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Old 11-18-2019, 03:19 PM   #1
BuckSmasher
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Default Discussion on Lead in Meat

What are your thoughts on lead contamination in big game animals shot with lead core bullets?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. It has made the news, CA went lead free from July 1 this year, and experiences I have had recently have made me think about it.

I shot a buck three years ago with a 95 grain ballistic tip out of a .243 and couldn't find a piece hardly the size of a bb. Obviously no exit. I shot a pig on Tuesday with a 80 grain ttsx, also out of a .243 and it left a very small exit, the pig ran 40 yards.

Here is a good article on the subject.: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2669501/

I think in the article they are probably using non-bonded core bullets. I'm thinking core-lokts. I would like to see if a good bonded core bullet would have the same fragment dispersal.

I haven't made up my mind. I know I am not using non-bonded lead cores again. I do like the performance and killing power of a bonded core, lead bullet. I love big exit wounds, my experience with the solid copper bullets is limited.

Last edited by BuckSmasher; 11-18-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:24 PM   #2
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No real science behind our decision but it gives my wife piece of mind to only shoot copper. I haven’t noticed a difference in killing power from elk to blackbuck. Doubt I’ll ever switch back.

My shotgun shoots lead free too

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Old 11-18-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
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My broadheads are lead free.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:30 PM   #4
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My broadheads are lead free.


X2
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:36 PM   #5
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There was a good Meateater podcast about this a while back. Basically stated that the lead fragments into lots and lots of tiny pieces kinda like stars in the sky. Most of it is in the internal organs, though.... bad for birds and scavengers more so than people
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:37 PM   #6
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..

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Old 11-18-2019, 03:41 PM   #7
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..
That's one of the things that has made me think about this lately. I haven't went dove hunting in years but I went Pheasant hunting last month and there was a pellet in one of the pheasants we were eating. I have pheasant in my freezer now that was shot with lead shot. I think next time I may go steel or bismuth!
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:48 PM   #8
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I thinks its a solution looking for a problem. If you guys want to worry about, more power to you. It's not hurting anything to switch to all copper but I think you would be better off spending you time worrying about polar bears breaking into your South Texas deer cabin.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:49 PM   #9
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There was a good Meateater podcast about this a while back. Basically stated that the lead fragments into lots and lots of tiny pieces kinda like stars in the sky. Most of it is in the internal organs, though.... bad for birds and scavengers more so than people
I'll look for that. If you gun hunt ever did it influence your decision on bullet choice?
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:50 PM   #10
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I would think you have better odds of dying early from eating fast food than lead shot.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:52 PM   #11
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If lead from a bullet takes me out, it wont be from ingesting it.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:54 PM   #12
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Last time i was at the Dr. I was lead free. Been using the same Remington Core-Lokt ammo as long as I can remember, same with lead shot hunting dove, quail, pheasant. If I come across a shot while eating I spit it out and get another piece of bird. CA is a nut state so I don't see me following anything they do.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:58 PM   #13
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Biggest nothin-burger besides global warming... My family has been eatin' animals kilt with lead shot and lead bullets for over a hunert years... ain't nobody ever suffered any ill side-effects from it... When we eat squirrel dumplin's and get a bb in our mouth, we spit it out on the plate, same for fried doves or quail or rabbit or anything else we eat...
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BuckSmasher View Post
That's one of the things that has made me think about this lately. I haven't went dove hunting in years but I went Pheasant hunting last month and there was a pellet in one of the pheasants we were eating. I have pheasant in my freezer now that was shot with lead shot. I think next time I may go steel or bismuth!
you ever bit down on a steel pellet? its not a good feeling lol ill shoot lead at them as long as i can.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtymike View Post
If lead from a bullet takes me out, it wont be from ingesting it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by texan4ut View Post
Last time i was at the Dr. I was lead free. Been using the same Remington Core-Lokt ammo as long as I can remember, same with lead shot hunting dove, quail, pheasant. If I come across a shot while eating I spit it out and get another piece of bird. CA is a nut state so I don't see me following anything they do.
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Biggest nothin-burger besides global warming... My family has been eatin' animals kilt with lead shot and lead bullets for over a hunert years... ain't nobody ever suffered any ill side-effects from it... When we eat squirrel dumplin's and get a bb in our mouth, we spit it out on the plate, same for fried doves or quail or rabbit or anything else we eat...

