Cal Brink’s Jan. 27 commentary “Obama administration’s parting shot at hunters was gratuitous,” was intended to deceive. What other conclusion can one make when Brink refers to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Order 219, titled “Use of Nontoxic Ammunition and Fishing Tackle,” then calls it a ban on “traditional ammunition.” Nowhere in his piece did he use the word “lead,” as in lead ammunition.
Order 219 is for the “use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle to the fullest extent practicable for all activities” in our national parks, wildlife refuges and other public hunting areas under the management of the federal government. And the order gives the Fish and Wildlife Service five years to implement it, meaning it affects no one until 2022 (https://www.fws.gov/policy/do219.html). And this order doesn’t affect, at all, hunting on private property or state hunting areas, like the Mille Lacs Wildlife Management Area.
We know how harmful lead is on living things. It causes permanent, irreversible brain damage and damage to every other organ in the body. Even a speck of lead from a hunter’s bullet ingested by a bald eagle will prove fatal. Lead leaches into the ground and the water, polluting them. As such, we already outlaw lead for hunting ducks and geese. Yes, it is the cheapest ammunition available, but considering the cost of a hunting trip — transportation, lodging, meals, equipment and licensing — the additional cost of about $2.50 a round seems like a small price to pay for preserving the habitat our wild game depend on in the national areas we hold dear.
I, too, am one of Minnesota’s hunters. I am also an avid birder. I stopped using lead ammunition about five years ago, and I wish I had done it earlier.
President Obama didn’t take anyone’s guns — especially not hunting rifles. So, apparently, in a parting shot, some hunters had to find a way to justify their eight-year hatred.
Jeremy Powers, Fridley