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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #1
Lead poisoning killing California condors

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Updated: June 31, 2003 7:04 AM

Sacramento, California - Two new studies say lead poisoning is killing California's condors, apparently thanks to wildlife killed by hunters and eaten by the giant birds.

The problem is endangering efforts to rescue Condors from near extinction.

The studies are prompting new voluntary guidelines for hunters. They should remove or bury carcasses; or remove bullets and surrounding impacted areas; or use lead-free ammunition.

The wild population dropped to just 15 before a captive-breeding program brought it back to 221.

Eighty-two condors now inhabit the California mountains bordering the San Joaquin Valley, northern Arizona and southern Utah and northern Baja California.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

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It's too bad that the Condor population has dwindled to this level. I can remember seeing free flying Condors as recently as the mid '70s. There are many factors that resulted in this shameful decline of this magnificent scavenger, not the least of which is lead poisoning. Many of them were injured or killed from contact with power lines. Marker balls have proven to be of help in this situation. Also, predator poisoning, the use of DDT and other chemical products furthered the damage.
Many Condors were/are targets of ignorant, indescriminate shootings by "hunters". There are a lot of people that use the mountains around the LA area as "shooting ranges". A big black bird is just another thing to blast away at. Most of them probably shouldn't even own guns. At least that's the way I see it. We can only hope that the program isn't too little, too late.
 

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I meant an innovative new strategy to make shooting more expensive, more difficult, and therefore less popular. Lead poisoning indeed. How long do you think it will take for the anti gun groups to sue to make lead free ammunition mandatory within the environments of endangered species?
 

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Rant Mode ON, read with caution. Sorta.

You know, I don't doubt that lead in the invirnment has its effects. But I am getting dXXn tired of hunters and shooters and gun owners being blamed for every animal that becomes extinct.
Shooters and hunters have contributed more money for animal and game conservation through the Pitman Robertson tax than every other batch of tree huggers and bambiests combined.

It happens! It's nature! Animals have become extinct before man ever walked this planet, and will continue to become extinct long after man is gone!

The mountains are being closed to recreational shooters. The gun ranges are being forced out of business because there is lead in the ground.
Ammo is becoming "lead free". What the heck good is it?
Remove the bullets from carcases or bury them. Bravo Sierra!
Where are we shooters to go for recreation, nudie bars???
I'm sorry for the rant, but this lead thing is another method to destroy shooting. Bullets have lead in them, have for centurys. Otherwise they don't have enough mass to be usefull.
Tire shops can't sell lead wheelweights to bullet casters anymore, gotta sell it to approved recyclers.
Guns without lead will become useless pretty quick.
They only took lead out of gasoline 13 years ago. There's still a lot of it in the ground arround the hiways.

The encroachment of man on the habitat of the Condor probably has more to do with their demise than all the hunters and shooters combined since the turn of the previous century. Those birds require a huge range to hunt in. With so many citys and towns dotting the land scape, it's just not there anymore.

Yes there are idiots who own guns, and there are idiots that don't own guns, but that's life, deal with it.

I think these idiotic enviromentalists are trying to force us into living in a sterile world.
Why not just legislate mankind into a mass of servile drones?
I think that is where were headed.

I hope I don't live that long.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #6
Just how many animals with lead bullets in them are being eaten by the Condors?

Are we talking about prairie dogs or full grown game animals?

Can't imagine many big game animals being left to rot so a Condor could eat them.

Would be nice to get some further info on the study to see what drove their conclusions and what animals were being consumed by the Condors.


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Hi: Gents:
This one's been around for a while. The late Bob Milek took a shot at this theory in his Guns&Ammo column, so it must be 10 years ago. There's lots of politically correct science out there, and it's not getting any better. http://www.junkscience.com/

Bye
Jack
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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A bunch of crap. If lead in deer carcasses killed animals, millions of coyotes in Texas would be dead by now, and countless buzzards also. Good grief what else is going to clean up the mess? Heck I'd be responsible for quite a number myself, I've left a few gut piles here and there. Bury it.... what a laugh. Most of the places I hunt, you couldn't dig a hole without the use of dynamite.

