The recently published article, "Long-term monitoring shows 7% of Minnesota venison is laced with toxic lead," describes the number of deer shot and the pounds of venison that are donated or consumed. What the article doesn't describe is the data supporting the claim that Minnesotans could get lead poisoning from eating this venison, because this data doesn't exist. No case of lead poisoning from eating game has ever been documented, according to the CDC.

What the article also fails to describe is the vast list of benefits that hunters provide to the state of Minnesota. According to Hunting Works For Minnesota, the ripple effect to the Minnesota economy from hunting is $1.3 billion. This number includes the yearly spending by hunters in Minnesota, which is a whopping $733 million.

The benefits to the Minnesota economy from hunting are clear, but these benefits do not stop at the economy. The conservation and preservation of habitat for game and non-game species alike in Minnesota would not exist without hunter spending on equipment, licenses, and tags.

Hunting is a key part of our heritage, and we must work to keep it that way. The scare tactics used in the aforementioned article are harmful to hunter participation, which had a huge upswing this past year due to the pandemic. Families want activities where they can enjoy the outdoors along with knowing where their food comes from and harvesting it themselves. Hunters should educate themselves about ammunition and then make the decisions that are best for them.

Mandy Horvath, Winona

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