O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

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grouse
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O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by grouse » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:33 am

https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/16/us/bald-eagles-dying-lead-poisoning-trnd/index.html

The above article contends that significant numbers of bald eagles are dying from lead poisoning after eating deer not recovered after being shot by hunters. I'm not calling the author a liar, but I'm a little puzzled. Most (if not all) of the deer I've shot with a rifle have had an exit hole, leaving no projectile in the deer. Is there so much fragmentation from an average shot that the bits of lead could kill an eagle? If there is, wouldn't that pose a risk to humans? How many deer are shot by a firearm with the bullet remaining in them (thus absorbing all of the round's energy) and then are not recovered? I know that it happens, but it seems like it should be fairly rare.

I'm perfectly willing to buy copper bullets to save eagles, but I wonder what is going on here. Could there be some other cause of the lead poisoning in eagles and they are just assuming it's caused by lead bullets? Something seems amiss to me.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by AJ01 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:18 am

You have to look at the site post...CNN....that's the Communist News Network :thumbup: !! If I was outside and it was snowing on me and CNN said it was snowing, I don't think I could believe them even then!! :wtf:
CNN is without a doubt THE WORST at telling the truth abut anything. An absolute wreck as a "news service"!!! :thumbdown:

Just me humble opinion.

And if that was the case, why didn't eagles die from eating non-retrieved ducks and geese????? :shock: Why all of a sudden is it deer? CNN is just after hunters in general.

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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by janesy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:29 pm

grouse wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:33 am
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/16/us/bald-eagles-dying-lead-poisoning-trnd/index.html

The above article contends that significant numbers of bald eagles are dying from lead poisoning after eating deer not recovered after being shot by hunters. I'm not calling the author a liar, but I'm a little puzzled. Most (if not all) of the deer I've shot with a rifle have had an exit hole, leaving no projectile in the deer. Is there so much fragmentation from an average shot that the bits of lead could kill an eagle? If there is, wouldn't that pose a risk to humans? How many deer are shot by a firearm with the bullet remaining in them (thus absorbing all of the round's energy) and then are not recovered? I know that it happens, but it seems like it should be fairly rare.

I'm perfectly willing to buy copper bullets to save eagles, but I wonder what is going on here. Could there be some other cause of the lead poisoning in eagles and they are just assuming it's caused by lead bullets? Something seems amiss to me.
It's questionable that they suggest deer would be the contact point. But not entirely impossible.
It has been a concern for Bald Eagles up north before, I cannot reference anything, just annocdotal conversatins I have had. The amount of deer laying dead from a gunshot wound, and them ingesting a bullet is probably few and far between compared to every single deer that eventually dies in the bush. Lead is shed on meat as a bullet passes through, but in most cases lead is only transfered that quickly to the bloodstream through particulate inhalation, lead ingested through the stomach is stored in organs and passed without being absorbed into the blood for the most part . Which dead animals don't do, and dying animals wouldn't have time to do.
However, gut hooked fish are plentiful, and often hooked using lead jigs. So the conversations I've had would suggest it would be far more likely for birds of prey to ingest lead from a fish carcass than a deer or moose carcass. Once a lead ball finds it way into a bird's stomach, simple gravity helps to keep it there and it doesn't always flush out. Which leads to slow lead poisoning.

Long and Short of it is that it's far more likely that a bird would consume a significant portion of lead from a single fish, than it would from consuming numerous deer carcasses. Of course that's not to say a bird couldn't stumble across a bullet or buckshot... Hunters are bad fisherman good. Stranger things have happened.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by xcaliber » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:56 pm

AJ01 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:18 am
You have to look at the site post...CNN....that's the Communist News Network :thumbup: !! If I was outside and it was snowing on me and CNN said it was snowing, I don't think I could believe them even then!! :wtf:
CNN is without a doubt THE WORST at telling the truth abut anything. An absolute wreck as a "news service"!!! :thumbdown:

Just me humble opinion.

And if that was the case, why didn't eagles die from eating non-retrieved ducks and geese????? :shock: Why all of a sudden is it deer? CNN is just after hunters in general.

AJ
Could not agree more!
I'm not an expert on wildlife, or even considered knowledgeable when discussing eagles in particular. I have seen maybe 20 in my entire life all over the U.S. I have always seen them near water, maybe because I like to hang around water, hunt near water, etc. Back to the point, they always seem to be eating fresh fish, like they just killed it fresh! That leads me to believe that rotting flesh, or even just cold fresh killed flesh is relatively unappealing to most eagles most of the time. I also think we would see a bigger problem from lead poisoning in coyote rich areas.

