Why Go Lead-Free?

Why hunters and anglers are switching to steel and other non-toxic shot and tackle in the field

For many years, the only options for hunters and anglers in the field were ammunition and tackle that contained lead, which is toxic to wildlife. The result is untold tons of lead spread across our landscapes and waterways, and concentrated at popular hunting and fishing spots.

This situation has led to unintentional poisoning of songbirds, waterfowl, upland birds and other wildlife that ingest lead shot. It has also impacted predators, most specifically birds of prey, that either ingest poisoned animals or consume gut piles from game that has been shot with lead ammunition.

Hunters and anglers in the field have seen firsthand the impacts lead has had on the environment. Lead pellets and bullet fragments have been found in the meat hunters bring home, and in the field hunters have observed lethargy, weakness, and muscle wasting in game birds.

In 1991, a ban on using lead shot for hunting waterfowl brought about the rapid development of steel and other non-toxic shot choices. As a result, there are now highly effective alternatives to lead shot, bullets, and fishing gear.


Listen to these hunters and anglers talk about their paths to going lead-free in the field:

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Join the growing list of Hunters and Anglers who have made the commitment to go lead-free in the field.