Study finds less lead exposure in black powder cartridges; Day-old chicks; Life cycles; Club news
January 22, 2017 12:00 AM
Three months after taking Wade Tuma, left, in marriage, Bree Ann Tuma of Monaca took her first buck, a nice 8 point, in Beaver County.
By John Hayes / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Researchers from the Oregon Department of Fisheries working out of Oregon State University recently published a study showing that bullets used in black powder muzzleloading rifle cartridges experience less fragmentation on impact than high-velocity rifle bullets. The study suggests that black powder projectiles scattering fewer lead fragments in wild-killed game, presenting on consumption a reduced risk of secondary lead poisoning. The reduced poisoning risk might extend to scavenging animals that eat carrion containing lead fragments.
Pennsylvania’s inline muzzleloader deer season ran Oct. 15-22. A statewide season for flintlock sporting arms closed last week, and a special flintlock season in three Wildlife Management Units, including the Pittsburgh area’s 2B, continues through Jan. 28.
Hunters value bullet fragmentation. The bullet makes a small entrance wound, but shards of lead spread through the animal’s body and exit through a large wound, ensuring a clean quick kill. Human consumption of food with lead shards, however, has been proven to increase the risk of poisoning.
The researchers found that after being fired through water and gel blocks, a modern .30-06 lead-core high-velocity bullet retained an average of 57.5 percent of its original mass, with the remaining 42.5 percent fragmenting.
They compared that with the fragmentation of a traditional .54 caliber round ball, a modern .54 caliber conical muzzleloader bullet and two types of .45-70 caliber black powder rifle cartridges. Average mass retention for the muzzleloader and black powder cartridge bullets ranged from 87.8 percent to 99.7 percent. It was noted in the report that fragmentation in water and gel likely would differ from shots into live game.
Researchers said, however, that the muzzleloader’s low velocity and low potential for expansion suggested less chance of human ingestion of toxic particles.
Pheasant hunting is getting expensive. Last week the state Game Commission announced it was ending its Day-Old Pheasant Hen Chick and Surplus Egg Program, which since 1933 has provided free pheasant chicks to sportsmen’s groups to raise and release. The agency has closed two of its pheasant farms and laid off 14 game-farm workers. Buying day-old chicks from a private breeder and raising them at its two remaining pheasant farms is expected to save $1.5 million this year.
Game Commissioners are considering the creation of a $25 permit that would be required for all adult pheasant hunters to help pay for the propagation program.
Tying instructor Tim Cammisa will show how to tie and fish emerger patterns, and will outline caddis and mayfly life cycles, at a free demonstration Jan. 28 at International Angler, 275 Steubenville Pike, Robinson. For information call, 412-788-8088.
• Pete Foradori will demonstrate the art of fly rod building at 7 p.m. Monday in a free gathering of Penn’s Woods West Trout Unlimited’s Bar Flies, an informal group of fly anglers who meet at Grazie’s Restaurant and Events Center, 100 Village Run Dr., Wexford. For information call, 724-934-7880.
• Wednesday, members the Upper St. Clair Fly Fishing Club will share fish photos and hear about every hookup that happened during group leader Ron Milavec’s Alaska vacation. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Rec Center, USC Municipal Building, 1770 McLaughlin Rd. For more information call, 412-835-6107.
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