Get the Lead Out, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Tells Hunters

Spring TurkeysPress release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding hunters that nonlead ammunition is now required statewide when hunting wild turkeys with a shotgun. The upcoming 2017 spring wild turkey season will be the first hunting season with significant participation for which nonlead shot will be required statewide.

These regulations apply both to public and private lands (except for licensed game bird clubs), including all national forests, Bureau of Land Management properties and CDFW lands. Private landowners or anyone authorized to hunt on private land must also comply with these regulations.

California’s 2017 general spring wild turkey season opens statewide on March 25 and extends through April 30. The archery-only season will follow immediately afterward, running from May 1-14. Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before the opener (March 18 and 19), and the two weeks following the general season (May 1-14), using shotguns or any other legal method of take.

Hunters are encouraged to practice shooting with nonlead shot in order to ensure their shotguns are patterned appropriately before heading into the field.

For more information on nonlead ammunition regulations and the implementation process, please



  • I live in California and I will never stop using lead ammunition.

    • Maybe keep that to yourself Einstein

    • I’ll be looking for your name in Loco “BOOKED”. 🙂

    • Sincere question: why insist on lead ammo? I’m not a hunter; I really don’t know what advantages lead bullets have over non-lead. I am familiar with what happened with California condors because of lead bullets in their food supply, though. Are the long-term effects of lead ammo in scavenger species like the condor not a concern to you?

      • Lead shot in a shotgun isn’t a huge difference”unless you shoot it at a steel plate” but night and day in a rifle

        • Hahahahahahaha… Lead shot killed the entire species! Yet, turkey vultures and ravens thrive. Either way, Cali Condors…. We dont need em.. Id rather bring back velociraptors.

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        When it comes to lead shot, it is softer obviously than steel and doesn’t tear up the insides of the barrels in older shotguns. I had an antique 16g that I had to give to an out of state cousin because it cannot handle steel buckshot. The barrel will eventually blow apart as it isn’t the ultra-hardened metals that are currently used in long guns. Aside from any other argument, steel shot can destroy the barrels of older guns.

    • It’s about making bullets more expensive and dissuade people from using fire arms. I will always use lead in some amount because you can MAKE YOUR OWN bullets. Non-lead ammo isn’t available in many calibers and is many times more expensive than lead ammo. My lead free ammo for my7mm STW is 125$ for a box of 20. Where is the “get the lead out” campaign in the fishing industry?

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        It’s not a gun control thing, calm down. Lead leeches into the ground and even you after you clean a bird of buckshot. Steel doesn’t. Also, the impact of lead sinkers and weights in fishing is microscopic compared to hunting. They also get reused. A box of BB sinkers will last me a year, while 3 shotgun shells will last what? 10 seconds? Also, you can buy steel weights. Or if so inclined, make your own in your garage. Just don’t burn your house down. And technically, you can buy small hobby smelters and make your own lead weights.

    • Oh, please, Kym, report this murderous moron to CDFW. S/he’s declaring criminal action and criminal intent.

      • Well, [she said dryly] as I know neither the gender of Capitalist Pig nor any other identifying marks I don’t think law enforcement would be interested.

    • Lead bullets, not to long ago the liberals in congress wanted to ban lead bullets from the military, all army , navy , air force were to use non lead,
      I believe their reasoning was in a war the decomposing bodies of dead people would not pollute the environment, and the children of their dead parents would feel better that they were doing their part to keep the earth clean. This is how enormously stupid Liberal thought has become.

  • Why I’m not the one violating the constitutional rights The law of the land the final law of the land of gun owning Californians. Just like I will continue to drive my 1996 Peterbilt on the road even though it is illegal or at least considered illegal by the unelected California air resources Board unreasonable environmental nutcase radicals . because it’s not a 2010 or newer they are the ones violating the law violating my constitutional rights The California air resources Board is literally taking food out of my family’s mouth is putting me out of business along with hundreds of other families in California all based on phony science just like this silly California lead ban for hunting . I say this to all you liberal goofballs in California you are going to lose California just like you lost the nation just keep up this radical silly fear mongering global climate warming BS going you will lose people aren’t buying it anymore .

