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Bullet fragment in ground venison #8452940 11/19/21 01:33 AM
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I've only been hunting for 7 or so years now and always hunted the same land and used the same processor.

Well tonight my wife made some shells and cheese with the ground venison and while we were all eating, she found a piece of lead about the size of a tick in the food.

Doing some searching online, I didnt see much about if there is any risk of lead poisoning. Is it worth it to just toss the meat and find a new processor, or is this a more common issue?

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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8452951 11/19/21 01:41 AM
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I don't know much about lead poisoning, though we do eat dove and spit out shot on a yearly basis.

But this is where the this why I process my own will let you know this is why they process their own. I process my own deer and also drop deer off at a processor, it all just depends what I plan to use the deer for. I would chalk it up as an accident, as they do happen. Every once in awhile I fine some bone fragments in the meat I process, all though a lot less I will find a some fragments in the deer I get processed. Though a bullet fragment is a new one for me.

I think finding a new processor is a little extreme, especially if this is the first time it happened. If it were to keep happening the of course I'd consider moving on.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: Herbie Hancock] #8452959 11/19/21 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Herbie Hancock
I don't know much about lead poisoning, though we do eat dove and spit out shot on a yearly basis.

But this is where the this why I process my own will let you know this is why they process their own. I process my own deer and also drop deer off at a processor, it all just depends what I plan to use the deer for. I would chalk it up as an accident, as they do happen. Every once in awhile I fine some bone fragments in the meat I process, all though a lot less I will find a some fragments in the deer I get processed. Though a bullet fragment is a new one for me.

I think finding a new processor is a little extreme, especially if this is the first time it happened. If it were to keep happening the of course I'd consider moving on.


Thanks for the input. I've never tried bow hunting, but this nudges me in that direction. Or maybe just switching to an all copper round with less fragments.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8452975 11/19/21 01:50 AM
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This happened to me once. I process all my deer. Not sure what or how it happened. I was processing a doe tonight and was just thinking about this. It doesn't really bother me and if I were you, I definitely would not throw it out. Of course, I'm not an expert on lead poisoning.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8452988 11/19/21 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bottlerocket
Doing some searching online, I didnt see much about if there is any risk of lead poisoning. Is it worth it to just toss the meat and find a new processor, or is this a more common issue?


No reason to toss the meat, would be pretty silly and wasteful to do that....... or be worried about lead poisoning from a shot animal. I have bit down on probably thousands of lead pinch weights fishing, and spit out a bunch of lead BB's from dove & quail over the years....and handled an awful lot of lead weights in the tire & wheel business. Was exposed to lead daily. Nothing to worry about.

I would also recommend processing your own, but that's a different subject.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8453537 11/19/21 04:50 PM
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Law of averages says you're going to get a piece every now and then. It's not a big deal. There isn't much your processor can do about it, there's no reason to dump him.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8453541 11/19/21 04:55 PM
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I found a piece of copper in some ground venison once. Never used them again since I made a headshot. It should have been clean meat so I assume i didn't get just the deer I shot back.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: hook_n_line] #8453543 11/19/21 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hook_n_line
I found a piece of copper in some ground venison once. Never used them again since I made a headshot. It should have been clean meat so I assume i didn't get just the deer I shot back.


You likely did the right thing and 99% of the time I'd agree with you. However, I did shoot a doe in the head a couple of years ago and when I went to clean her there was a couple of drops of blood on the upper front edge of her shoulder. When I skinned her out, I figured out that a bullet fragment went down her neck and out her shoulder. Bullets can do weird things sometimes.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8453552 11/19/21 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by hook_n_line
I found a piece of copper in some ground venison once. Never used them again since I made a headshot. It should have been clean meat so I assume i didn't get just the deer I shot back.


You likely did the right thing and 99% of the time I'd agree with you. However, I did shoot a doe in the head a couple of years ago and when I went to clean her there was a couple of drops of blood on the upper front edge of her shoulder. When I skinned her out, I figured out that a bullet fragment went down her neck and out her shoulder. Bullets can do weird things sometimes.

I processed a Buck for my MIL once and my grinder started making a funny noise. I opened up the grinder and found a fired .45 slug (FMJ from a .45 ACP). There was no visible wound when I was processing, and I surmised that he had been shot by it at one point and lived. The wound healed with the bullet inside of him and ended up in one of the chunks of meat that I cut up for grinding.


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And make Kamila president

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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: unclebubba] #8453554 11/19/21 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by unclebubba
Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by hook_n_line
I found a piece of copper in some ground venison once. Never used them again since I made a headshot. It should have been clean meat so I assume i didn't get just the deer I shot back.


You likely did the right thing and 99% of the time I'd agree with you. However, I did shoot a doe in the head a couple of years ago and when I went to clean her there was a couple of drops of blood on the upper front edge of her shoulder. When I skinned her out, I figured out that a bullet fragment went down her neck and out her shoulder. Bullets can do weird things sometimes.

