Hunter's Alert

Hunter's Alert

Sunday, 16 December 2012 14:15

NDOW: Agency of Deception

Reprinted from the Elko Daily Free Press

By:  Cecil Fredi -

In the article titled “Deer management policies in the crosshairs” which appeared in your newspaper on Nov. 3, Ken Mayer failed to tell your readers the entire story. I will tell you what he omitted.

Ken Mayer stated “It hasn’t gone away,” referring to the ongoing controversy about mule deer. Why should it go away? It’s been over two decades that NDOW has done nothing but distort the truth about deer. Let’s prove it.

The article stated the heavy winter of 2010-11 nourished abundant plants and that biologists used this to justify the increase in tags. NDOW has used heavy winters for the decline of mule deer on numerous occasions. Apparently, NDOW’s biologists can have it both ways whenever this excuse fits in.

Director Mayer says the “mule deer population is stable and increasing.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A three-year study of Nevada’s mule deer by two Ph.D.’s will be released next month. Using the data furnished by NDOW, the study states “To say the least, scientists are deeply concerned about the future prospects of sustainable mule deer populations under current trends and policies.”

Ken Mayer finally stated that predators might be a factor. However, what he failed to say was that his agency is sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly a million dollars, that is designated for predator control and he is not using it. The Wildlife Commission has not held a predator committee meeting to approve a predation management plan since Feb. 25, 2011. There was no Predation Management plan for 2011-2012, no such plan exists for 2012-2013, nor is a meeting to even discuss such a plan mentioned on any upcoming Wildlife Commission agenda. Does this sound like a director and Wildlife Commission that is truly concerned about our mule deer?

Director Mayer also stated that “Though predators may be a factor, a far more significant one is continued loss of deer habitat.”

Habitat has been the main excuse used by NDOW for about the last seven or eight years. They used the drought excuse for about 10 years. I feel very confident that the habitat excuse will outlast the drought excuse. They will continue to use habitat as their main excuse for declining deer numbers. They can use this everlasting excuse until all of their 30-year government pensions kick in. During the drought years, NDOW’s favorite excuse for declining deer numbers was, when in doubt, blame the drought. Now when NDOW needs a new excuse to grab at, make it habitat.

Director Mayer stated, “I think we have the best team in the west to figure these things out.” NDOW biologists have been using excuses for over two decades and still haven’t figured it out. It’s quite obvious whatever science they are using isn’t working and it’s time to change the scientists. NDOW has had enough time to fix the problem. Either they can’t or won’t fix it. Neither excuse is acceptable to the people who pay their salaries.

Director Mayer is weary of attacks by “self-proclaimed wildlife experts.” In order to shut these “experts” up, all that would need to be done is to bring back our deer, something that isn’t being done. It’s that simple to shut them up. But Ken Mayer doesn’t think that way. He is more concerned about the 280 people who hunt sheep than the 51,011 who hunted deer in 1988 with a 53 percent success ratio.

Ever since Ken Mayer was hired six years ago, he has proven he is an expert at one thing: the exploitation of wildlife for financial and political advantage. But what will NDOW do when the deer population fails to the point where it is no longer viable to hunt in much of Nevada? The answer is simple: Ken Mayer will go back to California where he came from and laugh every month when his pension check comes in the mail while the citizens and wildlife of Nevada continue to suffer.

Tony Wasley, NDOW’s mule deer expert, stated that today’s numbers (deer) are closer to what should be expected on average. Apparently, Mr. Wasley doesn’t want to believe the old-timers in Elko County like John Carpenter and Cliff Gardner and many others who witnessed deer migrations by the thousands.

This is how Director Mayer has solved the two most important wildlife problems in our state. Problem: Declining deer numbers. Solution: Change Tony Wasley’s title from biologist to “mule deer expert.” Problem: Declining sage grouse numbers. Solution: Appoint Shawn Espinoza, who was hired as a game warden, to be the “sage grouse specialist.”

In addition to those two appointments, he hired a person who trained in Africa as his chief of big game. That appointment also didn’t work out for our mule deer. Is it any wonder why Nevada deer hunters are in this predicament? Rest assured, without a doubt, under Ken Mayer’s leadership, it will never get any better.

In closing, Ken Mayer should not be fired. He just should never have been rehired.


Cecil Fredi is president of Hunter’s Alert and has lived in Las Vegas for 70 years.

Friday, 02 November 2012 14:43

Nevada's Deer Herds Doomed?

