The Minnesota DNR Releases More Info On Lead Fragmentation (Venison)

Today the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released findings on a recent study that indicates ballistic lead fragments were found up to 18 inches away from wound channels.   The study, conducted on sheep instead of deer, was done in an effort to learn more about the risks associated with using lead projectiles during our deer hunting activities.

Earlier this summer I attended a conference on this same topic.   You can read more about that HERE.   What we are now getting is some additional follow-up research that looks at various types of firearms and loads to see which ones are more prone to causing serious lead contamination in the meat.

To see a video of the testing conducted link HERE.

To read more on the results of the testing released today link HERE.

In a nutshell, here’s how I feel on the topic.   Granted, more evidence is coming forward that microscopic pieces of lead can be found in our wild game, particularly deer.   Sure, there are some common-sense measures that hunters can take to reduce the risks associated with ingesting lead.   But the point remains that there have been literally millions upon millions of meals consumed by hunters and their families over the past 100+ years and there has never been a single documented incident of lead levels effecting the hunter, their spouse or even young children as a result of eating wild game.

Now I understand that evidence is evidence and you can’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to safety, but most families I know eat venison only on an occasional basis.   Oh sure, when possible it would be best to use some of the higher-tech bullets on the market that do not contain lead.   But in the meantime, is any of this going to change the manner in which I hunt or enjoy the fruits of the kill?   Well, I maybe will cut around the wound channel a bit more generously than I have in the past…but for the time being that’s about it.

Get out there and enjoy the hunt.   If you let it, topics like lead in our deer, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and the like will drive us out of the woods causing us to hang up our guns permanently.   That’s certainly not what this news should be all about.   Be informed…but also be realistic to the dangers.

2008 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.