Covering what is referred to as the ‘farmland zone’ of the state of Minnesota, wildlife officials are proposing a ban on certain types of lead ammunition on state-owned hunting lands in the zone covering the southern portion of the state.
Given the prairie-type swaths of land in the southern portion of the state, the DNR is arguing that the toxic ammunition needs to be restricted to reduce potentially harmful effects on the environment. In fact, numerous studies have confirmed that even though lead has been banned from hunting waterfowl in the state since 1987, there are in fact, birds that continue to die from ingesting lead shot found in the grasslands and potholes in the prairie region.
But it isn’t necessarily the environmental impacts of the lead shot that has caused the bulk of the commotion among some hunters in Minnesota. Much the same as most gun-related issues, the bulk of the concerns have risen out of second-amendment liberties and anti-hunting sentiment. While a large majority of hunters have happily moved over to steel shot, there are still those who state that due to a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating that lead is having a negative impact on upland bird populations. Others simply cite freedom of choice with regards to purchasing and using ammunition in the field.