Lead Ban Chronicles – California’s Yurok Tribe Takes The Right Approach

September 3, 2013

Lead Ban ChroncilesI know, everybody’s sick of hearing about the lead ammo ban, AB711, and condors.  Too bad.  Unless you’re perfectly happy with the likelihood of bans on the use of lead ammo (and some people certainly are), then it’s pretty important to stay informed.  Hell, even if you think you’re perfectly happy with it, it would do you good to be informed.  Some folks who’ve gone along so far may be in for some rude surprises, especially when the time comes to look outside of your own little bubble (“I don’t care.  I have lead-free ammo for my rifle, so let them ban away!”)

I’ve said, all along, that what this discussion needs is education and reasoned conversation.  What we’ve got, for the most part, has been political angling, propaganda, misinformation, and lots of knee-jerk reaction.  Hunters don’t trust environmentalists, and environmentalists don’t trust gun nuts.  Fear has been sown, deep and wide, and that harvest is going to last a long time. 

But if you look at the facts, at the real science, and (for many of us) at your own conscience, there’s a very good reason that we should be taking a closer look at the use of lead ammo.  There are enough unanswered questions there that any thinking person should at least consider the value of making the switch.  Some of those same unanswered questions should, at least, make any thinking person understand and respect the challenges to the switch. 

Education.  Outreach.  Awareness.

That’s the way to get the message out, and to come to some solutions that will serve everyone’s purposes.  And that’s the route the Yurok tribe is taking, according to this article from the Indian Country Today Media Network.

“When presented with accurate information and shown how well non-lead ammunition performs, most hunters decide to give it a try in an effort to clean up the food on their dinner table and the environment,” said Mike Palermo, who is a biologist for the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Program and an avid hunter. “We invite hunters to bring their lead ammunition and bullets for exchange, and their most difficult questions about lead and non-lead ammo to the free event.”…

… Although there have been pushes in the past to ban lead bullets, the Yurok does not support such legislation, preferring to trust that hunters, “if provided with the most accurate information about the ill-health effects of lead to their families and the food web, will voluntarily switch to non-toxic ammo,” the Yurok said.

 If you’re up that way…

The Yurok Tribe in California will sponsor a seminar, “Alternatives to Lead,” on Thursday September 5 at the Sequoia Park Zoo to educate the public about non-lead ammunition. The 30-minute presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period. The event will also include an ammo trade-in so hunters can ditch their lead ammunition and reloading bullets in return for copper ammunition, the tribe said in a press release.


Another Week Begins…

September 3, 2013

What?  Labor Day?  A holiday?  I didn’t even realize, until Friday, that it would be a long weekend.  But it was, and it was good.

Managed to get in a little (keyword, little) dove shooting out in the pasture.  It was great to get out and actually hunt something again.  I managed to scrape up enough birds for a good dinner.  They’ll be tasty!

Even better, Iggy the Wonder Dog performed his first “real” retrieve… which isn’t bad considering I’ve probably only shot seven or eight birds for him in his whole life.  It’s so cool to watch that little light click on in their doggie minds and they realize what you’re asking for.  Iggy was a proud pup when he came prancing up to me with the bird in his mouth.  Now if I can just find a chance (and a place) to get him out after some ducks this year…

Got some work done on a new deer stand as well.  There’s a spot up on the hillside where there are several big oaks clustered around.  I started clearing the cedar and understory out some to open up shooting lanes, and using the limbs to build a couple of ground blinds.  It’s kind of tough running the chainsaw on that steep ground, especially in 97 degree heat.  I finally stopped when I realized I was feeling chills.  That’s never a good sign.  I hope to get back up there and finish up this weekend.

In a couple of weeks, the archery season will open up, and then the madness will set in around here.  The out-of-towners will pour in, all the hunting camps around me will get active, and I’ll start spending a lot more weekends over at the smokehouse with the skinning knife in hand.  I’m sort of looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. 

Labor Day… the kickoff to the busiest time of the year!

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