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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by Cardinalsfanforever » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:52 pm

we live in southern illinois, the few bald eagles we've seen have been near water, with the exception of a pair we saw last year while running traps with my son, feeding on a road kill deer, and my wife saw a pair about a mile from our house feeding on something in a field. A friend of mine has probably killed more deer than anyone I know, and told me that even tho there is an exit wound, he has found the shotgun slug about every time in the deer somewhere. Maybe just large fragments, I'm not sure, but in our state we cannot use rifles. I haven't seen much in the way of fragments using the newer copper jacketed slugs, both muzzleloaders and shotgun slugs, but they are mighty expensive. My grandson got his first deer this past year with the hornady slug, copper bullet, and she dropped in her tracks, no trailing. Not doubting the research, but the meat hasn't bothered us on several years, but the eagles may be more sensitive. just my 2 cents worth. :problem:
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by grouse » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:46 pm

I've done some research since I first posted this and I think it is likely that the article is true. Lead and lead core bullets do fragment a lot and the fragments remain in the carcass whether the bullet goes through or not. Bald eagles are notorious carrion feeders and are often seen feeding where vultures feed. They do relate heavily to water and I think Jansey's comment that they could be ingesting lead from jigs and sinkers may be correct. I have read many times that if you want to release a gut hooked fish you should cut the line rather than try to dislodge the hook. If that fish then struggles near the surface it's an attractive target for a bald eagle, and they can handle a pretty big fish.

Anyway, I'm going to buy some copper or copper alloy bullets and sight my rifles in with them. The few rounds that I shoot hunting every year won't add much cost and my family and friends won't risk swallowing any lead.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by IronNoggin » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:57 pm

The author is a known "sensationalist" working for CNN.
In her own words, her main aspiration is to "follow my dream of changing the world, one word at a time."

As a retired biologist, I suggest she is out to lunch regarding the causal agent for the lead poisoning in these birds.

But hey, it sells...

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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by grouse » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:36 pm

IronNoggin wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:57 pm
The author is a known "sensationalist" working for CNN.
In her own words, her main aspiration is to "follow my dream of changing the world, one word at a time."

As a retired biologist, I suggest she is out to lunch regarding the causal agent for the lead poisoning in these birds.

But hey, it sells...

Nog
I re-read the article after I read your post. Two things: The article almost exclusively consists of quotes from a Dr. Joni Shimp who is a veterinarian in North Carolina who started a raptor facility. I could find nothing controversial about her. I then researched Alaa Elassar who wrote the piece. I skimmed the first 10 of over 300 reports she has filed. I saw no sensationalism, just pretty much straight forward reporting. Where does the "known sensationalist" title come from?
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by janesy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:43 pm

grouse wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:46 pm
I've done some research since I first posted this and I think it is likely that the article is true. Lead and lead core bullets do fragment a lot and the fragments remain in the carcass whether the bullet goes through or not. Bald eagles are notorious carrion feeders and are often seen feeding where vultures feed. They do relate heavily to water and I think Jansey's comment that they could be ingesting lead from jigs and sinkers may be correct. I have read many times that if you want to release a gut hooked fish you should cut the line rather than try to dislodge the hook. If that fish then struggles near the surface it's an attractive target for a bald eagle, and they can handle a pretty big fish.

Anyway, I'm going to buy some copper or copper alloy bullets and sight my rifles in with them. The few rounds that I shoot hunting every year won't add much cost and my family and friends won't risk swallowing any lead.
No other way to out it, Bald Eagles are scavengers. They don't hunt, they are opportunistic, dead carcass or floundering/floating fish. They are also well known to steal other bird of prey catch.
The science doesn't add up, anyone with any sort of MSDS training knows that the fastest way to get lead poisoning is through inhalation. So in theory alone, a deer would need to be shot through the lungs, have lead in particulate form(which it is to some extent from a bullet passing through meat) deposited in the lungs, then have the animal breathe long enough to absorb the lead into the blood and distribute it throughout the body.
Otherwise, an animal who is shot with a bullet lodged into its body will not distribute lead throughout the body unless the bullet gets lodged in the stomach and in that same case the animal survives long enough to distribute the lead throughout its body, again won't happen.
The only way it would really be feasible is if the bird actually ate the bullet. Not that that's impossible, but the probability of all those birds finding unrecovered dead deer from bullet strikes and actually eating the bullet... Is a stretch. But enough birds finding themselves in the same situation enough to warrant that article?.. that is just simply too remote of a possibility to be believed unless it's in a PETA brochure.

