California Non-Lead Ammunition
Awareness Program





Visit the IWS sponsored site,

Hunting with non-lead ammunition graphic

In 2007, the Institute for Wildlife Studies received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to spearhead a program to make hunters aware of alternatives to lead ammunition. Lead ammunition has been shown to be an environmental hazard that causes poisoning of wildlife.

Condor close up
California Condor
(Gymnogyps californianus)
Bald eagles and California Condors are vulnerable to lead poisoning as they feed on the remains of animals taken by sportspersons.

IWS is partnered with the following organizations to institute an outreach program to offer hunters and landowners opportunities to evaluate non-lead ammunition:

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation US Fish and Wildlife Service

Pinnacle PartnershipNational Park ServiceYurok Tribe Logo

Outreach consists of a series of demonstration events at various public and private shooting ranges. At these events, participants have the opportunity to shoot non-lead ammunition (provided free of cost) in a variety of calibers. Target shooting

The demonstration events also feature comparisons between lead ammunition and non-lead alternatives. These illustrate the performance of the two types of bullet, and they also show the degree to which a lead bullet may break up after penetration.

The IWS Non-Lead Outreach Coordinator also gives informative talks to sporting clubs, to landowner associations, and at community events such as fairs.

Non-lead talk

Links to more information:

Hazards of lead

Alternatives to lead ammunition

Locations in California where lead ammunition is banned

Monitoring the California Condor

Photographs of non-lead ammunition demonstrations

Video comparing fragmentation of lead and non-lead bullets