allowed to use lead bullets. This is, of course, expected to drive the price of non lead ammunition to crazy $. Another back door gun control law. :rage:






It would be interesting to see how much lead has to be consumed in order to cause a fatal case of lead poisoning.

When I was a kid, my buddies and I used to roam all over the desert shooting whatever we could with our pellet rifles. I used to carry a mouthful of them cause it was easier to spit one out then dig them out of my pocket. I routinely used to chew a few up and spit them out too. I’m sure that I was exposed to quite a bit of lead.
I told my Dr. about that a few years ago and he ran tests to check my lead levels…perfectly normal.
Now, I grew up in a generation that was exposed to lead paint and leaded fuel as well as many other sources during that era.

So my personal opinion on lead shot killing birds from secondary sources would be skeptical at best.


I looked at a report on whether changing from lead to other shots helped the bird mortality rate any.
It pointed out that the biggest killer of birds was Windows, Ferel Cats, and High Tension wires.
The Lead Shot issue was inconclusive as to the cause of poisonings.
There seemed to be no evidence that lead was the issue or other poisonous substances.
But Poison was not even in the same class as the other causes.

As far as the fragmenting bullet from a hunting round goes.
If your bullet is fragmenting it is time to change bullets.
You need to keep the mass together to impart the energy more effectively.
The mushrooming of the bullet imparts that energy over a larger area and disseminates more energy to the media it is in.
But when it fragments it loses that energy and does less damage.
It is shock that kills, not blood loss.


I’m not trying to sway, but there are studies that have conclusive evidence of seasonal lead parallel to the hunt season.



The statistics are alarming:

  • 90% of the bald eagles received each year (120-130) for all types of problems have elevated lead residues in their blood
  • 20–25% percent of these eagles have sufficiently high levels to cause clinical lead poisoning. Most of these birds die or are euthanized.
  • In the last 24 years, over 500 eagles received or admitted to our clinic have either died or had to be euthanized due to lead poisoning.
  • Data on location of origin and seasonal timing of lead poisoning events in eagles clearly indicate that spent lead ammunition from both shotguns and rifles is the source of lead exposure.

The verbage is curious:

  • residues

why not the term levels?

  • clinical

clinical, wtf?

  • lead poisoning.

were they shot?

  • spent lead ammunition from both shotguns and rifles is the source of lead exposure.

again, were they shot?


This study was about lead poisoning not poaching. I’m sure is wasn’t about being shot. However, every study out there could be picked apart and many times they raise new questions, so questioning it is normal. I’m just passing information


Damn it Joe!

How can I protect the Eagles if you have no answers!


:joy: this study again was based on poisoning and has some percentage stats towards the end. Like I said before, knowledge is power. I think personal choices matter and that choice is all yours as a individual. I’ve made my case on my personal choice, you don’t have to go the same route just food for thought


yes well please be cautious

studies show studies are used to…




time for a drink