The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently approved four new non-toxic shot types for waterfowl and coot hunting in the United States.
"The Service's approval of these four shot types demonstrates our determination to make it easier for waterfowl hunters to comply with the restrictions on lead shot. Hunters now have a wider choice of shot types and this will continue to lessen the exposure of waterfowl to lead," said Service Director H. Dale Hall. "The Service appreciates the efforts of the companies that have developed alternatives to lead shot."
The approved shot types are:
Waterfowl can ingest expended lead shot and die from lead poisoning. 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 followed with a complete ban in 1999.
A study in the mid-1990s suggested 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 in lead pellet ingestion. The study concluded the restrictions on lead shot has prevented the deaths of thousands of waterfowl.
With the approval of these new shot types, the list of approved shot types for waterfowl hunting now includes bismuth-tin, iron (steel), iron-tungsten (2 types), iron-tungsten-nickel, tungsten-bronze, tungsten-iron-copper-nickel, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-tin-iron, tungsten-tin-bismuth, and tungsten-tin-iron-nickel.
For more information on toxic and nontoxic shot, please see http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/issues/nontoxic_shot/nontoxic.htm.