Federal Subsistence Board bans lead shot for hunting wildlife in Unit 18
The Federal Subsistence Board has approved a special action to prohibit the possession or use of shot shells containing size “T” lead shot or smaller for the taking of wildlife in Unit 18 in Western Alaska.
The use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has been banned since 1991, due to the high mortality of waterfowl related to ingestion of lead shot. However, it was not banned for the harvest of other wildlife under Federal subsistence regulations. Officials with the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge believe this ban would benefit waterfowl by helping to decrease the amount of lead shot in the environment.
Two species of eider that inhabit Unit 18, the spectacled eider and the Steller’s eider, are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Concerns over the effects of lead shot on these species resulted in this action. For additional information contact Chuck Ardizzone at (907) 786-3871.
I understand the rational behind this, but I don't think its an especially good call. A more gradual shift to a total ban would be better, so it gives people a chance to use up their lead shot as they transition to steel shot. If this is a major issue at all - I'm a bit unsure how they they estimate the amount of lead shot used in larger game to be anything but negligible. Most folks use centrefire rifles for large game, and furbearers etc. tend to get .22.