A proposed ban on lead ammunition has set rivals across typically unified Minnesota hunting communities. Targeted to begin as early as 2018, wildlife officials plan to restrict certain shotgun pellets in over 400,000 acres across the state’s southern and western “farmland zones.” Those hunting ring-necked pheasant stand to be most affected, but turkey, grouse and small-game hunters are also alarmed.
Waterfowl hunters in Minnesota have been banned from using lead since 1987, but there appears to be no long-term impact. In fact, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press quotes Steve Merchant, a Department of Natural Resources wildlife manager, as saying, “We don’t have science that shows it negatively impacting on a population.”
This is the second time in less than a decade anti-hunting legislation—and Second Amendment freedoms—have come under attack in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The DNR proposed a similar argument in 2008, which failed after fierce opposition from the NRA.