Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Massachusetts
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Massachusetts Project

Assessing attitudes and impacts to society associated with the use of nontoxic ammunition for hunting on National Wildlife Refuges

September 2015 - December 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Science Support Partnership (SSP)

Despite extensive scientific evidence of the detrimental effect of spent lead ammunition on wildlife and potential for human exposure, reducing the use of lead-based ammunition for hunting activities can be a controversial and contentious issue. Through the implementation of mail-back surveys and group interviews, this project aims to understand hunters’ perceptions towards a voluntary transition to non-lead ammunition use for hunting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on targeted National Wildlife Refuges in the Northeast U.S. Specifically, this project aims to identify the practical barriers associated with a voluntary transition to non-lead ammunition use and what factors would influence hunters to switch. Assessment of the practical barriers to transitioning to non-lead ammunition will allow the National Wildlife Refuge System to direct targeted outreach and education strategies to achieve behavioral change in hunter ammunition choice.