The research seems to back that up a little bit. in the experiment Pigs that were fed lead tainted meat had their blood lead levels drop back to the control level after 5 days. No discernable signs of illness. I think I'm ok... I wonder if I had never ate lead tainted meat would I have a Nobel prize by now???

But still.... its....lead... in your blood.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:02 PM   #16
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"CA went lead free from July 1 this year"

Sadly that's enough for a lot of folks on here to check out and not bother believing lead can be dangerous to anything or anyone...heck it's probably enough for some folks to start adding lead powder to their coffee to virtue signal how conservative they are. lol

I blast lead at the range all day but I went lead free for hunting, it's pretty much zero downside with potential to prevent harm so there's no compelling reason not to. Cost is irrelavent, anyone who can afford to hunt can afford to pay a little more for their hunting ammo.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jspradley View Post
"CA went lead free from July 1 this year"

Sadly that's enough for a lot of folks on here to check out and not bother believing lead can be dangerous to anything or anyone...heck it's probably enough for some folks to start adding lead powder to their coffee to virtue signal how conservative they are. lol

I blast lead at the range all day but I went lead free for hunting, it's pretty much zero downside with potential to prevent harm so there's no compelling reason not to. Cost is irrelavent, anyone who can afford to hunt can afford to pay a little more for their hunting ammo.
I almost included that as a caveat in the original post but didn't want to strike an argumentative tone. For sure virtue signalling permeates every section of american life on both sides of the aisle now. When I lived in The Woodlands one of my neighbors that was as conservative as anyone I have ever met, was a hunter, and all around good dude had a 4x4 truck and a prius he commuted with. Some of the folks that came to visit me at my house asked how it was living next to a liberal prius driving Hillary supporter. True story.

That being said, I think CA might have went to far (imagine that) I would want to see research that includes quality bonded bullets.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jspradley View Post
"CA went lead free from July 1 this year"

Sadly that's enough for a lot of folks on here to check out and not bother believing lead can be dangerous to anything or anyone...heck it's probably enough for some folks to start adding lead powder to their coffee to virtue signal how conservative they are. lol

I blast lead at the range all day but I went lead free for hunting, it's pretty much zero downside with potential to prevent harm so there's no compelling reason not to. Cost is irrelavent, anyone who can afford to hunt can afford to pay a little more for their hunting ammo.

You know, you could have posted what you posted without being so condescending to others. I've read you posts since you joined and most of what you say, I recall agreeing with a lot of what you post, but your smart arse attitude sure diminishes the impact of what you post...



Bossman crackin' down on that sort of stuff to bring things back in line a little here... you might want to ease up a bit.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:12 PM   #19
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If I have the privilege to eat enough wild game to die from lead poisoning, I’ll die a happy man.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:13 PM   #20
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Who can’t use a little lead in their pencil ?
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by SaltwaterSlick View Post
You know, you could have posted what you posted without being so condescending to others. I've read you posts since you joined and most of what you say, I recall agreeing with a lot of what you post, but your smart arse attitude sure diminishes the impact of what you post...



Bossman crackin' down on that sort of stuff to bring things back in line a little here... you might want to ease up a bit.
It was meant to be humorous but I can see how it might not have come across that way. I try to include a bunch of these to hopefully make it clear I was teasing but failed that time..


But yeah, I don't agree OP, CA does tend to go wayyyy too far I don't think lead should be banned but I do think that the decision to not use it for hunting is the right one.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:37 PM   #22
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I run a small metal detector over any meat that I think may contain bullet fragments or pellets. Nothing worse than biting into steel shot.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jspradley View Post
"CA went lead free from July 1 this year"

Sadly that's enough for a lot of folks on here to check out and not bother believing lead can be dangerous to anything or anyone...heck it's probably enough for some folks to start adding lead powder to their coffee to virtue signal how conservative they are. lol

I blast lead at the range all day but I went lead free for hunting, it's pretty much zero downside with potential to prevent harm so there's no compelling reason not to. Cost is irrelavent, anyone who can afford to hunt can afford to pay a little more for their hunting ammo.

The only issue is that any animal that you shoot may have been shot by another hunter. How do you know for sure?
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:44 PM   #24
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Sounds to me like OP needs a little more lead in his pencil, posting junk from california...
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:46 PM   #25
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Non issue!!! Please move on.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:50 PM   #26
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True story that matches what was typed above.

