Coming to a sporting store near you: non-lead ammunition displays

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September 29th, 2008

The next time you shop at Sportsman’s Warehouse, Cabela’s or Bass Pro stores in Arizona, look for the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s new non-lead ammunition displays.

The new displays, supported by partners like the Arizona Deer Association, Arizona Elk Society, Arizona Antelope Foundation, Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the sporting retailers, feature information on the performance benefits of non-lead ammunition, as well as the benefits to wildlife.

The department expects the displays to help hunters more quickly locate the non-lead ammunition they’re looking for while also increasing awareness of lead toxicity in wildlife, especially the endangered California condor.

Lead toxicity continues to be the greatest obstacle to achieving a self-sustaining population of condors in the state. Studies show that lead shot and bullet fragments found in game carcasses and gut piles are the main source of lead in condors.

Condors were added to the federal endangered species list in 1967. The condor is the largest flying land bird in North America. They can weigh up to 26 pounds and have a wingspan of up to 9 1/2 feet. Condors were first reintroduced in Arizona in 1996, and they can often be seen at the Grand Canyon during the spring and summer, and in the Vermilion Cliffs during the winter.

The department and its partners encourage hunters to continue their proud tradition of wildlife conservation by using non-lead ammunition in condor range (Game Management Units 9, 10, 12A/B, and 13A/B).

The department started offering free non-lead ammunition in 2005 to hunters drawn for hunts in the condor’s core range, which includes Game Management Units 12 A/B and 13A.  Surveys show that more than 80 percent of hunters took measures last year to reduce the amount of lead available to condors versus 60 percent in 2006.

One Response to “Coming to a sporting store near you: non-lead ammunition displays”

  1. Thank you for making it easier to purchase non-lead bullets. Lead poisoning is a serious problem for the critically endangered California condor and the use of this type of ammunition will go along way to save this species.

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