    • Pig says it all..using lead has nothing to do with being on any political side of the fense.
      Lead is passed on will eat it because as you said you are a pig. But most of us are not interested in lead in our birds, wildlife, and food..much like mercury in our fish.
      Most hunters enjoy the reason they hunt..which is food…the shoot it -eat it rule applies. Most have given up lead shot more then a decade ago.

      Being a pig does not make you right.

      • I thank you for giving up lead shot, I wish everyone felt this way! Lead poisoning is horrible to those animals who die from eating lead ridden carcasses. Seriously…thanx! More people need to act as you have!

      • Capitalist pig probably ate it’s shate of lead already, and it’s brain function has been seriously impaired

  • Leaden lethality launchers lace likable lifeforms’ larders, leaving limitless losses. Limit lawlessness, lest legal lockups loom. Litigation leads lasting lugubrious lamentations.

  • Lead is being banned because the touchy feelies are shipping condors to Humboldt County and Del Norte County for reintroduction. Well, my first response is let’m. If its 9′ across it’ll be easier to bring down with a copper rifle bullet. More the merrier.
    The gaggle of loonies in the FISH AND GAME (SCREW THE “WILDLIFE” NAME!) have their personal agenda-which contradicts all hunters’ rights. Who has the right to steal 100,000’s of hunters moral and legal right to harvest the game provided by God.

    Its the atheists in Sacramento and the liberalists who “kiss leaves and hug trees”.

    • I am an atheist. Perhaps you can explain to me why you are so contemptuous of your god’s magnificent creation. God is supposed to be hard to know, but I doubt he made the condor so that it could be casually and cruelly poisoned into extinction in pursuit of other game. Sounds more like something the ‘other guy’ would be into.

      • Ha! Im an atheist. Now let me tell you about god. Nice form Esme. Lemme guess the lineage of your name. Hey Es Me, Im a grotesquely overweight HSU perma-student who is on 1 MAO inhibitor, 2 Statins, 3 diuretics, 4 government programs, and 5% interest on 6 pounds of a bullcrud 7year B.A.

    • As trained ecologist who has worked with fish and wildlife, I’d say their policies are deeply skewed toward hunters interest. Im also a hunter and gave up lead shot over 10 years ago.

  • This ban has nothing to do with protecting anyone or anything, and is all about control of ammunition, firearms, and furthering a hostile agenda of population disarmament. Once the state government can ban one type of ammunition component, what other legal fictions will be used to ban other components? Perhaps copper, bismuth, or tungsten would be next.

    Any ban of components drives up the cost of ammunition, and reduces its availability, while providing state revenue enforcers with yet another excuse to persecute and extract money from the citizens. Eventually, the goal is to ban enough components, metals, shot types, etc. so that ammunition is simply unavailable to most people for hunting purposes, or any purpose really.

    This is a practice of incrementalism, a backdoor effort to disarm the population of the state. Once the citizens are disarmed, the tyranny of the state can begin in full force, up to and including imprisoning and murdering any and all people it considers to be political enemies. This law, and many others like it, must be opposed and removed to in order to restore some semblance of personal freedom to this Slave Combine controlled region known as California.

    “An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject.”

    • Do you realize that you sound like a paranoid delusional? Is this a joke?

    • Absolutely. Well said!
      The hypocrisy is astounding. The unconstitutional agencies & depts have stock piled millions of rounds of ammo. Even a few of the constitutional depts have, also.
      Are these ammo dumps non-leaded?
      Why are unconstitutional agencies manning their own armies? Standing armies, on American soil, is in itself unconstitutional. Turning the BLM, Fish & Wildlife, Epa, Fda (got milk?), into ARMIES against the people has already happened.
      What’s next? Postal swat teams to raid signature required parcels?
      What am I going off about, you ask?
      When the people are disarmed, only the tyrants will have arms. week 1.
      Week 2,

