The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made available a preview of a new study regarding traditional ammunition and mortality of bald eagles in the upper Midwest that has led to news stories misleading the public into thinking the use of traditional ammunition containing lead components is having a population-level impact on bald eagles.
That is not the case.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, points out that no conclusive evidence exists that shows hunters and target shooters using traditional ammunition have caused a decline in the population of raptors. Rather, raptor populations, including the population of bald eagles, continue to steadily rise—a welcome and positive trend that coincides with the longstanding, widespread use of traditional ammunition by sportsmen across America.
NSSF points out that traditional ammunition—the ammunition source that some demonize—is an irreplaceable source of wildlife conservation funding. For more than 80 years, an 11 percent excise tax that manufacturers collect and pay on ammunition sales has supported conservation and habitat-preservation efforts, providing more than $207 million