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A study by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources that fragments from lead bullets spread as far as 18 inches away from the wound. That state's health department has advised that children under 6 and pregnant women avoid eating venison.
Those groups are most at risk from lead poisoning, which can cause confusion, learning problems and convulsions, and in severe cases can lead to brain damage and death.
Terry Steinwand, director of North Dakota's Game and Fish Department, said nearly 100,000 North Dakotans -- or about a sixth of the state's population -- went deer hunting last year and more than 100,000 deer were killed.
Steinwand said he suspects some hunters will switch to non-lead bullets but most will opt for traditional ammo. His department has made no recommendations to hunters on the type of ammunition that should be used, he said.
"Hunters should take good care of the kill and make well-placed shots to minimize the risk of lead contamination," Steinwand said.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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