Minnesota DNR restricting use of lead bullets for hunts at state parks

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it will require hunters to use lead-free, non-toxic ammunition for hunters on some state land this fall.

The restriction will cover state parks and recreation areas during special deer hunts or scientific and natural areas where hunting is allowed. Hunters will not be allowed to use toxic ammunition, mainly bullets, slugs, and other ammo containing lead. The restriction won't cover youth deer hunts in shotgun areas – as long as all parts of the harvested deer are removed.

The restriction is an effort to protect wildlife.

The DNR explains: "Requiring nontoxic ammunition will help protect species from lead poisoning — such as eagles, ravens, hawks and bobcats — that might ingest ammunition or feed on deer gut piles. Lead poisoning can cause neurologic impacts to wildlife, leading to injury and death. Additionally, use of nontoxic ammunition will protect the environment of these sites from lead leaching into the soil and waters via gut piles or spent ammunition remaining on site."

Hunters will still be permitted to use lead ammo in wildlife management areas and state forests. But in general, the DNR recommends hunters don't use toxic ammo.

For more information on nontoxic ammunition, you can click here.