Tell me what hunter hasn't bit down on a piece of a bullet or shot once in a while.

Yes an innovative strategy to blame hunters for everything.
 

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Hey thanks for the website Jack.

And may I say good d**n riddance to the Californai (spelled that way on purpose) Condor. Its called survival of the fittest.
Did anyone stop to ask the condor if it would like to be inbred in a laboratory with its family, I think not. They have a shallow genetic pool, now you know why they were flying into power lines.

We had the same problem with magpies eating poisoned coyotes years ago. Now there are millions of magpies, ugly, noisy, pieces of crap, and hundreds of thousands of coyotes, mangy, calf killing, pieces of crap. Get the drift yet. I know that they keep the natural balance of things and I don't shoot magpies but enjoy shooting coyotes, but **** maybe we should not have wasted millions of dollars to save a species that was going to die anyway. Wouldn't it be nice if they used some (un) common sense once in a while?
 

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check this out

Stumbled across this forum, interesting thread and all the opinions on this complex issue seem to be represented here. One thing to remember: condors have entirely different physiology than, say, coyotes or bears. They have strong digestive "juices" that enable them to eat carrion and also make them extremely susceptible to lead toxicity.

I belong to an organization of hunters/biologists-YES! We do get along!- called Project Gutpile. We are working to educate other hunters about the benefits of shooting lead alternative ammunition. I've had good luck with Barnes bullets in my .270 and been using them for several years now.

If you're interested in learning more, and not afraid to let go of your out-dated loads, please check out our website at:
http://www.projectgutpile.org
 

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Why is it that some hunters get violently defensive at the mere mention of phasing out lead? Especially when good alternatives DO exist.

My feeling is that, when you have a situation like in CA where the condor is obviously being impacted by spent lead, isn't it better to let us hunters take the initiative to switch to copper (or TTB someday), rather than waiting for the feds to come down on us with area restrictions and bans that keep us out of condor habitat for good? I, for one, am not going to sit here and argue that lead is safe for the environment. I mean, we put unleaded gas in our cars, we wont let our kids go to schools that were painted with leaded paint, right?

And as far as extinctions go....yeah, extinctions happen. But right now, the world's species face an unprecedented crisis and the rate at which they are being lost is alarming, even when compared with the extinction episode of 70 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared. No-one knows exactly what the current extinction rate is, but recent calculations by leading scientists put it at between 1,000 and 10,000 times greater than it would naturally be. The rate of extinction also appears to be increasing, thanks to us humans. So when someone says "extinctions happen, blah blah blah", I wonder what they'll say when we are at the top of the list.

And as far as the "wasted tax dollars" arguement goes....the average CA taxpayer spends on the order of 10 cents/year to keep condors flying in our backcountry. They can find that in theirr couch, and thats less than 1/2 of what they spend annually to fund military bands. And how much do we spend each time a failed missle launch lands in the ocean?? Small investment to be able to see north Americas largets land bird when you're hunting Zones A and D-13.

http://projectgutpile.org
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Don't worry, the area restrictions and bans will happen anyway with or without hunters taking the initiative. It's what the government does best.

I would think with the wonderful forest management practices by the very same government, the Condors have a better chance of dying out from the blazing infernos that are occurring constantly. Hunters are being restricted already by the constant closing off of roads and areas designated wilderness and state fish and wildlife agencies being tied up in court by the anti-hunting groups over hunting seasons, etc.

Save the environmentalist blather about extinctions please. By your tone, it indicates you have an issue with humans to begin with. Maybe if we policed our borders and stopped the massive invasion of illegal aliens we could keep the population somewhat under control and thereby prevent the constant habitat encroachment due to ever expanding cities and residential areas and the pollution that goes along with it.

