Oklahoma Greenhead wrote:Ive wondered the same thing... like why do you have to shoot steel when your hunting a field for waterfowl when i can hunt dove in the exact same field with lead?
Well, I can give you the official BS, er, I mean explanation. It seems that waterfowl are pretty selective in the size of the grit they ingest, and oddly enough, that size coincides with the size of lead shot commonly used by hunters for shooting that particular species. So, if you were to go into a cut corn field to shoot ducks and geese, you'd pretty much be shooting the same size that they are looking for. But, since the feds can't regulate the use of lead for upland birds on non federal land, you're free to use lead for pheasant or whatever. In the case of field hunting, most of the fields that are hunted are active crop fields. Lead ingestion in these fields is not so high as in other areas, so any danger of lead ingestion in these fields is minimized. Furthermore, those fields are turned over seasonally, thus burying then lead and making ingestion even more unlikely. And, and this is the big one, studies show that it takes a lot of lead (read a LOT of lead) to be shot in a field to cause an issue. So, why do we have a lead ban on waterfowl? Simply, the federal government in the 1960s and 70s was being over run by tree huggers and pure environmentalists. There was already a ban in place on lead paint, and lead is a known toxin so it is common knowledge (?) that it is bad. Besides, the feds spent millions on studying this problem, so it needed to be justified. What was found with respect to waterfowl was that there were about half dozen "hot spots" where the amount of shooting deposited enough lead to present a problem. The fight was on and it looked like the feds weren't going to get the ban. That is until someone announced that they were finding bald eagles that were suffering from lead poisoning from eating birds shot with lead shot! That's it, right there. No further study (or verification) was necessary. Lead was going to be banned.
But what about the hot spots? Well, it was deemed that it would be too difficult to enforce the law based on where lead was being used. One could, after all, simply move across the property line and shoot the same duck with lead in a perfectly legal manner. So, the Federal Government decreed that henceforth all waterfowl hunting (the only hunting that they had any jurisdiction over) could only be done with non toxic ammunition.
And that, boys and girls, is how the federal government stuck it to us where the daylight don't shine.