Nonlead Ammunition Requirement Approaches

The State of California recently put out a reminder that starting July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition will be required when hunting on all California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) lands and for all Nelson bighorn sheep hunts anywhere in the state. Waterfowl hunters have been using lead-free shells for more than two decades and are considered the forefathers of using such ammunition, but since many sportsmen within the state also enjoy other forms of hunting, Ducks Unlimited is assisting in spreading the word.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is also advising hunters to buy nonlead ammunition as soon as possible:

Further phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California will occur on July 1, 2016, when hunters must use nonlead ammunition when hunting with shotguns for upland game birds (except for dove, quail and snipe), small game mammals, fur-bearing mammals, and nongame birds except for when hunting at licensed game bird clubs. Nonlead ammunition will also be required when taking wildlife for depredation purposes anywhere in the state.Starting on July 1, 2019 hunters must use nonlead ammunition when taking any animal anywhere in the state for any purpose.

Lead ammunition may still be used for all non-hunting purposes including target shooting. The implementation of AB 711 does not affect the laws regarding the existing nonlead “Condor Zone” where it remains illegal to hunt using lead ammunition.

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