I've no doubt it's a worthy cause your working on here but the environmentalist talking points are getting a little old. Your real agenda is showing in your diatribe.

You want to use non-lead bullets fine, that's your decision. I'll make my own in that area, thank you and so will everybody else until our noble government makes the decision for us as they usually do anyway with or without our input. Steel shot ring a bell? Let them restrict bullet material in those specific areas where needed and be done with it. To work this into a blanket requirement for all hunters everywhere is just silly and junk science at it's best and completely unnecessary.

Regards
 

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Hmmm,
I dont see the tone in himmountainpaul's post that you see, Contender.
I think that at worst, he's being not totally realistic. I, as a hunter, often use the argument of 'species management' when defending my rights to hunt. By the same token, If a game species isnt at a huntable density, population-wise, then Im the first to say, stop hunting them or do something to help them, for a while, at least.
I reload a little and totally understand the defense of your hobby, its a right, to all of you. The real problem exists because of the morons that snipe away at all the wildlife, and those morons who cant track a wounded animal. I would be the first to get annoyed by another govt mandate.
-still; If the science is sound, then its hard for me to still feign ignorance. The jury's still out for me.
Ill check out that site of yours, paul. sounds interesting. You work in govt?
olyeller
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, maybe you should read it again.

Mass extictions, it's all our fault (humans), the "sky is falling" tone. That is an agenda.

As I also stated at the end of my post, Simply restrict those areas where necessary as far as bullet material and be done with it.

To turn it into a crusade for ALL hunters to change from lead projectiles is silly and beyond all reasoning and practicality.

I also realize the need for hunting regulations and closed seasons and protected species. Any true conservationist would.

As far as outlaws, that has nothing to do with legitimate hunting activity except that it should be reported when observed to law enforcement.

The same goes for sloppy hunters who can't or won't track animals or shoot anything that moves.

I've nothing against this gentleman except his contention that lead projectiles should be phased out for hunting. Call it unrealistic, naive or what have you.


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Well, I read his posts again. He was wrong to say that we were shooting "outdated loads". So I agree that it would be crazy to phase out lead.
I also know that humans arent helping the extinctions, that is clear. What do you suppose is his agenda? I mean, he must be for hunting, and he has to be pro guns, right?

I did go to that website, and I stopped reading it when I got to where Senators Boxer and Feinstein said their 2 cents. One thing for sure is they wont get the support of any shooters or hunters with those jokers names on board with them. So maybe that is a clue to the "agenda".

Ive also had the chance to read and study some bad aspects of our environment, and, unfortunately, much of it IS gloomy.

I dont want anyone to mistake me for an environmentalist, cause all I really want to do is live free and die old, without any impedance, govt. or otherwise. Im also an NRA lifer.
so dont think Im defending his position, Im not.
respectfully, olyeller
 

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His agenda, IMO, is appear to be pro hunting and pro gun while pushing for restrictions that will make hunting and shooting more expensive and difficult. This will drive more shooters from the sport and make the ultimate goal, the elimination of personal weapons, more achievable.

And if that is not his agenda, then it is where his poorly reasoned philosophy will lead. Either way, he is no friend of our cause.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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There's 2 sides to every issue, of course.

Don't know if I could afford to continue shooting if they banned lead in all ammo.

There has been a concerted effort to ban lead and it's use, just as mercury use. A gun range in Tucson was successfully shut down by the enviro's due to the amount of lead on the ground. Lead, being a natural mineral here in the west, would be very difficult to eliminate. I know they (enviro's) state that isn't the problem, it's the concentrated areas, plus the contaminated animal and bird carcasses that are the real danger. It most probably is - the real question is to what degree? DDT almost wiped out the birds of prey back in the 50's and 60's until that compound was banned. We've learned to live without DDT, but the insects seem to be winning the battle of evolution, now.

If someone could develop an economical alternative for lead that was just as efficient and wouldn't damage the firearms it was used in, then I'd certainly consider using it. Until then, I'll continue chunking the present ones downrange.
 
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