Killed a medium sized hog was cutting up one of the back hams to make sausage. As I was putting pieces of the meat in stainless pan I hear "ding" in the pan. I start looking moving the meat around and a small all lead 22lr bullet rolls around at the bottom.

This was all headed to the grinder in about 30 seconds so yea watch what you eat.

I had shot the pig with a .270 win behind the shoulder. I got to looking at the ham and you could see some scar tissue where I cut into the ham and exposed the old bullet.

I would assume someone had shot the pig in the rear with a 22 lr at some time in the past.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:50 PM   #27
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The sugar in my tea and the preservatives in my whataburger will kill me long before a little lead from the deer I shot...
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:00 PM   #28
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To me it's a non issue.

Quote:
Pheasant hunting last month and there was a pellet in one of the pheasants we were eating. I have pheasant in my freezer now that was shot with lead shot. I think next time I may go steel or bismuth!
You'll appreciate biting on the lead after you bite down on a steel pellet.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jspradley View Post
"CA went lead free from July 1 this year"

Sadly that's enough for a lot of folks on here to check out and not bother believing lead can be dangerous to anything or anyone...heck it's probably enough for some folks to start adding lead powder to their coffee to virtue signal how conservative they are. lol

I blast lead at the range all day but I went lead free for hunting, it's pretty much zero downside with potential to prevent harm so there's no compelling reason not to. Cost is irrelavent, anyone who can afford to hunt can afford to pay a little more for their hunting ammo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calrob View Post
Sounds to me like OP needs a little more lead in his pencil, posting junk from california...


O, the irony! Lol.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:00 PM   #30
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If I have the privilege to eat enough wild game to die from lead poisoning, Ill die a happy man.
AMEN to that!!!
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:03 PM   #31
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The only issue is that any animal that you shoot may have been shot by another hunter. How do you know for sure?
I'm guessing you mean small game, it's usually pretty hard to mix up who shot a big critter

With small game it's harder to tell but less important because shotgun pellets generally pass right through the digestive system without being absorbed, the potential problem seems to be from rifle rounds because their velocities can cause little micro pieces of lead to spread around in the meat that can potentially be absorbed.

I'm not too worried about it either way but lead free is pretty much all pro and no cons for rifle ammo.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:04 PM   #32
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I'm guessing you mean small game, it's usually pretty hard to mix up who shot a big critter

With small game it's harder to tell but less important because shotgun pellets generally pass right through the digestive system without being absorbed, the potential problem seems to be from rifle rounds because their velocities can cause little micro pieces of lead to spread around in the meat that can potentially be absorbed.

I'm not too worried about it either way but lead free is pretty much all pro and no cons for rifle ammo.
You have shot a lot of critters with ttsx and gmx with good results? Assuming you did your part on the aiming?
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:04 PM   #33
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O, the irony! Lol.
I mean I wasn't gonna say told ya so... lol
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:08 PM   #34
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O, the irony! Lol.

Yep, read no farther than CA. Yall done good.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #35
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You have shot a lot of critters with ttsx and gmx with good results? Assuming you did your part on the aiming?
Not a lot compared to a lot of folks here. I think between my wife and I 10-15 deer and three hogs and a few javis with various Hornady, Barnes, Federal, Pierce, and Remington .300 BLK, .308, .30-06, and 5.56 mono copper loadings. I believe they all had Barnes X-bullet projectiles except for the Hornady, the GMX is theirs right? I can't remember the exact loadings.

All have performed exceptionally well though, mono copper bullets do seem to be pretty unforgiving below their expansion velocity thresholds though, so that could be a con for folks shooting long range or subs
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:13 PM   #36
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Yep, read no farther than CA. Yall done good.
Respect for admitting that. I get it, hardly anything good ever starts with, "this is how they do it in California..."
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:16 PM   #37
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Not a lot compared to a lot of folks here. I think between my wife and I 10-15 deer and three hogs and a few javis with various Hornady, Barnes, Federal, Pierce, and Remington .300 BLK, .308, .30-06, and 5.56 mono copper loadings. I believe they all had Barnes X-bullet projectiles except for the Hornady, the GMX is theirs right? I can't remember the exact loadings.

