How a Scavenger Gets the Lead Fragments
Fragmenting is when pieces of lead break away from the main piece. It can occur even if the main part of the bullet passes straight through the animal.
- When a lead-based bullet hits an animal, it changes shape from being pointed to a mushroom-like shape.
- While that bullet mushrooms, small bits of lead come away from the main piece. These small bits stay in the gut pile.
- Hunters will field dress their shot animal, remove the guts, and leave them behind.
- When a scavenger eats the guts that are left behind, they are also eating the lead fragments. As those are digested, the lead is taken into the bloodstream and causes lead poisoning.