The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Local

Hunters asked to go unleaded at wildlife refuge

Bald eagles like these at Lock and Dam 13 near Fulton are at risk of poisoning from eating lead fragments in deer remains. Hunters are being asked to use lead-free ammunition. Photo submitted by Ed Britton.
Bald eagles like these at Lock and Dam 13 near Fulton are at risk of poisoning from eating lead fragments in deer remains. Hunters are being asked to use lead-free ammunition. Photo submitted by Ed Britton.

THOMSON – Staff at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge encourage hunters to use copper and other lead-free ammunition and help protect bald eagles.

According to a news release, biologists at the site investigated the deaths of 58 bald eagles. Some of the dead birds had eaten lead in amounts many times above the clinical lethal level. Lead can cause muscle paralysis, blindness, and inability to fly in eagles.

Further research found eagles often ate ammunition fragments containing lead from piles of deer remains left behind by hunters. Copper ammunition will expand, rather than fragment, upon impact, Britton wrote.

Call the refuge at 815-273-2732, ext. 111, for more information.

Loading more