View Full Version : Article in the Billings Gazette

April 5, 2008, 11:00 PM
There was an atrticle recently in the Outdoor Life section of the Billings Gazette. The article stated that the state of North Dakota will no longer allow donations of venison and elk meat to state agencies and Rescue missions because of lead contamination of game meat. The article stated that lead tipped hunting bullets will sometimes fragment and contaminate meat far from the wound channel. The author who claims to be an avid deer hunter, states that high velocity soft tipped lead bullets can fragment into sand size particles and be dispersed far outside the wound channel, and this is a serious concern especially in children under six years of age. He said that he will not quit hunting, but that he will use Barnes bullets and has discarded all the venison in his freezer. I have planned to go black hunting soon, and was going to donate the meat to either the reservation or the rescue mission. I am only really interested in the hide as a blanket mount, and it is unlawful in the state of Montana to discard the flesh. I have to wonder if this is valid or are the opponents of hunting mounting another attack? It's no secret that antihunting/antigun organizations are trying to do away with anything having to do with firearms. I am interested to hear other opinions on this subject, so I thought I would see what other forum members and hunters thought about this issue.

Lawyer Daggit
April 5, 2008, 11:29 PM
I have never heard of this argument. I suppose it is possible, but if a bullet breaks up it tends to deposit lead along the wound channel or in that badly bruised meat surrounding it. I cannot see sand sized particles of lead having the momentum to travel far into tissue.

This meat is discarded because of damage. I consider it most unlikely that you would have shards of lead in tissue that you would not throw out because of this.

It would be interesting to confront this 'expert' and find out what bullets he has experience of this happening with.

Art Eatman
April 6, 2008, 09:09 AM
It's anti-hunting BS. There's no magic by which lead from any point in a dead animal is gonna get moved into the edible meat portion of that animal.

Nothing goes anywhere after the heart quits pumping blood through the body.

Say you have a bad hit into a shoulder, wounding the deer and it takes off running. Now, to begin with, you don't have powdered lead; you have fragments with sharp edges. For a fragment to move to the heart, it would have to escape snagging on a vein's wall. Then it would have to pass through a heart valve(s) and into the arterial system--again, without snagging.

Okay, this piece of lead magically gets into a hindquarter. How long must it be there before it does any contaminating? It's not particularly water soluble. And if taken into one's mouth when eating, it's 99.9% likely to be spat out. Just like #8 shot from a dove or quail.

Anti-hunting BS.

April 6, 2008, 09:18 AM
It's the BS the anti gun and anti hunting people used to ban lead bullets in any area of Kalifornia that might have condors - i.e. to protect the birds from death should they happen to dine on anything that had been shot with lead bullets.

There's no history of lead poisoning cases from people who hunt and eat the game on a regular basis.

The media plays right into the hands of the antis when they print this stuff as news and fact.

Art Eatman
April 6, 2008, 09:47 AM
Send a POLITE email. POLITE!


April 6, 2008, 07:36 PM
Same BS was in the morning paper. Some Doctor in ND Now they are throwing out all the ground venison in the food shelves. Unsafe to feed to the starving:confused:


April 6, 2008, 09:29 PM
As usual they did not ask those receivng the venison. You know, like informed consent.
If I was in the situtation of needing foodstuffs I would jump at the chance for meat instead of peanut butter and canned veggies. Nor would I hesitate to feed it to my young children.

I don't see PETA and the anti hunters inviting me and mine to their table, so threfore they can kiss my smelly behind.


April 7, 2008, 12:05 PM
From what I can see, this all started in CA by the "greenies" to protect the Condor. Selected areas of the state one can only use unleaded bullets, i.e., Barnes or the new nosler green bullets. The antis appear to have picked up on it as a way to make the sport more difficult to enjoy. In my opinion it is all BS...how many people do you know that have suffered from lead poisoning from a great meal of venison, pheasant, grouse, etc, etc., you get my point.

April 7, 2008, 12:30 PM
The press takes this stuff and runs with it. People read it and believe it. No one considers that there hasn't been any incident of lead related health issues from all of the 'unknowing' hunters who have eaten game killed with lead bullets for hundred of years.

Common sense seems to be a thing of the past when it comes to nonsense like this.

April 9, 2008, 03:24 PM
The doctor-a dermatologist- heads the organization to eliminate lead from bullets. I wonder what his stand on guns/hunting is?? His real agenda??

April 9, 2008, 03:26 PM
And now, to paraphrase Paul Harvey, for the REST of the story....

It turns out that Dr. Cornatzer is a dermatologist, not an epidemiologist. Plus, however coincidentally, he is on the board of The Peregrine Fund, an Idaho-based leading activist group that is working hard to ban use of lead projectiles for hunting. They've been very successful in California and their ever-vigilant representatives never fail to send me a pat on the back whenever I write about lead contamination in waterfowl, etc.

What's more is that Dr. Cornatzer is a presenter at the group's annual conference in May entitled "Ingestion of Spent Lead Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans" (www.peregrinefund.org/Lead_conference/).

Is it possible that Dr. Cornatzer's study was designed to instill panic and/or outrage over home-freezer contamination leading up to the conference?

The source of the health scare is at the very least suspect. Iowa has since backed off its ban on hunter-donated venison, after running a few tests of its own.

Even if the report is a false alarm -- and it certainly looks and smells like it from here -- consider legislative impact and potential fodder for anti-hunters: there are bills already introduced to expand scope of "cop-killer bans" to include rifle ammo, projectiles with plastic or ceramic cores ("green" ammo for ranges), and solid coppers (Barnes X, etc).

Get rid of those AND the leaded variety and what's left to hunt with?

April 9, 2008, 11:35 PM
I have to wonder... testing for bullet fragments is easy (X-ray). Testing for lead contamination is also easy. You'd think they'd be smart enough to think of seeing if this doctor is smoking crack or not BEFORE destroying good meat. Heck, even Minnesotans figured that out: Minnesota story (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/03/28/venison/?rsssource=1)*

* Not that I have anything against Minnesotans, they're just not Nebraskans. All the cool kids are Huskers. :)

May 17, 2008, 12:59 PM
According to a brief article in the June 2008 American Hunter, Iowa, after putting its venison donation on hold as a result of Cornatzer's "study" recently completed a scientific study and found that "donated venison poses no health risks".

As mentioned earlier, Dr. William Cornatzer is "an outspoken critic of lead ammo and a member of the Peregrine Fund, an organization supportive of California's ban on lead ammo."

According to the article, Cornatzer's "study" resulted in 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of donated venison being discarded in North Dakota. Venison that was slated to go to needy families. If I shoot a deer and leave the meat to rot, I would be charged with a crime. Dr. Cornatzer's politically motivated shenanigans resulted in the meat from many deer being discarded, to say nothing of the fact that the families who would have gotten the meat were essentially robbed of a high-protein food source.

JP Sarte
May 17, 2008, 05:30 PM
I won't say I have heard it all, but this is close.


May 19, 2008, 02:46 PM
I guess all those pioneer families died from lead poisoning....

And all those soldiers who ate buffalo meat...

I wonder if Dr. Cornatzer is familiar with the term "peer-reviewed research", or maybe he only thinks that applies to medical procedures.

I would think that using his MD credentials to lend credit to bad science could lead to censure by his licensing board.