ROGERS, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a get-together Saturday in Rogers to promote the use of copper-based ammunition by deer hunters this season.
Turns out, it’s a matter of life and death for the bald eagle population.
In Minnesota, as many as 30 of the majestic birds die annually after eating deer guts and remains tainted by poisonous lead bullets used by hunters. The all-day gathering at Cabela’s is meant to tout the virtues of replacing lead ammunition with more expensive copper, which Carrol Henderson says will also help the hunter’s end game.
“The are not only not toxic to the eagles, and more interestingly, from the stand point of the deer hunter, they are ballistically superior to lead,” Henderson said. “They are more accurate, they penetrate better and tend to knock the deer down right in their tracks.”
According to Henderson, the cost of copper ammo is higher than for lead bullets, but hunters have learned that they might only use five or six copper bullets per season. This way, a box of 20 copper bullets may last three to four years.
Henderson says the costs balances out, since you’ll use less of it. A couple of bald eagles will be at the DNR promotion, on loan from the Raptor Center in order to visually underscore the need to preserve these wonderful birds.
The gathering starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and runs through 4 p.m.