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Non-lead hunting education program

Sundance the red-tiled hawk at the Oregon Zoo.

Addressing a critical conservation issue

Lead has long been recognized as a hazard to humans and wildlife. When eagles and other scavengers eat the remains of an animal shot with lead ammunition, lead can enter their bloodstream, causing potential long-term suffering and eventually, death. Studies have shown that the use of non-lead ammunition reduces lead exposure in wildlife.

Education and outreach

Through education and outreach, the Oregon Zoo aims to inspire hunters — traditionally some of the strongest supporters of wildlife and habitat conservation — to continue that legacy by choosing non-lead ammunition.

The Non-Lead Hunting Education Program launched in 2015, holding more than 40 events during its first year, including presentations, workshops, shooting demonstrations and educational displays at hunting shows.

Non-lead ammunition

Non-lead bullets perform as well as or better than lead. They expand as quickly, offer exceptional accuracy and hold one distinct advantage: They are healthier for humans and wildlife. A wide variety is available for different types of hunting.

Image with text that says monolithic hollow point and tipped bullets expand and penetrate deeply through vitals on big game and large predators. Frangible bullets fragment quickly for maximum shock and minimum pelt damage on small game and furbearers. Rim fire bullets are available in frangible and solid hollow point for small game and furbearers.

Switching to non-lead

Non-lead ammunition is available in stores and online. The bullets, identifiable by make and model, are not as dense as their lead counterparts and therefore longer. To best match your rifle's twist rate, experts recommend something 15-20% lighter than your lead ammunition.