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Old May 29, 2013, 04:55 PM   #1
TxFlyFish
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How to be an environmentally friendly gun owner

I know that this is touchy subject and more often than not is associated with those who do not support our rights, but many of us in fact do care about the ranges the we frequent, our neighborhood, our cities etc The effects of our shooting activities may be just a *tiny* drop contributing to the overall pollution of our planet, but I think we could all be gun lovers and be sensible about our environment at the same time.

Any advice of how we as gun owners can be responsible caretakers of our environment? Please keep this in context of our gun ownership and shooting activities.
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Old May 29, 2013, 05:19 PM   #2
doofus47
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Ok, I'll bite. I shoot often enough on public land to have made some personal rules.
1. Pack it in/Pack it out. I bring my own targets. I take them home with me. I also try to pick up as much brass/steel as I've laid down. It might not be my casings that I'm removing, but if I fire off 200 rounds, I try to take at least 200 casings with me. If you use a magnet to pickup steel casings, it's ridiculously easy.
2. Do a little extra. Everyone once in a while, when I don't have a full dance card of pressing, need-to-test-fire projects, I will do my shooting and take an extra garbage bag with me to pick up other guys' abandoned targets, mostly the hard to bio-degrade stuff like plastic.
3. Don't start fires. Easier said than done, but I take an extra water botle during high summer just in case.

Basically, as with any environmental issue, taking care of what's your responsibility is the key. I don't sweat the lead that I leave in the hill side.
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Old May 29, 2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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How to be an environmentally friendly gun owner

The obvious starting point is pick up after yourself, including target material, non-reloadable brass, and shot shells. It sickens me to see the condition of some public shooting locations.
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Old May 29, 2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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In a larger context: cities, neighborhoods, and such often have clean-up days, sprucing up parks and playgrounds, hazardous waste days, and the like. Find out what's going on and who's sponsoring it, whether private organization or local gov., get some folks together from your range, club, or local gun shop, and volunteer as a group. Wear T-shirts from your organization. Help clean up the environment and change the image of gun owners at the same time.
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Old May 29, 2013, 06:42 PM   #5
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People who hunt are the biggest conservationists out there who actually DO things to save the environment - as opposed to those particular groups who do nothing but fund-raise and try to get laws passed for their political views.

If more folks took care of the environment like hunters do, we wouldn't have the issues we have today. For shooting ranges - reclaim the lead and reuse.

For folks shooting outside - CLEAN UP YOUR DAMN MESS! - It really bugged me when I lived in Carson City where there was an open public shooting range and the idiots who shot glass bottles, old TVs and computer monitors and we had shattered glass everywhere.......
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Old May 29, 2013, 07:22 PM   #6
BarryLee
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I suppose if you own or shoot at an outdoor range you could assure that storm water runoff is managed properly. I realize a lot of municipalities regulate this, but if your community does not you could be proactive.
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Old May 29, 2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
If more folks took care of the environment like hunters do, we wouldn't have the issues we have today.
That's something I wish more of the general public (and a lot of non-hunting gun owners) knew.

I treat the whole endeavor like I was taught to treat a campsite: leave it better off than you found it.
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Old May 29, 2013, 07:50 PM   #8
TxFlyFish
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We always take trash bags with us and the gals with us separate the recyclable stuff.

I know that we've discussing about peripherals and trash but how much impact does the production and expenditure of ammo have in the local environment? Are there certain ammo manufacturers that have more environmentally friendly manufacturing process
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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Since hunters know without good stewardship of the land they won't be able to hunt, they act accordingly to protect it. Look up Teddy Roosevelt in that regard. As much as I am not a fan of DU, they do buy land to protect versus PETA, WWF, SHARK, ALF, Sierra Club, etc.

Ammo manufacturing is a lot more friendly than any mass-produced food products - just between the water and fuels to process it, the food industry is a huge polluter, going backwards, the food growers who use massive amounts of chemicals start the process.
Another major polluter are golf courses - those greens don't stay green without fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides - all of which either run off into waterways or seep into ground water - use that sometime when someone tries to say our lead is a cause for major health issues
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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In addition to attending already organized clean ups as Vanya suggested, organize a clean up. The BLM, around here at least, was quite helpful in getting a dumpster out to one of the local shooting sites. We even had the option to have a BLM official out to close the area while the clean up was in progress. Just a handful of people and a few hours can make a huge difference.

I'd imagine at other public lands ranges/shooting areas, the local forestry/blm/fish&wildlife people can help arrange similar projects.
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Old May 30, 2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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I do most of my shooting on my private range. I restrict what can be used as targets, no glass, no cans, etc. and I'm solely responsible for keeping my range clean. Problem is I can only get to 400 yards.

I like to shoot farther so I go to an abandoned gravel pit on BLM land about two miles from the house where I can get past 2000 yards.

Other people also use the gravel pit. So when I go I take a plastic bucket and police up broken beer bottles and other trash left by other shooters.

I'm all for shooting on public land, but we need to police ourselves or we'll loose the ability to use this public land, same as camping, hiking, hunting and fishing on public land.

As said, many of use do a police call on a camping spot, picking up not only our trash but trash left by others before we leave. We need to do the same with the places we shoot.

