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September 14, 2007

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Bullet Ban Heating Up

The recent proposal to ban the use of lead bullets by deer and varmint hunters within the range of the endangered California condor is being hotly contested, and for good reason. (For full details CLICK HERE.)

First of all, one has to wonder just how many deer and varmints are actually harvested by hunters in condor country. Then, since most bullets pass through the animals that are shot, one has to wonder how many bullets are actually being left behind. Since hunters are packing out any deer taken (either whole or quartered) for meat processing, I can’t help but think that the actual number of bullets left behind in gut piles by deer hunters must be infinitesimally small.

Even assuming the highly unlikely scenario that every gut pile left behind contained a bullet, how many condors are actually going to feed on those gut piles? And of those feeding, how many are actually going to ingest a bullet? This, in turn, begs the question: How many bullets does a condor have to ingest before its health is negatively impacted?

The article linked above states that new research from England suggests that all sorts of junk—washers, electrical wire, bottle caps, glass fragments—are a far greater cause for alarm in condor populations than lead bullet ingestion.

Finally, why is the California legislature not listening to its own Fish and Game  officials and giving them the proper jurisdiction over wildlife in that state?  There are too many questions requiring scientific answers not to.

In a release we just received, The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance said: “California sportsmen must call on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto a bill that will impose a lead ammunition ban and put the future of hunting in jeopardy. (Visit the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance for more.)

Todd Smith



One of the guys at Calguns pulled together some research on this topic that's a good jump-off point:



This information from Calguns is must reading for anyone interested in this whole condor controversy. Great stuff!