For the point of your post, I have also been reading up on lead free bullets and some new modern designs are very very tempting. In fact I have been playing with the idea of a Nosler E-tip for my 7-08. They get great reviews, and I do agree altho the science doesn't back up my own concerns. If I don't have to handle it, all the better
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by janesy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:50 pm

Again, strictly annocdotal and I may be completely wrong. In fact the conversation I had last revolved around Bald Eagles eating jig heads. And the gentlemen replied... "Bald Eagles don't get lead poisoning from eating jig heads... They die from having a jig head stuck in their guts. "

Valid point haha. :lol:
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by grouse » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:01 pm

janesy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:50 pm
Again, strictly annocdotal and I may be completely wrong. In fact the conversation I had last revolved around Bald Eagles eating jig heads. And the gentlemen replied... "Bald Eagles don't get lead poisoning from eating jig heads... They die from having a jig head stuck in their guts. "

Valid point haha. :lol:
There are several studies conducted at major universities (vA & MN for example) concluding that bald eagles get lead poisoning by eating dead deer and gut piles containing lead fragments. The studies are easy to find. I was skeptical too, but I'm pretty well convinced now.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by Hi5 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:26 pm

It does make you wonder, considering how long lead projectiles have been used in rifles, why only now deer are killing eagles via lead poisoning? Heck, even copper jacketed bullets fired from smokeless powder rifles have been around for over a century. Are there now more big game animals? Are current hunters poorer marksmen, allowing more wounded deer to escape? Are there more gut piles now than previously? Are the most numerous carrion eaters--magpies and ravens-- also experiencing lead poisoning?

It's easy to leap frog from banning lead shot for water fowl hunting to banning lead projectiles for rifle hunting. I'm told that it is sound science that lead shot does accumulate on the bottom of marshland, and that ducks do ingest it. That doesn't make it good science to apply it to other forms of hunting.

I'm suspicious that this is anti hunting rhetoric posing as science.

Thanks for posting though. This is a good topic to be aware of, IF, I repeat IF,it is bogus science, and to be ready to confront it.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by janesy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:10 pm

grouse wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:01 pm
janesy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:50 pm
Again, strictly annocdotal and I may be completely wrong. In fact the conversation I had last revolved around Bald Eagles eating jig heads. And the gentlemen replied... "Bald Eagles don't get lead poisoning from eating jig heads... They die from having a jig head stuck in their guts. "

Valid point haha. :lol:
There are several studies conducted at major universities (vA & MN for example) concluding that bald eagles get lead poisoning by eating dead deer and gut piles containing lead fragments. The studies are easy to find. I was skeptical too, but I'm pretty well convinced now.
Got a link? Peaked my curiosity.
I suppose I haven't taken into consideration that a Bald Eagle may be effected by lead differently than other species.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by grouse » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:44 am

janesy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:10 pm
grouse wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:01 pm
janesy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:50 pm
Again, strictly annocdotal and I may be completely wrong. In fact the conversation I had last revolved around Bald Eagles eating jig heads. And the gentlemen replied... "Bald Eagles don't get lead poisoning from eating jig heads... They die from having a jig head stuck in their guts. "

Valid point haha. :lol:
There are several studies conducted at major universities (vA & MN for example) concluding that bald eagles get lead poisoning by eating dead deer and gut piles containing lead fragments. The studies are easy to find. I was skeptical too, but I'm pretty well convinced now.
Got a link? Peaked my curiosity.
I suppose I haven't taken into consideration that a Bald Eagle may be effected by lead differently than other species.
https://www.raptor.umn.edu/our-research/lead-poisoning

Here's the link to the University of Minnesota study. There are also studies from Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania and others that pretty much come to the same conclusion. No one is contending that this is threatening bald eagles with extinction like DDT did 60 years ago. It's just making a significant number of bald eagles sick and killing some. The timing of the incidents has been linked to deer seasons and the lead found is bullet lead. This has probably been going on for a long time but is more noticeable now because there re more eagles.
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Re: O/T. Eagles and lead poisoning

Post by janesy » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:48 pm

Thanks I'll have a read tonight :thumbup:
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