Fighting for your Rights

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Act now to Protect your Hunting

Rights in Minnesota!!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) is accepting comments regarding lead ammunition restrictions in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge – which includes part of Minnesota – until August 10. Even if you do not hunt in the Refuge, this issue is critical to your hunting rights. USFWS staff states that it has not heard from any hunters on the issue and it is critical that we speak up now!

Our bald eagle has made a tremendous comeback since the ’70s. According to the MN DNR, nesting eagles increased more than 20% between 2000 and 2005. Our eagles are so numerous that the DNR no longer feels the need to count them. Despite this comeback, the USFWS recently released a “study” regarding the role gut piles from hunter-harvested deer play in eagle lead exposure. The study confirms that lead ammunition has no population-level impact on our eagles – no surprise since hunters have used lead ammunition for more than 100 years, including the last 40 during which our eagle population has increased dramatically. Despite this fact, the study concludes that “offal piles from deer shot with lead ammunition can be a potential source of lead exposure for bald eagles.” Anti-hunting forces are using this conclusion as a rational to ban lead ammo.

Voice your opposition now to any restriction upon the use of lead ammunition by emailing the USFWS or writing to Wildlife Refuge Manager, 51 East 4th Street, Room 101, Winona, MN 55987.

Feel free to use the following talking points:

  • Restricting lead ammo is unnecessary. The USFWS’ own study demonstrates that it has no population-level impact upon our eagles. Lead ammunition has been used by hunters for more than a century and eagle populations are growing.
  • Non-lead ammunition is much more expensive and scarce than traditional ammunition. Requiring its use will increase the cost of hunting and shooting and decrease the number of hunters and shooters (if you doubt this, ask yourself why the Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity – two of the largest anti-hunting organizations are aggressively pushing a lead ammo ban).
  • Fewer hunters and shooters in the field means less revenue to fund conservation programs.
  • Even if lead ammunition had a population-level impact, restricting lead ammunition is overkill. Less restrictive steps such as covering gut-piles to hide them from scavenging eagles can be implemented without negatively impacting hunting and shooting.

We need to speak up now to prevent lead ammo restrictions from being imposed in Minnesota. Any restrictions imposed in the Refuge will undoubtedly be used as a rallying cry by anti-hunters for similar restrictions upon the rest of Minnesota. The deadline for comments is August 10. If you have any questions, please feel free to email at rburt@hallelandhabicht.com.

Ryan Burt
President

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