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April 14, 2008

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Lead-Scare Update: More Tests, More Disagreement

From the Pioneer Press:

Minnesota tested 299 samples donated through the state's Hunter
Harvested Venison Donation Program and found varying levels of lead
fragments in 76. . . .

"If you ate venison at (the highest level found) and you ate it
regularly, it would be catastrophic to your health,'' said Daniel
Symonik, supervisor in the lead program for the state Department of
Health. . . .

If you had control over the animal and you're confident the lead was
removed, then the chances (of lead exposure) are very low,'' he said.
"If you took it to a processor and you have no idea how the meat was
handled, there's a possibility of (lead exposure), but not a

Meanwhile, Maryland-based Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry,
Virginia’s Hunters for the Hungry, and the Arizona-based Safari Club
International are untied their skepticism and in calling for further

From an  AP story in The Bismarck Tribune:

"People have been eating venison for centuries from deer that were
killed with lead bullets and we haven't been aware of any problems with
that," [Hunters for the Hungry director Laura Newell-Furniss] said.



Well they did it with pencils, let's make all bullets graphite. (not really) I have used led bullets my whole life and never have I had health problems do to it. But hey we need to spend money on some kinda research why not led bullets and health effects.



If only I could spell. Led = lead


the only way venision could have lead running though its body is if it ate lead shot there vegans so that would be a 1 in a million chance of a deer ingesting lead. you dont eat the area around the bullet wound so its kind of a stupid statement to make.


Has anyone concluded for sure where the lead is comming from?


I saw a demonstration of what happens to a bullet when it hits ballistic gel. In addition to a nice mushroom, hundreds of tiny shards came off the bullet and spread in a cone shape away from the point of entry. I do believe it is possible for lead to spread in this manner...especially if the butcher is not dilligent in cutting away and disposing of meat around the exit wound. I would be interested in finding out if shotguns or muzzleloaders have the same issues. They may not because of their slower velosities. Thank God my arrows/broadheads do not contain any lead.


Do you hunt with a bow during gun season? If you do full marks to you I wish I could. Bow hunting really challenges your knowledge and stealth, great way to hunt.



Obviously more testing is necessary to see where the lead is coming from.

Is it a certain brand of bullet, certain type of bullet, only rifle bullets (no slugs or muzzleloader bullets)?

Is it caused from expansion of the bullet? Fragmenting of the bullet?

So many questions and no real answers yet, but thanks for the update.



It seems for every question answered a new question arises. There are to many situations that could have occurred that it is impossible to point a finger on one main reason.


Mc. Squizzy

This is a difficult manner. It's hard to say where the lead is coming from. Thanks for that comment Don, that was interesting. I would also like to know if that happens with shotguns and muzzleloaders. You should write to that TV show, Mythbusters , and ask them to do a show on that.


Muzzle loaders: No, as long as you don't use a Hollow Point/Expanding projectile. The velocity is so slow and the projectile so large, it doesn't become unstable and fragment on contact! Some lead shaving off passing through bone is a probability, but it would be very little.
Shotguns: See Muzzle loaders above.
Scientific data? No!
Experience? Yes!

I really don't understand why some hunter's insist on using Hollow Point/Expanding projectiles in Muzzle loaders and shotguns. It ain't necessary. I'd rather have a good, clean, pass through, half-inch wound channel than try and blow them up! To me that is!


Brian T

As grumpy as this may sound, the researchers have to answer the question: Is this lead from bullets or not? Maybe this seems like a penetrating insight into the obvious but the answer is a crucial point before moving on.


You're not the only one! My grandson was squirrel hunt'n with a hollow point and I couldn't see how anything would be left.


John R

Bubba I think you may be on to something there. We have collectively gone ballistic (no pun intended) on the expansion qualities of bullets. A friend of mine shot a deer with a .30 cal. FMJ rifle bullet (no they are not illegal here). It was a heart lung shot. The deer dropped in its tracks and we still had to trim away some of the blood shot shoulder. Interestingly enough the exit wound was still much larger than the bullet diameter indicating that the shock wave from the bullet alone may have increased the wound channel. I'm not advocating the use of solids, but maybe we have gone a little too far on the expansion thing. I have seen some pretty damaged carcasses from expanding bullets and hollow points.

John R

I still use a 130 gr SPBT in my .270. It is an expanding soft point. It does mushroom. But, I load my ammo down to shoot right in there with factory type ballistics, which, is pretty mild! I have killed lots of deer with this load (46.5 grs IMR 4895) and YES, there is some blood shot meat, YES, I do trim that away, and NO, the damage is not extensive!
For shotguns and front stuffers, gimme a blunt nosed projectile!



I think all these deer are eating lead based paint off the deer blinds!


I think all these deer are eating lead based paint off the deer blinds!


Sound to me like PETA is lurking in the background just like they did in California and want to ban all lead shot and bullets.

I guess the solution would be to use Barnes bullet which are all copper.

But then some bogus Peta research would find copper Toxic.


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