    • Exactly right – incrementalism – aka NUDGE – it’s how Democrats get things done these days. Copper rifle ammunition is twice as expensive as lead ammo. I just bought a box of Hornady ammo with a premium lead bullet (Interlock) for $17, the same load with a basic copper bullet is $34. When the feds mandated non lead ammo for waterfowl everyone had to switch to steel shot. Steel pellets do not deform/flatten when they hit a duck and over penetrates. This greatly reduced the lethality and resulted in birds that flew off, weren’t recovered by the hunter and died anyway. The ammunition industry, in response to hunters complaints, came out with shot formulas containing tungsten in odd pellet shapes to make it more lethal. Bottom line was a box of lead shotgun shells (25 shells) that $10-$12 cost $50-$75 when they’re tungsten (Black Cloud, etc). When you’re duck or goose hunting you go through quite a bit of ammo in a season. I finally gave up waterfowl hunting, watching birds you hit just fly off and the expensive ammo along with all the other outlay (decoys, calls, specialized gear, refuge fees) made it cost prohibitive for me. Now only the rich folk can afford it in California.

      The California Fish & Wildlife Wardens publically OPPOSED the lead ban for precisely the same reasons. You will note that lead shot is currently still authorized for small upland game (dove & quail) since quail hunters are generally a more upscale bunch (lotsa lawyers, judges & successful business types) who have clout. When 2019 gets here (and THEY have to complythey will be shooting bismuth loads in their $10K Purdeys without batting an eye. As for me I’ll hunt quail this year and next (with lead shot) with my old Browning but will stop in 2019 since my shotgun is too old, can’t use steel shot and I can’t afford $75 bucks a box for bismuth shells. In addition – biting into a lead pellet in a quail breast – the pellet will deform and you just spit it out, a steel pellet can damage a tooth or filling, no bueno.

      The whole Condor argument is a red herring. Studies have shown no change in their lead levels since the Condor Zone was established in California. In fact, the NSSF sued Fish & Wildlife when emails obtained under the freedom of information act showed they intentionally withheld publishing their 2013 study until AFTER the legislature voted on the lead ban. The study was relevant to the issue but they kept it to themselves because the Democrats wanted it to pass. Talk about stacking the deck.

      In addition, higher ammunition prices translate into higher CA tax revenues since hunter pay an additional 11% tax on firearms and ammunition here. Which is a win-win for the state since they will lose a few disgruntled, aging hunters (like me) but will make up for it by making it up with more expensive taxed ammo.

  • country bumpkin

    Thank you Arial, I agree that is the sinister purpose behind the lead ammo ban. Unfortunately, the majority of people in CA who don’t hunt or shoot have been convinced that it is simply a common sense and necessary regulation to protect wildlife.

  • Iv’e been a hunter all my life. I also care a great deal about our environment. If using steel shot helps to save just one species, I’m for it but I still like lead shot.

    I think they are still using lead shot in the Flint Michigan area.

  • 283,539 hunting licenses purchased in California in 2015

    California population in 2015 was 39,144,818

    Do the math: only 0.72 % of Californians bought a hunting license in 2015

    • Fair-to-Middling

      Here are some statistics for you. From 1970 to 2010. Population Increase 187%. Hunting Licenses Issued 62% Decrease. License Cost 1011% Increase. Do the math: Hunters are being regulated and priced out of California.

      • Good riddance…

        • [edit] If you really want to make a difference buy a hunting or fishing license. Take a look at the CA F&W website and see what the money from license proceeds does for wildlife here. We now have elk herds, Bighorn Sheep, Turkeys and, yes, Condors. Coming soon: Wolves. Let’s see the Audubon Society match that.

    • Sure that’s not 0.0072%, or 7 thousandths.

  • Bottom line: We are now required to have an FBI check to buy ammunition, get yours yet? Most hunters have plenty of lead ammunition to hunt wild turkeys. Requiring a change is the best way to raise revenue (tax) money. This requirement will do nothing to stop “yard hunters” from using lead shot around their homes.

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