Added to that, during the dry fire season we need to back off on using steel case bullets, they do cause sparks which do cause fires.
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Old May 30, 2013, 03:03 PM   #12
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In addition to all of the other fine advice, here's mine: Don't shoot glass bottles as targets. This one is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I know that glass shatters and looks cool when it's hit, but it also leaves broken glass around. I suspect that most of us know better than to go to the range barefoot, but if you are (for example) shooting out on someone else's land, you don't know if they'll be camping with their families in that area soon. Don't leave broken glass for their kids to step on.

Pick up your garbage. Pick up someone else's garbage if you have time. Be a good guest.
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Old May 30, 2013, 04:38 PM   #13
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I know that glass shatters and looks cool when it's hit,
So do ice cubes. A bit of food coloring or koolaide in ice cubes makes targets that shatter just like glass.

Only no fuss, no muss. It melts and there is no clean up.
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Old May 30, 2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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I like THAT idea, kraigwy!
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Old May 30, 2013, 04:51 PM   #15
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Ohhhhh... sorry guys... you need to learn to "think" (or not) like an environmentalist! Do you have any idea how toxic food coloring is!
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:17 PM   #16
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I was always taught to pick up shotgun shells after duck hunting on our local neighbor's ranches so the cows would not eat them and get hardware disease.
It is a rare occurrance but I have heard it does happen.
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Do you have any idea how toxic food coloring is!
Yep, but it's nowhere the killer that dihydrogen monoxide is.
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:52 PM   #18
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I'm 61 yrs old.My older brother was a shooter,and he bought a lot of magazines.Field and Stream,Sports Afield,Outdoor Life,Amercan Rifleman,Gun Digest,etc.

He left behind about a pickup load when he went to serve in the mid 60's.

I read,re-read,and digested all of them,along with a few books he left,like Ruark's "Old Man and the Boy.

These magazines dated back to the late 50's.

I can tell you the old authors like Ted Trueblood,John Jobson,Richard Stearns,Havilah Babcock,and many more contributed to a sportsmans culture of ethic that was based on stewardship of the earth.

Sportsmen and women,and farmers and ranchers have had a conscious relationship with air,land,water and wildlife long before it became fashionable.

Another organization that did a lot for teaching environmental responsibility was Scouting.

I appreciate the OP's interest...I think you may find Sportsman are already on board.Read Ruark's "Old Man and the Boy"...talking about the quail as a gentleman's bird ..

I get my hackles up when responsible stewardship turns into a political elite using an ideology to gain control.

There is a tremendous difference between stewardship and control.

Now,what behaviors help? Tread lightly,pack it in,pack it out,if the road is muddy,chewing through in 4wd might not be best.Remember your hot catalytic converter.

All the same stuff that birdwatchers,river trippers,etc and other non-shooting outdoor activities also need to do.

Is the OP dancing around lead?Just asking.

Lead is one of the earth's elements.It has always been here.I used to live in Aurora,Ill.I delivered papers on Galena street.I could find ice cube size chunks of metallic galena in the landscaping of the yards as I delivered papers.

If lead in the ground is a problem,better shut down Aurora ,Ill,and Galena,Ill,evacuate the people,and make it a superfund site.

Oh,the water...well,out West in the Rockies,a lot of Silver was found.Lead is closely associated with silver.Yup,the Earth put lead in the ground way upstream near the continental divide.

I do not need the EPA to regulate lead out of my ammunition and sinkers.
Metallic lead in or on the ground is naturally found.
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Old May 30, 2013, 09:54 PM   #19
TxFlyFish
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Very well said and thank you for the insight. And yes, I was concerned but not well informed on the implication of ammo pollution
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Old May 30, 2013, 11:06 PM   #20
Koda94
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Quote:
Any advice of how we as gun owners can be responsible caretakers of our environment?
Clean up and leave no trace.

I hate to say this but in my area some places are being closed to target shooting, not so much for the noise but from the trash left behind is really casting a very negative image of gun owners. I spend a lot of time outdoors and post on a local hiking forum and the subject regularly comes up about the trash shooters leave behind, and the damage done to trees. The trash and littering and ethics of many target shooters is pretty low in some places. I don't know what the solution is other than to get the word out and educate shooters what leave no trace really means. in the mean time, those of us with poor ethics are adding to out own demise. If you shoot on public land, be a steward to all, people are noticing.

here are some pictures from the local hiking forum in a thread specifically about target shooting.






on a positive side, there are a few places where shooting clubs are cleaning up...
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Old May 31, 2013, 12:52 AM   #21
FoghornLeghorn
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I used to shoot trap at a range in california where we were shooting over a creek onto a fenced in pasture where cattle were grazing.

I thought that was strange.
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Old May 31, 2013, 07:06 AM   #22
BigD_in_FL
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Koda - that tree stump looks like some of the 4X4 and 6X6 posts at the Carson City range I used to go to. These idiots would deliberately blast holes in the roof, try to shoot the posts in half (that might collapse the roof), as well as use slugs and buck to shoot the concrete block shooting stations - let alone all of the trash they were too lazy to take around the mountain to the dump. Thankfully, the City kept repairing the damage at that time. They even finally put a porta john there for shooters to use, and of course, some yahoos had to go shoot hat all to hell.

Between these actions and the actions of the ammo nazis, we are definitely our own worst enemies. If I was not a shoot and I saw that attitude and BS they pull, I would be voting for gun restrictions too.

We have a LONG way to go to convince soccer moms to be on our side and these dolts do not help at all
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