The Arizona Game and Fish Department is expecting a repeat of last years non-lead ammunition shortage this hunting season. Those intending to hunt big game in California or in condor areas in Arizona (Game Management Units 12A, 12B, 13A and 13B), are strongly encouraged to buy their non-lead ammunition supplies as soon as possible.
Last year, many hunters who waited to shop at small community stores and outfitters near their hunt destinations were disappointed to find that non-lead ammunition had been completely sold out by the time they arrived. Local retailers, especially those in rural areas of Arizona, tend to run out of stock early. Hunters would be well-advised to plan ahead and check with local suppliers now. If inventory is low, call or visit larger retailers in metropolitan areas like Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Yuma.
Californias expanded directive regarding use of non-lead ammunition for all hunting in that state is contributing to the scarcity of non-lead ammunition here in Arizona. Hunters from California have been quick to tap the non-lead ammunition inventory of Arizona retailers and suppliers, leaving supplies depleted even earlier than expected.
Arizona has had tremendous success with our voluntary non-lead ammunition program, said Assistant Director of Wildlife Management Jim deVos. We have a volunteer participation rate of 80 to 90 percent of hunters in the condors core range. Its important that hunters are able to obtain adequate supplies of non-lead ammunition as they head out this season.
The California condor frequents the lands in hunt units 12A, 12B, 13A and 13B. The voluntary use of non-lead ammunition by hunters in recent years has yielded a significant decrease in the impact of lead poisoning on this recovering endangered species.