Tuesday, 01 July 2008 00:00

Former Wildlife Commissioners Deserted Nevada Deer Hunters

Written by Hunters Alert
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In the 2001 Legislative session, HUNTER’S ALERT, working with Nevada Hunters Association and Assemblyman Jerry Claborn were successful in passing Assembly Bill 291. This bill enacted a $3.00 predator fee for every big game tag that hunters applied for. It should be noted that no other so-called sportsmen’s organization helped in the passage of this bill which was desperately needed to restore our deer.


This bill provides over $300,000 a year for predator control. The original intent of the bill was to do predator control to bring back our deer. However, former governor Kenny Guinn’s appointments to the Wildlife Commission, Tommy Ford, John Moran, Clint Bentley, Jack Robb and Jim Jeffress decided to do more sheep projects than deer projects. The reason for this is that the Wildlife Commission was stacked with sheep club members. It shows that they could care less about people who want to hunt deer.


To them, it was more important for 150 people to hunt sheep than the 35,000 hunters who want to hunt deer. I guess nobody in the sheep club hunts deer. Nothing like being a selfish bunch! NDOW has refused to do any predator control on its own. So with the money provided by sportsmen, they farm it out to Wildlife Services.


Wildlife Services is a federal program whose mission is to protect agriculture, natural resources, property and the human health and safety of the citizens of Nevada from the threat of injury, damage, or resource loss due to wildlife. For 20 years, HUNTER’S ALERT has been telling NDOW, our elected officials, the Wildlife Commissioners and the sportsmen in the state of Nevada that we have a serious predator problem. To prove how bad the predation is in our state, here are some examples from Wildlife Services newsletter, The Trapline, March and April 2008 editions.


During the week of March 10th thru March 14th, WS Ben Miller saved 104 mule deer (or similar sized ungulate species) on the Washoe County Mule Deer Project (hunt unit 014). During the week WS Miller checked several mt. lion snare lines that also had call boxes complementing them. On March 13th, WS Miller walked in with his back pack on his longest snare line, a 15 mile walk (round trip) and found that a mt. lion actually broke out of a trail snare. WS Miller kept walking up the canyon checking equipment and his dog took off and a short while later caught a female mt. lion. This was the same mt. lion that had broken the snare. WS Miller pressed on and a few miles up the canyon caught yet another old female mt. lion in a trail snare. This is the 13th mt. lion removed off of this deer project in the past year. Research conducted in other portions of the U.S. confirms that mt. lions typically consume approximately 52 deer (or similar sized animals) per year. The 13 mt. lions could have potentially killed 676 animals on average. WS Miller finished the week by checking some coyote equipment that resulted in the removal of two additional coyotes in trail snares. WS Miller will continue to flex his trapping expertise in the spirit of protecting Nevada’s mule deer.

During the week of April 21st thru April 25th, a livestock producer from Washoe County reported that two lambs (valued at $150) had been killed by mt. lions. During the week Mt. Lion Specialist Tom Kilby inspected the area around the livestock damage site and after two days of searching the offending mt. lion returned. After a tough chase, MLS Kilby removed a three year old male mt. lion. No further livestock losses have been reported since the removal of the mt. lion, but tracks of another mt. lion in the area were found. Note: In this particular area not much has changed over the years in regards to fire. A mt. lion track or even a mt. lion livestock loss in north Washoe county was rare 15 years ago. Deer were plentiful and seen often while conducting aerial hunting activities or on horseback. Today mt. lion tracks and livestock ills are as common as the wind and with few deer in this area (hunt unit 015) just about every mt. lion that encounters livestock, will kill livestock.


If it is this bad in the area where they are doing predator control work, it has to be the same wherever there are mule deer. Where mule deer are wintering, without a doubt, there are mountain lions feeding on them. This is what lions do. They kill mule deer for their primary food source. You don’t have to be a wildlife biologist to realize this fact, especially if you have spent any time outdoors with mule deer and mountain lion.  Is it any wonder why we have lost the majority of our deer? The people who are lost were the commissioners from former governor Kenny Guinn’s appointments. Tommy Ford, John Moran, Clint Bentley, Jack Robb and Jim Jeffress and other representatives on the Wildlife Commission were a disgrace to the sportsmen they were supposed to represent. They didn’t have a clue before their appointments to the Commission and after many years of disservice to the sportsmen they still don’t get it! To read more, go to www.huntersalert.org.
Last modified on Sunday, 18 April 2010 10:15
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