Go Non-Lead

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting


Better for You — Better for Wildlife

Venison and bear meat are fantastic table fare providing a healthy, natural, locally-sourced alternative to meats and other proteins purchased in stores. Knowing where your food comes from and that it is free of additives is important to many hunters and their families.

Traditional lead-based bullets which have been in popular use for big game hunting can fragment and leave small unseen particles in your meat, often a distance from the wound channel, exposing you to lead. In addition, portions of the carcass (gut piles) left in the field can expose scavenging animals to lead sometimes with deadly results. Lead is a well-known toxin to people and animals and even in small amounts can have adverse health effects. This is especially true for many birds like eagles.

Non-lead alternative ammunition is available in most popular big game calibers as well as for shotguns and muzzle-loading firearms. The performance is excellent and the cost continues to come down as more people give it a try. You can expect to pay about the same for it as any premium quality ammunition. Best of all, you will help ensure that the high quality, locally sourced and delicious table fare you worked hard for will be just that. And you will be reducing risks to the wildlife around you. It’s a win-win.

Non-Lead Ammunition for…

• Good Hunting

• Improved Conservation

• High-Quality Meat

• Safer Consumption

Fragmentation vs. Mushrooming

Comparison of two .270-caliber bullets shot into a modified rain barrel for collection to simulate performance on game. The copper jacket lead-core bullet (left) is heavily fragmented compared to the solid copper bullet (right) that retained its original shape upon impact.

Shotgun slugs made of copper fold into “petals,” expanding the slug’s surface area better than slugs made of lead.

CT-scan showing lead fragments (appearing white) in 20 one-pound packages of ground venison.

Radiograph of a deer’s chest illustrating fragmentation of a lead ballistic tip rifle bullet.