Monday, 30 September 2002 17:00

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Re: Hunter's Alert Summer Issue

I was horrified to read the article in the above-referenced newsletter about the Nevada Division of Wildlife game warden (Roddy Shepard) who couldn't bring himself to function in an emergency situation involving a ram who had been severely injured by a motor vehicle on the roadway.

My father was a game warden. He never tolerated the suffering of an animal. If one was injured or wounded beyond rescue, he sent it to heaven with a single bullet without a moment's hesitation. What is this about not wanting to discharge a weapon because the warden doesn 't want to do the paperwork? Give me a break. And no one in their right mind, who knows what they are doing, would even consider shooting an animal with a shotgun. (Shotguns are designed to kill birds, Mr. Shepard.) Furthermore, the excuse that using the service revolver would soil it is lame beyond imagination. How long would it have taken Shepard to fill out some forms and clean his service revolver? Unless he is illiterate and /or ignorant (both debatable) the combined activities should not take more than ten or fifteen minutes total. The ram suffered for two hours. The entire purpose of NODW, or any other ostensibly wildlife protection agency, should be just that: the protection of animals under any circumstances. No wonder nothing is ever done about "hunters" who would animals without a second thought, and never bother to track them down. Shepard didn't know what to do when one was staring him in the face.

When my father was a warden, he worked all night, staked out poachers, responded to calls from local ranchers and residents about violations or emergencies (I.e., wounded animals in the road), and arrested poachers-out in the middle of nowhere, and with no backup (or overtime). He delivered fresh road kill to the local jail. (Apparently, the "biohazard" factor was missing in his day. He's 72 now, and regularly fishes in the ocean in a kayak.) He did all this because he was dedicated, and it was his job. He also brought home countless animals, either wounded or motherless, to be cared for and properly placed. I cannot imagine hat NDOW has policies and wardens who not only lack the most basic elements of common sense, but have the capacity to sit around and scratch their heads while an animal is writhing in pain. This is either a case of a warden who is incapable of making a decision, or - more likely, and more appalling- a man who is inconceivably cruel and lacking in any degree of compassion. He should have given his job application to the Taliban, not NDOW.

I am a responsible hunter and learned at a very early age that you don't shoot unless you KNOW that the animal won't know what hit him. I was also taught that if I injured an animal on the road, I should kill it with a single bullet to the head without delay and then contact someone to pick it up so that nothing would go o waste. This ram would have had a less traumatic death had he been ripped to pieces by a mountain lion. And who were the so-called "hunters" who tried to strangle him? I realize they were put on the spot, but why didn't they just load one of the available rifles and put him out of his misery? The trial would have provided an excellent opportunity to reveal Shepard's incompetence and neglect and perhaps would have resulted in his being put back on the street where he belongs. It is also unbelievable that Shepard is apparently not even familiar with how to shoot. What kind of training do these wardens get?

Please feel free to print this letter in your next newsletter. A copy is being sent to NDOW. Perhaps if enough people write, the prerequisites for becoming a game warden will be changed.

Right now, it appears that if a person knows how to shuffle papers (and avoid filling any out), and has a calloused disregard for suffering animals, he's a shoo-in for the job. What we need are individuals who know how to make a split-second decision and act on it, on behalf of and out of concern for God's creatures, whom they were hired to protect. Too bad my father is retired. Maybe NDOW should

hire him to train their entire staff.

Sincerely, Lesleyanne Sears

Cc. Terry Crawforth

Administrator

Nevada Division of Wildlife

«»

To Governor Kenny Guinn 19 Oct. 2001

Dear Mr. Guinn:

My husband and I are L-O-N-G time deer hunters in this state, going back to the mid- and late-60's. We have hunted Area 7 (Elko County) almost exclusively for the past 25 years. In most of those years deer were plentiful and bucks were reasonably easy to find.

In the past few years, we have noticed a real drop in the number of deer—does and bucks—that we have observed. This year, we again got two bucks, but they were the only horns we saw, and we saw very few does, either.

NDOW says there are no problems. I contend that we have a REAL problem with cougars. Would you, with the power that your office carries, pound some sense into the bigwigs at NDOW, and have them start a cougar season, or bounty, to allow the deer herds to respond to their former numbers.

I am anxiously awaiting your reply.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Carole L. Hart

Lemmon Valley, NV

Cc. Hunter's Alert

«

Reply:

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Hart:

Thank you for your letter expressing your

concerns with the Nevada Division of

Wildlife (NDOW) and its Administrator, Mr. Terry Crawforth.

Like you, I care very much about the workings of NDOW. It is important to keep in mind that NDOW is tasked with many challenging issues, especially in these times of economic uncertainly regarding state and federal funding, coupled with last year's drought and devastating fire season.

I am hopeful that NDOW, the Wildlife Commission, and the public can work together to ensure sound management of Nevada's wildlife on state and federal lands.

Sincerely, Kenny C. Guinn Governor

m

"We certainly do enjoy getting the Hunter's Alert" newsletter. After reading it, I do pass it around to friends. We totally agree with you on the "common sense" issue that you recently brought up. Unfortunately, we are going to see more and more of this evidently"...N.G.C., Florence, AL.

"I don't hunt in Nevada because of what's happening with our brain dead NDOW officials. I hunt Wyoming and Colorado. HUNTER'S ALERT said it all. Drew one deer the last year in over a ten year period. Nevada sucks." A.D., Pahrump, NV

The state should have a small bounty on lions and coyotes and predators. What would be the loss to the state?" E.R., Pahrump, NV

"Keep up the good work-I noticed that only hunters who applied for tags this year got this. You should keep an active list of all. I know several hunters who did not apply this year and did not receive this. I let 10 of my friends read it. They expressed that they wanted to keep in touch with this report." M.R., Las Vegas, NV Editor's note: The best way to assure that

you receive every issue of HUNTER'S ALERT is to send us your name and address to be placed on our permanent mailing list.

"Keep up the great work!!" B. & N. S., Las Vegas, NV

"Get everyone in District 35 to vote for Pete Goicoechea." J.M., Fallon

"It's been 4 years since we got a tag-but they sure don't mind keeping a portion of the money." H.P., Moapa, NV

"What do I tell my grandchildren when we hunt birds all day and see none." D.R., N. Las Vegas, NV

"This (donation) is in memory of Mr. Milt Blake. Many thanks for your efforts to preserve hunting in Nevada." Tom & Diane Keating, Las Vegas, NV

"Please make this (donation) in memory of Jim Buckler. He very much supported your cause. Thank you, Cecil, for the article on Jim. It was very nice." Emma Buckler, Las Vegas, NV

"You are doing a good job. Keep me posted-can donate more next time." A.E.F., Las Vegas, NV

"Cecil, keep up the great work. Three of my sons no longer apply for tags in Nevada, say it's too difficult to draw any big game! One gave up 15 elk points!" E.M., Las Vegas, NV

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