Non-Lead Ammunition Project

Get the lead out!

Swainson's Hawk_MercedNWR-CA_LAH_0048Lead ammunition is a significant cause of lead poisoning in wild birds, especially waterfowl and raptors:

  • Humans face a potential risk of exposure to lead associated with eating wild game killed with lead bullets (CPW “Get the Lead Out”/CDPHE 2008).
  • Lead has detrimental effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds.
  • Eagles frequently scavenge carcasses of deer, elk and other wildlife that may harbor lead or lead fragments.
  • Eagles with lead poisoning may exhibit loss of balance, gasping, tremors and impaired ability to fly.
  • Emaciation follows and death can occur within 2 to 3 weeks after lead ingestion.
  • Most hunters care about the health of Colorado’s eagles and other wildlife.
  • Non-lead bullets are available at most shooting supply stores.

Aiken and Arkansas Valley Audubon purchased over $500 worth of non-lead ammunition and distributed them to Colorado big game (e.g., elk, deer, pronghorn) hunters last fall. This was a joint grant funded by the Audubon Colorado Council with the goal educating hunters on the importance of using non-lead ammunition while hunting big game. Vouchers were distributed to potential hunters in Pueblo and El Paso county for redemption at Sportsman’s Warehouse and Arctic Shooting Supply Company. Surveys were also distributed along with the ammunition to gauge user satisfaction with hunting with non-lead ammunition. For more information on hunting with non-lead ammunition visit the links below.