The key word is yet. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources stated on Monday that they will not be restricting lead ammunition in deer hunting or fishing tackle for the time being. They suggested this is an issue that should be brought up and ruled on in the state legislature.

According to an article in the Duluth News Tribune, the decision came after careful consideration. Environmentalists and conservation agencies pushed for the ban on lead in all ammunition and tackle because of the poisonous effects on waterfowl. Loons can die after ingesting lead sinkers used in fishing. Eagles, feeding on the carcuss of deer shot with lead ammunition can ingest lead fragments that can kill them. It's an obvious problem, and it has been known for years. When hunting waterfowl, lead is already banned and steel shot must be used. This petition would have extended the led ban to all ammunition used for hunting in Minnesota.

The Minnesota DNR won't make an immediate ban, and has suggested further study and discussion is made with the "stakeholders" in these matters. It's a delicate situation. Most can agree this would be a good thing for the environment, but the economic impact it could make on ammunition manufacturers and the overall impact of hunting is also considered. Cost for ammunition would rise, in a time where states across the country are working hard to keep hunter numbers up.

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Hunting and fishing participation is the biggest driving force behind protecting our natural resources and wildlife. The more people hunting, the better we can manage and ensure a long future for our wildlife from the funds and awareness that comes with being outdoors.

The writing is on the wall, lead ammunition ban will happen at some point. Just not at this time.


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