Letter: Celebrate hunting heritage
Celebrate hunting heritage
The writer of “Getting the lead out during hunting season,” Mark Edwards, left out a few important details about eagles while painting hunters as villains because of their ammunition choices. He glossed over the fact that the bald eagle population is doing great. They are off the endangered species list and are reproducing with vigor.
Do birds eat strange things and do some get poisoned? Yes. But the truth is the sky is full of eagles and other raptors. And a recent survey of the eagle population by Iowa State University didn’t find elevated lead levels in Iowa eagles. When we are discussing the health of a species we need to study an entire species, not just the animals at rehab centers.
Besides the bald eagle falsities, the writer implies risks of lead poisoning from traditional ammunition. It’s extremely irresponsible to insinuate that hunters are endangering themselves or loved ones by eating harvested game. Our DNR stated there’s no evidence of anyone becoming ill, much less dying, from ingesting wild game harvested with traditional ammunition. That’s a misleading accusation, and I’m offended as an Iowa hunter to be accused of risking my and others’ health by feeding them game I’ve harvested.
Lastly, consider this: the Iowa Department of Health has tested blood lead levels of Iowa residents for 15 years and the “IDPH maintains that if lead in venison were a serious risk, it would have likely surfaced within extensive blood lead testing since 1992 with 500,000 youth under 6 and 25,000 adults having been screened.”
I hope people consider the facts before condemning our hunting heritage. Hunters contribute so much to our conservation efforts and Iowa’s economy. To find out more information, please visit www.huntingworksforia.com.
Matt Peters, Ames