Are you as tired as I am with the political bureaucrats
and messed up agencies that continue to
squander and mismanage our resources? Take a
look at page 23. Cecil Fredi, like many of us
today, is also sick and tired of the way our state
agencies are becoming more crooked each day.
My rage about all of this has been going for a
while now, but when a good friend sent in a copy
of the Sacramento newspaper with a multiple
page read about predators in Nevada, I was blown
away! The contents of the article claimed that
despite killing predators in Nevada for many years
the mule deer populations are still dwindling. So,
those dumb brainiacs came to the conclusion that
predators are not the reason for the decline. In
fact, the article stated that all those cute little critters
were killed in vain. Oh yes they did! They
said that millions of coyotes should have never
been killed as “coyotes do not eat mule deer.”
What the hell is this world coming to.

Hunters Alert!'s very own Cecil Fredi recently had an article published in the September/October 2012 issue of MuleyCrazy magazine (  Here is the publisher's introduction to the article, which is available below:

Are you as tired as I am with the political bureaucrats and messed up agencies that continue to squander and mismanage our resources? Take alook at page 23. Cecil Fredi, like many of us today, is also sick and tired of the way our state agencies are becoming more crooked each day.My rage about all of this has been going for awhile now, but when a good friend sent in a copy of the Sacramento newspaper with a multiple page read about predators in Nevada, I was blown away! The contents of the article claimed that despite killing predators in Nevada for many years the mule deer populations are still dwindling. So,those dumb brainiacs came to the conclusion that predators are not the reason for the decline. In fact, the article stated that all those cute little critters were killed in vain. Oh yes they did! They said that millions of coyotes should have never been killed as “coyotes do not eat mule deer.” What the hell is this world coming to...

- Ryan Hatch, Publisher, MuleyCrazy Magazine

Click here to download the article:  Nevada's Deer Herds Doomed? by Cecil Fredi

Monday, 01 October 2012 19:29

Pissed off about no deer on your hunt?

Let Governor Sandoval know it’s time for some changes in the Nevada Department of Wildlife!

Write, don’t email:

Governor Brian Sandoval

State Capitol Building

101 N. Carson Street

Carson City, Nevada 89701

Friday, 14 September 2012 15:23

Governor Needs to Change NDOW Leadership

Reprinted from the Elko Daily Free Press -

By:  Pat Laughlin -

Editor: I would like to clarify a few points in the Sept. 5 editorial, “Sandoval sage grouse not in danger of extinction.” No disrespect to the editorial board, but, the China Mountain Wind Project was signed off and approved by the BLM. The Nevada Department of Wildlife, led by Director Ken Mayer, was the agency that stopped the project in the last hour. County Commissioner Charlie Myers witnessed the entire process.

The last paragraph might be a little hard to swallow for the fact that the man Governor Sandoval reappointed to run NDOW is not only drinking the kool-aid, but, helping the federal government make the kool-aid. We need new leadership for NDOW that will stand up for Nevada and get off the federal gravy train. Leadership that will quit trying to hold every mining company or wind project hostage by using a bird that isn’t even listed yet.

Remember the Ruby Pipeline project ... El Paso Gas figured out quickly that in order to get a project approved, you must pad the pockets of those involved. El Paso Gas paid Nevada $8.8 million to help out on sage grouse issues, of which $3 million was to go directly to Elko County. NDOW and BLM jointly control the money and can use it as they see fit to assist sage grouse management.

Of that $3 million for Elko County, $250,000 was given to the BLM for fire suppression, $221,000 has been spent on habitat restoration, $90,000 on noxious weed treatment, $68,000 on sage grouse study and $8,000 on holistic training. So far, not one dollar is being spent on protecting sage grouse nest survival by eliminating predators.

Why is this money being spent to fight fires when the BLM has an open checkbook when it comes to fighting fires? $250,000 would have gone a long way in thinning out the raven population to help the sage grouse nest survival.

It is obvious that if we want to do what is in the best interest of Elko County, then Governor Sandoval needs to make a change in NDOW, starting at the top.

Pat Laughlin

NA4W President

Thursday, 23 August 2012 07:19

Commentary: Ravens, road kill and reality.

Reprinted from the Elko Daily Free Press

By:  Pat Laughlin - 

I recently attended the Elko County Commission meeting and sat in on the discussion concerning predator control to protect sage grouse. I was also interviewed by the Elko Free Press concerning raven control for sage grouse. I need to set the record straight on a couple of issues.