All have performed exceptionally well though, mono copper bullets do seem to be pretty unforgiving below their expansion velocity thresholds though, so that could be a con for folks shooting long range or subs
Thanks for the real world endorsement. I am beginning to lean that way.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:25 PM   #38
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I cast bullets, reload ammo, shoot competitively, and hunt with Gamekings. I’m still alive.

When I butcher an animal, I cut out any bloodshot meat, an I have been known to throw entire front quarters of deer away. I can’t say that I have ever found a piece of a bullet in my finished product.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:29 PM   #39
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. I cant say that I have ever found a piece of a bullet in my finished product.
The potential problem is the pieces you don't see.

Check out some of the xrays of animals shot with lead vs mono


https://www.nps.gov/pinn/learn/nature/leadinfo.htm
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:54 PM   #40
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Serious question for anyone who has been eating critters killed with lead bullet their whole life and who know they are "just fine"

How do you know you really are?

Lead toxicity is a slow, cumulative process that effects the brain.

How many folks out there might be declining prematurely because of lead toxicity?
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:43 PM   #41
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The potential problem is the pieces you don't see.

Check out some of the xrays of animals shot with lead vs mono


https://www.nps.gov/pinn/learn/nature/leadinfo.htm
Which is why I am pretty liberal in how much room I give around a bullet wound...

How long have people been eating animals shot with lead bullets? If it was killing people, wed know it by now.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:11 PM   #42
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Lots of problems other than death can occur from lead exposure.

We've just within the last decade started studying the effects of lead in wild game meat, the results are pretty clear that any level of lead is deleterious to health, especially to children.

Lead was all thats available for a long time and we have better options that arent toxic, it's only logical to use them where we can.

Last edited by Jspradley; 11-18-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:11 PM   #43
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I'll look for that. If you gun hunt ever did it influence your decision on bullet choice?
I do some gun hunting. It hasn't changed my habits, but I'm not real educated on the subject. I'm not against stacking the odds in my favor, though.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:18 PM   #44
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If I am gun hunting there is almost 0 chance I will miss the thoracic cavity, and I don't eat anything from said cavity so no reason to worry.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:19 PM   #45
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I've always used lead to shoot birds. We're very careful to cut any pellets out that hit meat. I can't remember ever biting down on one. I shoot turkeys in the head and I don't know anyone that keeps blood shot meat from a deer that may have lead particles in it. I thought the whole reason California stopped using lead was because of the California Condor. This is the first I've ever heard of health risks to humans.

I've come to realize just about anything you eat or drink is bad to someone somewhere. There's not much that ain't bad for you.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:27 PM   #46
2Lazy2P
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I got 99 problems, but worried about consuming too much lead in wild game isn’t one of them. Beer and wild game do a body good!!
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:33 PM   #47
mrc
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I'm pretty sure you get more lead from the municipal water supply than you do from a lead bullet. Yes I agree lead is a hazard but to me it is a non issue in meat.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:47 PM   #48
dustoffer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 175gr7.62 View Post
I thinks its a solution looking for a problem. If you guys want to worry about, more power to you. It's not hurting anything to switch to all copper but I think you would be better off spending you time worrying about polar bears breaking into your South Texas deer cabin.
Yep--I'm 73 and no telling how much lead I have ingested.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:13 PM   #49
Cantcatch5
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It isn’t something I have ever really worried about. I do regret the thousands of hours I spent as a kid hunting with a pellet gun with my next shot pellet waiting in my mouth for a quick reload and the thousands of times I have clamped down or released a split shot by biting it while fishing.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:18 PM   #50
100%TtId
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Lead ain't harmless:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art.../#S2000p3title

Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests of cognitive performance that measure functions of the nervous system. Infants and young children are especially sensitive to even low levels of lead, which may contribute to behavioural problems, learning deficits and lowered IQ (Rubin & Strayer, 2008). Long-time exposure to lead has been reported to cause anaemia, along with an increase in blood pressure, and that mainly in old and middle aged people. Severe damage to the brain and kidneys, both in adults and children, were found to be linked to exposure to heavy lead levels resulting in death. In pregnant women, high exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. Chronic lead exposure was found to reduce fertility in males (Sokol & Berman, 1991). Blood disorders and damage to the nervous system have a high occurrence in lead toxicity.

However there is no threshold value below which lead exposure can be considered safe. It has been found to impair development and have harmful effects even at lower levels (Rossi, 2008; Barbosa et al., 200
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