When I was hunting pheasant a few weeks ago and I came across a (very) small (open) marsh/pond. I figured I would let the dog get wet and get a drink (the dog not me). Then I thought to myself; what if I put up a few ducks? Would I shoot? I am hunting other small game and using lead shot. So I think no, I would be taking waterfowl with illegal shot. Then I thought, if the birds were kicked up and flying it would be no different than shooting at a pheasant, and I have a duck stamp so what is the difference?
If I was walking back to a swamp to go duck hunting and put up a grouse or a pheasant, and killed it with steel and/or non-toxic shot, I see no problem. We can hunt for dove with lead shot, but if we hunt the same fields for geese we have to use steel/non-toxic shot.
I understand that we do not want to fill our waterways with lead shot. I support that all the way. But think, lets say you are rabbit hunting. A low flock of geese comes in. If you did shoot, you are not putting anymore lead in the field than if you had a great day of rabbit hunting. (maybe someone should look into the low number of rabbits this year and see if it correlates with low duck numbers) (for some of us)
My only guess is the the "Gov" had to use a broad brush to control the toxic shot issue. Not a bad thing. I guess because I am new to this waterfowl thing, I just took a step back and scratched my head and asked... "why"? I have no question why we have to use non-toxic on open water, swamps, lakes and waterways. But, why inland fields that you can hunt with lead shot for anything else? What if I had steel shot with me while hunting small game, saw low flying geese, dumped the lead for steel and put down a few birds? I ask this because I have been small game hunting and have had geese fly right over top of me..orange vest/hat and all. Edjamacate me. Thanks. I had some other point but I forgot it.