Using Non-Toxic Shot
Hunters in the U.S. must use non-toxic shot statewide for hunting migratory birds.
- Before 1991, waterfowl hunters in the U.S. were depositing several million pounds of lead into the environment each year. Waterfowl ingested spent shot while feeding on the bottoms of wetlands and were poisoned within 1–3 weeks.
- An estimated 1.5 to 3 million ducks and geese died annually, as well as bald eagles and other scavenging birds that ate unretrieved waterfowl or other game with lead pellets in their flesh.
- Lead shot does not break down and harms waterfowl for many years.
- In 1991, federal legislation required non-toxic shot for waterfowl hunting in the U.S.
- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game supported the conversion from lead to non-toxic shot. Non-toxic shot has these benefits:
- Prevents the waste of lead-poisoned birds.
- Promotes waterfowl conservation through more efficient harvesting.