I processed a Buck for my MIL once and my grinder started making a funny noise. I opened up the grinder and found a fired .45 slug (FMJ from a .45 ACP). There was no visible wound when I was processing, and I surmised that he had been shot by it at one point and lived. The wound healed with the bullet inside of him and ended up in one of the chunks of meat that I cut up for grinding.


up I've see that happen too-we pulled some old buckshot out of one, you could see the bumps under the hide.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8453589 11/19/21 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by hook_n_line
I found a piece of copper in some ground venison once. Never used them again since I made a headshot. It should have been clean meat so I assume i didn't get just the deer I shot back.


You likely did the right thing and 99% of the time I'd agree with you. However, I did shoot a doe in the head a couple of years ago and when I went to clean her there was a couple of drops of blood on the upper front edge of her shoulder. When I skinned her out, I figured out that a bullet fragment went down her neck and out her shoulder. Bullets can do weird things sometimes.

My son shot a buck opening weekend. Broadside shot right through the vitals. When processing the meat, I found his .243 bullet lodged in of one of the rear quarters. I'm thinking it must have bounced off the inside shoulder blade.

I think when we drop off meat at a processor we have an expectation that we are going to get that same animal back, but not sure how realistic that expectation is. Especially for stuff that goes through the grinder. What would make you really scratch you head is if you shot your deer with a bow and then found lead in the meat.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8453609 11/19/21 06:00 PM
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Depending on the processor, you may not get only your meat back, especially if you are getting some type of sausage made. A lot of the sausage spice mixes comes in packs made for 5, 10, or more pounds. If you are having trimmings made into sausage, you could end up with a mixed batch where other hunter's deer is mixed in to make the weight correct for the spice packets. I know for a fact some processers do that and that is why I bought my own grinder and process my animals myself.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: skinnerback] #8453610 11/19/21 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by skinnerback
Originally Posted by bottlerocket
Doing some searching online, I didnt see much about if there is any risk of lead poisoning. Is it worth it to just toss the meat and find a new processor, or is this a more common issue?


No reason to toss the meat, would be pretty silly and wasteful to do that....... or be worried about lead poisoning from a shot animal. I have bit down on probably thousands of lead pinch weights fishing, and spit out a bunch of lead BB's from dove & quail over the years....and handled an awful lot of lead weights in the tire & wheel business. Was exposed to lead daily. Nothing to worry about.

I would also recommend processing your own, but that's a different subject.





Hope for more so you can be like Skinner.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8453687 11/19/21 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by hook_n_line
I found a piece of copper in some ground venison once. Never used them again since I made a headshot. It should have been clean meat so I assume i didn't get just the deer I shot back.


You likely did the right thing and 99% of the time I'd agree with you. However, I did shoot a doe in the head a couple of years ago and when I went to clean her there was a couple of drops of blood on the upper front edge of her shoulder. When I skinned her out, I figured out that a bullet fragment went down her neck and out her shoulder. Bullets can do weird things sometimes.


Could be but I got her in the the left ear hole as she was feeding broadside,

Last edited by hook_n_line; 11/19/21 06:46 PM.

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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8453694 11/19/21 06:51 PM
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It happens. Move on.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8453695 11/19/21 06:52 PM
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Yep, we used to say we found a toenail.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8453925 11/19/21 11:24 PM
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In over 70 years of eating venison I have never had any lead in any.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454006 11/20/21 01:02 AM
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I’m thinking that in 60 years of eating ducks, quail, doves, and squirrels I must have swallowed a shot or three. I know I’ve found plenty. I’ve also found scraps of copper and lead in processed meat. I’m 74 and ain’t dead yet !

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454029 11/20/21 01:21 AM
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Well it is easy to know if you swallowed some !!!! When you drop a deuce it will rattle!!!!

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454438 11/20/21 02:04 PM
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Your deer could have been wounded slightly in it's earlier life.
I shot a deer and found a completely healed and encased broadhead inside the shoulder.
Lead fragments is nothing to worry about other than maybe cracking a tooth!
This is why people process their own meat, as it gives you more control over what you put in your mouth.

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454442 11/20/21 02:09 PM
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Found while processing. Not staged.

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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454445 11/20/21 02:09 PM
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I've been carrying around a #7 shot in the end of my nose for the last 47 yrs now.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454467 11/20/21 02:22 PM
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any bits like that will pass through your system unabsorbed/insoluble with no worries, just like birdshot would.
I’d enjoy every bit of that meat without a second thought -

Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: bottlerocket] #8454484 11/20/21 02:39 PM
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I have been eating wild game most of my life and almost all shot with bullets or shot containing lead including waterfowl until the mandatory steel regulations, with my health issues in the past I have been tested for lead in my system a few times and it is always on the low end of normal.


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Re: Bullet fragment in ground venison [Re: stxranchman] #8454513 11/20/21 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
I've been carrying around a #7 shot in the end of my nose for the last 47 yrs now.

If it weren't for the being shot part, I'd like to be able to tell people that!!!

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