Thursday, 04 January 2007 02:14

Blood of Rams on Commissioners Hands

Written by Hunters Alert
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The blood and deaths of these rams (and probably hundreds more) belongs on the hands of Wildlife commissioner Clint Bentley, former Wildlife commissioners Tommy Ford and John Moran


That is a bold statement. Now let’s prove it! These three pictures are the skulls of 11 desert bighorn sheep rams. They were located in two different areas. In one area, 6 skulls were found in 4 days! This is how bad the lion predation is in our state. How did this travesty develop? Well, you can thank the above mentioned Wildlife commissioners for this terrible situation.

Ram SkullsIn the 2001 legislative session, senate bill 30 would have changed the mountain lion status from a big game animal to a predator where it belongs. Who was the person (claiming to be a sportsman) that testified against this bill? Why, none other than Clint Bentley. But Clint Bentley’s love of and protection of mountain lions didn’t stop there. He must have approved of the lions decimating the sheep and the deer because he cast the deciding negative vote on a petition which would have allowed hunters to harvest more lions.

The petition was a simple matter of having a punch spot on a hunting license. If you were out in the field and saw a lion, you could shoot it and punch out the spot on the hunting license. Next, you would have to take it to NDOW within 72 hours, as it is now, and pay your fee. The quota on lions for the 2005-2006 season was 345. However, only 145 were harvested. It was a good way of harvesting more lions but why did Clint Bentley cast the deciding negative vote? His feeble excuse was that it would have cost NDOW a lot of money.

Let’s put a pencil to Clint Bentley’s ridiculous statement and prove how bad a Wildlife commissioner he really is. In the 5 year period from 1999 to 2004, the average of resident mountain lion tags sold was 1108 per year. A resident mountain lion tag costs $29.00 so $32,132 was realized per year for residents. During the same period, the average number of non-resident tags was 205 per year. A non-resident tag is $104.00 which produced $21,320 in revenue. This is a combined total of $53,452 a year. NDOW is an agency that has a $26,635,525 annual budget. This was a miniscule amount that Clint Bentley was talking about. Meanwhile, because of Clint Bentley’s ignorance along with the ignorance of a few other Wildlife commissioners, NDOW lost millions during fiscal years 2000-2005. Stay tuned for the facts on this piece of corruption because it’s big!

Ram HornsAll of the "head in the sand" Wildlife commissioners are just as much to blame as NDOW. It’s not like NDOW and the Wildlife commissioners have not been told of our lion problem. The problem is that they haven’t been listening! Here is an excerpt presented to the Wildlife Commission on January 20, 1996 by Cecil Fredi, president, HUNTER’S ALERT. "Sportsmen are already the losers in our state because of the Nevada Division of Wildlife. We used to allow 34 sheep permits in the Sheep Mountain Range. We now allow 4. Again, in the first HUNTER’S ALERT newsletter, NDOW was told about the mountain lion problem in the Sheep Mountain Range. What did they do about it? Absolutely nothing. Well, almost. They did cut the number of tags issued to sheep hunters. We have lost 70% of our deer herds and we are going into the second decade of using the standard old drought excuse. The truth about this loss is attributable to predators, with the chief one being the mountain lion. The statistics will tell you the truth when NDOW will not."

At the May 4, 1996 Wildlife Commission meeting, Fredi again testified, "HUNTER’S ALERT believes many more lions need to be harvested and to do so, it has to be made as easy as possible. Let’s talk about some of the proposals that the NDOW team has come up with. They want to go in with an initial $15 fee. This is absolutely wrong. If they are so desperate for money put the fee after the lion has been taken. NDOW is recommending to increase the current fee to harvest a lion. That’s not the way you harvest more lions. There is talk about lengthening the season which is fine but basically this will let a guide harvest an additional lion or two. It certainly won’t have a major impact on the lion harvest. They are going to allow more than one lion to be harvested. Never in the history of baseball has anyone stolen second base without reaching first. The same is true here. They aren’t harvesting the first lion now so again the second lion is not going to have any real impact. When you total these three recommendations, you may increase the lion take by 10% or 19 lions. This simply is not enough to bring our deer herds back or save our sheep."

These two excerpts prove that it doesn’t do any good to attend a Wildlife Commission meeting and that is why very few people do. Nothing has changed since those articles were written 11 years ago other than the names of the Wildlife commissioners. They are still the "won’t listen, do nothing" Wildlife Commission. Oh, that’s right, the Wildlife commissioners have done something. You know, like raise our fees, implement more rules and regulations and permit the slaughter of 1,000 pregnant doe deer. A real standup bunch of guys, huh? By the way, for all those wonderful ideas the Wildlife commissioners came up with to solve our lion problem, here are the results. Sport hunters in 1995-1996 harvested 134 lions. In 2005-2006, it was 116. The HUNTER’S ALERT testimony was right and as usual, the Wildlife commissioners failed to listen.

Ram Horns Killed by CommissionersIt’s time for everyone who supports the sheep clubs in Nevada to wake up. If they really cared about sheep, they would be doing something about mountain lions. Legislative bills have been introduced to do something about lion predation but none of these so called sheep guru organizations ever show up to support the bills. It is quite apparent they are only interested in their banquets with warm and fuzzy feel-good intentions, certainly not in the genuine interests of doing something about lion predation on our sheep. Their members need to face the fact that their donations of time and money are non-productive in producing more desert bighorn sheep. Here is the question that HUNTER’S ALERT poses to them: We have more areas to hunt desert bighorn sheep than we have ever had. We have more man-made water projects than we have ever had. Yet why do desert bighorn sheep numbers remain the same? It’s time for everyone who thinks the sheep club members are doing something good for the sheep to wake up and face the fact that the lions are wiping out all of their good deeds.

We told you of two of Clint Bentley’s many failures to represent the sportsmen as a Wildlife commissioner. But how does someone who is this ignorant on wildlife issues get appointed in the first place? First and foremost, it was a big, fat political donation to Governor Kenny Guinn. It stinks, doesn’t it? But here is the real reason. There was an opening for a Wildlife commissioner to be appointed from Clark County. Tommy Ford and John Moran were buddies of Clint Bentley. So, as Wildlife commissioners, they went to the governor to help get Clint Bentley appointed. This doesn’t say much for Tommy Ford or John Moran as they chose to sell out the deer, sheep and sportsmen in the entire state of Nevada just to have a buddy at the party when the Wildlife Commission meeting is over. We hope the three mentioned Wildlife commissioners are proud of the slaughter of our deer and sheep because they should take a lot of credit for it. When you see these individuals, be sure to thank them for their selfish acts.

Last modified on Thursday, 04 January 2007 02:36
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