First, it’s important to understand the players in this game being acted out here in Nevada. The raven is a migratory bird protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Second, the same FWS is also responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act. The very same people protecting the raven are going to decide our fate here in Elko County on whether the sage grouse is listed as an endangered species. The same people …

So, you’re not convinced the FWS is protecting ravens? Putting ravens above the well-being of our economy, your family and mine? Just read the “6 point raven plan” put forth by the FWS. Number 2 states, and I quote, “control access by ravens to road kill and ranch carcasses.” Number 5 states, “ensure adequate herbaceous ground cover in nesting habitat.” I will spare you all six points of the raven plan but all six will need to be implemented before the FWS will support killing more ravens to protect our way of life here in Elko County. When I read this at the Commission meeting I nearly fell out of my chair.

My first thought was how will we ever accomplish this? Drive every road in Nevada … every morning picking up every dead rabbit.

Here’s an example of how NDOW showed me last weekend that they support this road kill program. I noticed a dead doe at the corner of Silver Street and Errecart Boulevard last Friday. Saturday when it was still there, I called the sheriff’s office as well as NDOW’s hotline number to report it. NDOW put the blame on NDOT and said that they would contact them to have it removed. Two days later, I witnessed a City of Elko crew picking up the doe, not NDOW or NDOT. You can’t tell me that numerous NDOW and NDOT employees didn’t drive by that doe in a three-day period of time on one of the busiest streets in Elko.

Then it hit me. This 6 point raven plan is nonsense … complete and utter nonsense written in a way to make sure it can never be accomplished and to make sure the FWS will never need to support killing more ravens in Nevada. The FWS does not want to kill predators … for any reason … no matter what … period.

And I have to add, where is NDOW Director Ken Mayer in all of this? I’ve heard the listing of the sage grouse would be like the spotted owl times 100. The listing could devastate mining, ranching and everything we like to do outdoors. Director Mayer represents Nevada. He should be looking out for us. Our economy, our families, our wildlife. Instead our California transplant director supports the FWS, the BLM and the FS at every turn and serves up the “6 point raven plan” as gospel to the Elko County Commission.

When was the last time you ever heard Ken Mayer take a stand for Nevada? For Elko County? He scheduled a meeting with the Elko County Commissioners several weeks in advance and cancelled the night before without offering to reschedule. Do you think he cares about Elko County?

Governor Sandoval should be embarrassed that he re-appointed Ken Mayer after Governor Gibbons fired the man over these same issues. Maybe Governor Sandoval doesn’t care about our economy, our families or our wildlife either. He had better rethink his position and his appointees if he expects Elko County to help re-elect him.

Posted by Cecil Fredi - 

It is a two-part series by Dr. Jared Teter entitled "Mule Deer Management" that appeared in Muley Crazy Magazine. The article proves the reason for the decline in mule deer numbers. It also states who is responsible for the decline and why. HUNTER’S ALERT has been telling Nevada sportsmen for 23 years about NDOW’s mismanagement of our mule deer. This article proves we were right and pretty much confirms the myths and lies about habitat.

The entire article is attached to this post as a single PDF download (click here), or can be viewed via the links below at the Muley Crazy Magazine website:

Part 1 - Mule Deer Management:  The Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Part 2 - Mule Deer Management:  The Truth Exposed





Sunday, 19 August 2012 17:57

The Predator Death Spiral

Posted by Cecil Fredi - 

Do you want to know the truth about declining big game numbers in all western states?

Then go to

Sunday, 19 August 2012 17:52

Nevada Wildlife Officials Misdirect Funds

Reprinted from the Elko Daily Free Press

By Charlie Howell

COMMENTARY: As a former wildlife commissioner for the last three years, I feel I have firsthand knowledge about wildlife issues in Nevada. The article by Pete Mori in your newspaper on July 14 titled “Set the wildlife record straight” must have been written by NDOW director Ken Mayer because there were quite a few inaccuracies in the article. I will straighten them out.

Heritage money, that being money derived from auction tags and donations, can only be spent on projects approved by the Wildlife Commission. Since the inception of Heritage money, the majority of the funds were spent on bighorn sheep projects. In essence, this money should have been spent on two species that were declining, namely mule deer and sage grouse, rather than bighorn sheep, whose numbers were increasing. Never was a dollar spent for predator control. This changed with Governor Gibbons’ appointments to the Wildlife Commission.

