Hunt To Eat and the National Wildlife Federation are proud to collaborate on their Hunt Clean Initiative t-shirt, a design promoting the use of lead alternatives while in the field.
“The National Wildlife Federation is proud to team up with Hunt To Eat on this important collaboration. We know that once educated on a subject, we as hunters and anglers are very adept at altering our behaviors to improve outcomes for wildlife and their habitat - we have a long history of that,” said Aaron Kindle, Senior Manager, Western Sporting Campaigns for the National Wildlife Federation.
“That’s our hope here - to use both of our vast networks to spread the word and illustrate the effectiveness of lead alternatives. Walking around wearing these shirts is a great way to get that conversation started. And even better, we get to work with a great partner like Hunt To Eat who has made it their mission to champion good causes.”
Lead is toxic to all living organisms. But for many years, was the only option for hunters and anglers. This resulted in lead spreading to our waterways and across our landscapes, especially at popular hunting and fishing locations. Luckily today, there are effective alternatives to lead shot, bullets and fishing gear, such as steel, bismuth shot, and copper bullets.
Through the Hunt Clean Initiative, Hunt To Eat and the National Wildlife Federation are working together to spread the word about safe and effective alternatives to lead shot, bullets and tackle.
“Hunt To Eat is a community of hunters, anglers, conservationists, and people of the outdoors. We stand to support all wildlife and all people, and one major way we can take action in our beliefs is by using lead alternatives,” said Hunt To Eat Owner, Mahting Putelis.
The only definitive way to remove the risk of lead poisoning to humans and wildlife is to use lead-free ammunition.
Benefits of lead-alternatives include:
- Cost-effectiveness and proven performance of steel shot
- Better penetration and bullet retention of copper bullets
- Healthier game meat
- No poisoned non-target wildlife
- Better public perception
Best Practices for Shotguns and Upland Game Hunting:
- Switch to lead-free shot, which is readily available in all sizes
- If you aren’t sure, try steel shot which is proven and priced similarly to lead
- If you have a really old shot gun that could be damaged by steel shot, use a non-toxic shot when you can.
Best Practices for Rifles and Big Game Hunting:
- Control for bullet fragmentation as much as possible. Generally, rapid-expansion bullets such as lead fragment more than controlled expansion bullets such as copper, which cut down on wasted meat and reduce consumption of lead by humans and wildlife alike.
- Use careful shot selection. Bullets that strike the lethal area (heart/lungs) are less likely to fragment than bullets that strike more heavily boned areas. Copper bullets help because they penetrate better and the bullet holds together.
- Process your kill carefully. Trim liberally around wound channels, discarding meat that is bruised, discolored or contains hair, dirt or bone fragments. Although lead particles can be found up to 18 inches from the wound channel, most lead particles are located in the immediate vicinity of the channel and associated damaged tissues.
- Bury or pack out your lead-shot gut piles to avoid lead ingestion by non-target wildlife.
Best Practices for Fishing with Lead Tackle:
- Use lead-free lures, sinkers, and weights as much as possible.
- Tie flies using non-toxic alternatives for lead eyes, bead heads, and fly wire.
- Double check your fishing knots to reduce the likelihood that tackle will break off.
- Make sure to collect any damaged sinkers, weighted lures, etc. for proper disposal away from waterways.
It is safest to fish without lead tackle. Please call on manufacturers to offer lead-free alternatives.
15% of proceeds from sales of the Hunt Clean t-shirt will go directly to the National Wildlife Federation to support its mission of promoting a lead-free landscape for people and wildlife.
About Hunt To Eat
Hunt To Eat is an outdoor retail organization with a strong emphasis on conservation and hunting. Inspired by the expression, Will Hunt for Food, hunting and obtaining our own food is a source of pride and part of our lifestyle. Hunt To Eat seeks to unify a larger community of people dedicated to conserving the landscapes we need on this earth.
About the National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation, America's largest and most trusted conservation organization, works across the country to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. We've been on the front lines for wildlife since 1936, fighting for the conservation values that are woven into the fabric of our nation's collective heritage.
The National Wildlife Federation promotes the voluntary adoption of lead-free alternatives for hunters and anglers to ensure clean, lead-free landscapes that support healthy wildlife populations.
Check out http://nwf.org/outdoors to learn more about their work and how you can get involved.