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Three New Shot Types Approved for Waterfowl Hunters

Date Posted: August 27, 2004

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved three new non-toxic shot types B tungsten-bronze, a new formulation of tungsten-iron, and tungsten-tin-bismuth B for use in waterfowl hunting. The approval published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2004. This action brings to 10, the number of non-toxic shot types available to waterfowl hunters. "Protecting our waterfowl populations while ensuring waterfowl hunting opportunities are two things we take very seriously," said Service Director Steve Williams. AWith each new shot type approved, hunters will have a wider range of choices as they continue to play a key role in the conservation of waterfowl and its habitat." International Nontoxic Composites Corporation=s application of tungsten-bronze shot, ENVIRON-Metal Inc.=s application of tungsten-iron shot, and Victor Oltrogge=s application for tungsten-tin-bismuth shot have all been approved after being subjects to a rigorous testing protocol. Previously, hunters were allowed to use steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten- matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron and tungsten-iron-nickel-tin. Efforts to phase out lead shot began in the 1970s and a nationwide ban on lead shot for all waterfowl hunting was implemented in 1991. Canada instituted a complete ban in 1999. Waterfowl can ingest expended lead shot and many then die from lead poisoning. In addition, predators that consume waterfowl may ingest the shot. A study in the mid-1990s found that the nationwide ban in the United States on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has had remarkable success. Six years after the ban, researchers estimated a 64 percent reduction in lead poisoning deaths of surveyed mallard ducks and a 78 percent decline on ingestion of lead pellets.


Nicholas Throckmorton 202/208-5636


For more information on toxic and nontoxic shot, please visit the Service's Division of Migratory Bird Management web site NONTOXIC SHOT REGULATIONS FOR HUNTING WATERFOWL AND COOTS IN THE U.S.

Let's Get the Lead Out! (aka "Loons and Lead"). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Publication (pdf)

Lead and the Spectacled Eider. Endangered Species Bulletin. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (pdf)

Last updated: June 12, 2015