Governor Gibbons’ appointments to the Wildlife Commission approved projects that included predator control to enhance mule deer and sage grouse. I was proud to have served on the committee that approver those projects. Some of Pat Laughlin’s projects were for the removal of ravens to enhance sage grouse. Director Ken Mayer fought against all of these approved predator control projects for over two years. Had director Ken Mayer approved these projects, an extension would not have been needed.

Everyone involved (who will tell the truth) with these projects knows it was Ken Mayer who was responsible for this denial. Director Mayer blatantly ignored Governor Gibbon’s order to cooperate with the Commission and carry out the Commission’s policies according to statute. Pete Mori was not on the Commission during this time frame and probably wasn’t aware of the conflict between the commission and Director Mayer.

Another area where Pete Mori was wrong was about the number of ravens that could be removed. The Las Vegas Dump located in Apex had an estimated 4,000 ravens. Wildlife Services removed 3,000 of them. They were able to do this because the proper authorities honored this request. Ken Mayer did not do this for raven control in Elko County! All of Sandoval’s appointments to the Wildlife Commission, led by Chairman Mike McBeath, voted to deny the extension. Ken Mayer and the Wildlife Commission do not believe in predator control. Their votes, in denying the money for raven control, proves this point.

In 2001, the Legislature passed a law granting money to be used for predator control. The original intent was that it was to be used for mule deer. However, it did not say that specifically in the bill. There are many areas where deer numbers have increased because this money was used for the removal of lions and coyotes. It appears that Mr. Mori is pleased that the predator money which has been used for deer will now be switched to sage grouse. This shows that Mr. Mori could care less about bringing back our deer.

When the sage grouse is listed, let’s put the blame squarely on the people who failed to act. They are Ken Mayer and Governor Sandoval’s appointments to the Wildlife Commission. They were in a position of authority to do something and they didn’t. They are more concerned about spending resources on bighorn sheep. I’m sure they will have a bogus excuse for their failures.

I sent a letter to Governor Sandoval stating that I did not wish to be re-appointed to the Wildlife Commission. I believe that as long as Ken Mayer is the director and Governor Sandoval’s appointments do not have the fortitude to stand up against Ken Mayer, sportsmen and wildlife will suffer in our state. Sandoval’s wildlife commissioners have already shown they will rubber stamp anything NDOW wants. I feel confident that someday I will be able to tell Governor Sandoval “I told you so.”

In closing, Pete Mori may not have liked the article written by Cecil Fredi, but he tells the truth, unlike some NDOW employees.


Charlie Howell is a former wildlife commissioner who has been hunting and fishing in Nevada for more than 65 years.

Sunday, 19 August 2012 17:49

NDOW - It's About the Money

Reprinted from the Elko Daily Free Press -

By Dr. Gerald Lent - 

Editor: I have been involved with Nevada wildlife issues for over forty years. I understand what is really going on with Director Mayer and NDOW and the people of Nevada need to understand this also.

This is what I think NDOW is trying to do: Director Mayer is supporting the listing (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS) of the sage grouse issue. It’s all about money! If listed, the Feds will say what can we do to make it better and will then dump lots of dollars at NDOW (that’s what the government does) for Mayer to waste on his administration, not wildlife!

His tactic has been to kill more mule deer to decline the deer herds. This holds true for the sage grouse decline so he can get more federal dollars and can blame habitat to get more funds. NDOW’s intent is to accelerate the decline of the numbers of mule deer by giving out many more tags!

It is not habitat if only ONE species declines and Mayer needs a deer decline to have another species going down to prove the habitat excuse. Mule deer become an additional support for him to blame habitat, as Mayer has been doing for years.

NDOW believes they are serving the best interest of wildlife by getting sage grouse listed as this is the only way they will get money and get cattle and mining off the ranges so sheep can be planted.

Ken Mayer has rolled over to a non-government sheep organization (NGO). For years they have made huge donations to NDOW so basically they own Nevada Department of Wildlife. Director Mayer is saying they don’t want sage grouse listed only to get mining and agriculture off his back.

NDOW doesn’t want to believe predators are responsible for the decline of deer and sage grouse so they can say ONLY habitat is the problem!

I hope everybody really can see this because it is a pattern that Ken Mayer and NDOW have been following for years and is in Director Mayer’s best interest to get the bird listed.

Dr. Gerald Lent

Former Wildlife Commission chairman

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