Imagine sitting down to a long awaited meal consisting of meat from your first whitetail of the season. Undoubtedly you will be salivating over that dinner, waiting anxiously as it cooks until it is finally ready to consume. When you sit down at long last for the first much anticipated bite, you close your teeth on something unexpected. Instead of tender, juicy meat between your chompers, there is a bullet fragment or piece of shot.
Though this type of discovery is unpleasant, it can be made much more so if you are injured in the process of biting down on such an object. Despite the fact that we do our best to remove all projectile fragments, it is still possible that a piece is still able to evade even the most keen eye. It isn't such a big deal if you are able to discover this with ease, but if you bite down on metal fragments, you open yourself up to a world of hurt if you break a tooth.
Photo: Hunting with No Lead
The last thing you want to spend money on during hunting season is dental work. The average cost of a root canal and crown hovers around $2,000 or so these days. That is a lot of money to shell out for an unanticipated, unwanted expense, not to mention the pain involved in dealing with a broken tooth and the repair process, both of which are bound to take away from time in the field. In order to avoid this, you may wish to scan your whitetail harvests more diligently or you can make a small investment that could help cut down both time searching for projectile fragments as well as efficiency while doing so.
A simple metal detector can prove quite useful in locating projectile fragments long before your teeth are at risk of finding them the hard way. Sure, when you think of metal detectors, you may envision people on the beach with a cumbersome device equipped with a long handle and headphones that you saw on vacations past. Well, technology has come a long way and instead of using such a bulky device, you can purchase a handheld wand that is battery operated. It only takes a single hand to operate it and in most cases a 9 volt battery to power it. Simply wave it over your whitetail harvest and when it passes over metal, it will beep, making it much easier for you to locate and remove fragments. When the beeping stops, the fragments have all been removed. Do note, however, that it is best to do this outside on natural ground. If you have a carcass resting on concrete containing rebar, the beeping will continue as long as the rebar is present.
Photo: Detect Metal
The downside of these devices is that they are not the cheapest acquisition you'll ever make. They are, however, cheaper than a root canal. Prices range from a couple hundred dollars each on up from there so for an individual to purchase one may be cost prohibitive, but that doesn't mean your hunt club or hunting buddies can't chip in to add one to your gear. If members of a group that hunts together or in close proximity each kicks in some cash, a small handheld metal detector can be purchased in no time and shared amongst contributors.
Even if you yourself or your friends are not interested in making such an investment, metal detectors are playing an increasing role in the hunting world. Though the hunter himself may not carry one, the conversation officers very well may. Many agencies are investing in metal detectors to debunk stories about whitetails and other game animals being hit by cars, pulling out the metal detector to find out the truth for themselves. If projectile fragments are found, the truth will be set free with these fragments being tracked back to the gun that fired them so charges can be issued against poachers. Due to the effectiveness of metal detectors, you may see them coming to a game warden near you.
Do you have a metal detector for hunting purposes? Would you consider investing in one? Let us know in the comments.