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March 31, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Is Your Venison Safe To Eat?

From KFYR-TV news in North Dakota:

Doctors say deer meat has a lot of benefits. It’s lean and low in cholesterol. But something deadly could be hiding within. Dr. William Cornatzer conducted CT scans on 100 pounds of venison collected from dozens of different sources and was shocked to find high levels of lead in about 60% of the meat.

And from the Bismarck Tribune:

Packages of ground venison donated to food pantries through the Sportsmen Against Hunger program tested "strongly positive" for lead, prompting the [North Dakota] Department of Health to urge pantries not to use or distribute the venison.

Cornatzer said he also tossed the remaining venison out of his freezer.

"I hate to admit it, but I did. I am not consuming it" he said Thursday. "There is lead in meat that does not have blood marks in it. It’s not like lead. It’s like lead dust."

Cornatzer, a hunter, says he’ll still target deer with his .270 next fall, but with lead-free bullets offered by Barnes, Federal, or Nosler. Meanwhile, the state Department of Health lead program coordinator says she needs to see more research—and will eat the venison in her freezer for now.

So, will this report have any affect on whether you eat the venison in your freezer, or what type of bullets you use next year?

Comments

don m

the good Dr. is also the leader of those that got CAL. to ban all lead shot.some folks in the sporting world thins hes full of hot air. after reading other articles on it, i think so to.
DON

don m

HOW MUCH LEAD ARE YOU GOING TO FIND IN A GUT PILE, LOL.

Steven

I did not believe the study of lead
shot on ducks because at that time
lead was used in gas and the study on lead shot was not done in a scientific way but more of a opinion.This was a move by anti-hunters to stop hunting because of the cost of steel shot shells.I think that this would be the same way for deer hunting because non lead bullets cost more then lead.Most of the time the bullet goes though the deer with out breaking up.

SilverArrow

Steven
Actually there were numerous, very credible, studies done prior to Lead shot being banned for waterfowl hunting.

The results of the ban speak volumes; loon populations are much healthier, diver ducks and bottom feeding geese are also in better shape as are other aquatic animals.

The concern I have, as stated is that we have two different mechanisms for this trace Lead to be in the systems of these animals. I do not believe that an animal shot with a bullet and dying relatively quickly will have the trace Lead from that bullet migrate to its muscle tissue; there has to be a different explaination and my bet it that the animal has ingested vegetation contaminated by environmental pollutants including Lead.
SA

Mike

Sounds to me that it may have more to do with preparation than the meat itself.

Did he consider that the contanimation may have happened in butchering?

YooperJack

Hey, if something is poisoning any of our wildlife, I want to know about it. The good doctor might be a bird watcher, but if lead is somehow accumulating in muscle tissue, lets find out how.

We know that the effects of lead on juveniles are substantial. We know that lead poisoning is very bad for birds. If lead is found in meat, lets find out if its just ground meat, or in all meat. Also, if the contamination origin is windborne, is it present in cattle and swine also?

There are a lot of questions to answer. This is no time to accuse anyone of using this for a hidden agenda.

Please remember that when someone refers to an ecosystem, they are citing all of the factors in that ecosystem. That includes hunters and fishermen who harvest from it.
YooperJack

SilverArrow

Mike
Unlikely that Lead contamination is going to occur during butchering; there is no blood flow to carry the particles through the meat. If a buckshot pellet or bullet were ground in with the venison you might see some effect however.

Yooper I am with you on this one buddy! Test the beef and pork right along with game animals, poultry and even small game.
SA

John R

Phillip, I would sure like to read the documentation you referred to in your comments. If it "is pretty well documented" then I wonder why I haven't seen it to date. Don't get me wrong, I'm not refuting your post however I read quite a bit and follow wildlife issues (especially biological data) very closely. I have not found a plethora of articles about the lead issue.
Concerning the California Condors, the jury is still out. There is no question the birds are suffering from lead ingestion, however the latest I have read is biologists are looking at an environmental cause, rather than bullets from carrion. Additionally, not a small amount of scrutiny has been directed toward the first study that concluded that the primary cause of toxic lead in Condors is bullets.
Anecdotal evidence of my own deer carcasses revealed shoot through with rifle bullets. I have switched to neck only shots and still experience shoot throughs. The only incidence whereby I find lead remnants in my deer carcasses is with the use of buckshot. I find it hard to believe that very much lead is transferred to muscle tissue with a bullet shoot through. Maybe there is a possibility of lead fragments if the bullet impacts a bone, especially on large bodied animals like Elk and Moose. The bottom line is more research is necessary, by people who have no vested interest either way.
Personally I don't care what my bullets are made of as long as they perform, and are accurate.

dean jackson

I manage an area in central Iowa for deer and turkey hunting. After testing the use of copper slugs last fall we are requiring all hunters using firearms to use copper. The copper slugs seem to preform as well as, or even better, than lead. We have lost a couple of bald eagles in the valley due to lead poisoning...I guess I didn't think that the lead could poison me if I checked the meat carefully before cooking it. It seems that any serious and dedicated hunter should gladly make the switch from lead to copper in spite of the nominal cost for protecting the environment and ourselves.

dean jackson

I manage an area in central Iowa for deer and turkey hunting. After testing the use of copper slugs last fall we are requiring all hunters using firearms to use copper. The copper slugs seem to preform as well as or even better than lead. We lost a couple of bald eagles in the valley due to lead poisoning...I guess I didn't think that the lead could poison me if I checked the meat carefully before cooking it. It seems that any serious and dedicated hunter should gladly make the switch from lead to copper in spite of the nominal cost for protecting the environment and ourselves.

SilverArrow

Dean
What testing of these eagles did you do to prove the source of the Lead was bullets, slugs or buckshot? Did you find Lead in their craws which was definitely from a firearm? Was there also Antimony (used to harden almost all Lead projectiles) present? What were your controls? And I ask again; were tests conducted on road kills and bow kills as well as gunshot animals? Have domestic animals grazing the same region been tested?

I am neither for, nor against Lead projectile bans. I just want to see the science. We know how effective the switch to non-toxic shot on waterfowl has been in helping Loon and other waterbird populations rebound. The same effects may be noted with full out bans on Lead bullets, slugs and buckshot. On the other hand what we may (I am betting we will) find is that there is still Lead in the organs of deer from environmental sources.
SA

DY

What a bunch of nonsense that these studies are concluding about so called lead levels. This is another example of the liberal non-huntering morons controlling the agenda to outlaw hunting. Give me trace lead venison, fish, or small game anytime over hormone or store bought food. Have the American public gone goofy worrying about this nonsense!




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