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Wild horse hunt sparks outrage

 

Pair of wild horse
Photo credit: PxHere

Hours after the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources (NNDNR) announced a special wild/feral horse hunt, it was canceled. The hunt, which was announced on NNDNR’s website yesterday, offered permits for a six-day hunt that would begin March 27 and end April 1, 2018. While wild horses run rampant across the West, often causing damage to habitat used by other wildlife, the decision to hold a hunt angered enough people for it to end before any tags could be sold.

Original screenshot of NNDNR's website:
 

Navajo Nation horse hunt open
See the two highlighted sections.

Hours later the hunt was canceled:



Facebook post

The hunt targeted non-branded mature stallions, mares with no colts present and two-year-old weaner colts. The bag limit was one per hunter; however, if there were leftover tags, hunters would have been able to purchase an additional permit. All hunters required permission to hunt in the Navajo Nation.

The number of feral horse permits and units included:

Navajo Nation 2018 feral horse hunt proclamation
As goHUNT has previously reported, feral horses have become a nuisance animal for many western states. While they may be a synonymous part of the western landscape, their skyrocketing populations are only creating more problems. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) admitted that the federal program in charge of managing the wild horses was facing a $1 billion budget shortfall and would need to partner with other organizations, states and counties in order to solve the problem.

While the feral horse hunt may seem like a possible solution, too many oppose taking this type of action. What do you think? Is a feral horse hunt a viable way to manage these animals?

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21 Comments

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Kole E. - posted 8 months ago on 03-17-2018 12:23:32 am
goHUNT INSIDER

The NNDNR ought to be able to do what’s best for the resources they manage. I assume that’s why NNDNR exists. After all it’s the NNDNR that employs or contracts the experts that recommend feral horses need eradication in the first place. I’m sorry to see an organization/govt influenced by ignorant, agenda driven media hogwash. I hope I’m wrong.

Erik S. - posted 9 months ago on 03-05-2018 09:06:28 am
goHUNT INSIDER

@ Al C. You are 100% right, we all need to voice our concerns to elected officials and bitching on small forums like this is the least productive.
@Michael K. There are dozens of wildlife biologist who would cringe reading your uneducated/ignorant comment on you're anecdotal evidence of seeing no damage to the environment from feral non native horses. They were brought here by man 12,000 years after extinction. You are on to something with you comments on humans causing significant damage, but thats another discussion in itself. The climate is changing, there are droughts across the west. So every little water hole is crucial to mule deer, sheep, elk, you name it... and horses destroy and water holes and get protective over them. There is no logical reason they shouldn't be managed by paying hunters for meat consumption. They are almost never killed by other predators because of their size and speed as far as I have seen but I am not certain of that.

mahoneychris
Chris M. - posted 9 months ago on 03-05-2018 09:10:20 am
Minden Nevada
goHUNT INSIDER

These Prong Horn might have a different opinion, especially since there are twice as many wild horses than the habitat can sustain. Doesn’t seem like the current management plans are working.

https://ac.els-cdn.com/S014019631630218X/1-s2.0-S014019631630218X-main.p...

Michael K. - posted 9 months ago on 03-05-2018 07:28:58 am
Reno, NV
goHUNT INSIDER

BS! These wild horses have been here for hundreds of years. They cohabitate with the mule deer, tortoise and the grouse. We have hundreds of horses in the Washoe Valley area and I've seen no damage to the environment. I would remind all of you "environmentalists" that Elk are a non-native species to many states, like Texas, where they were introduced. Feral hogs damage crops and fields, not horses. Man is a much more destructive influence on the environment, especially the Bureau of Lost Minds (BLM). I hunt and fish. I've seen more damage caused by idiots littering, leaving fire rings, beer cans, and plastic in the back country. Or leaving trash in the open after shooting "stuff", brass, and shotgun shells lying about. Remember two things you you ask the Government to manage anything: First, look how well they treat the American Indian! Secondly, they took over management of the Mustang Ranch, a landmark brothel in northern Nevada. It sold sex, alcohol, and cigarettes, and they ran it into bankruptcy! I've heard the $4M price bantered around before. Again, I have to call BS on that. Especially since they round them up and sell them to Canadian meat producers. If they can't manage their budgets better, then fire them and get someone in who can.

Al C. - posted 9 months ago on 03-05-2018 06:22:06 am

Unfortunately venting on a habitat destroying uncontrolled species on this forum will have no effect on an animal with visible and charismatic appeal to the pet horse crowd enamored with the imagined romanticism of the old west. If you are not reaching out to your elected officials and other wildlife and public land focused organizations you are doing nothing. And let’s not forget that hunters are a declining user group so co-opting tree huggers for habitat protection has potential as the horse lovers have obvious political traction.

Eddie K. - posted 9 months ago on 03-04-2018 07:55:09 pm
Southern Colorado
goHUNT INSIDER

@Jon T. Yep, I had some in France years ago when I took a trip over there during college, it was was (is still?) considered a delicacy in much of Europe...

Nick J. - posted 9 months ago on 03-04-2018 05:28:08 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Ryan.

Last I checked I hunt pheasants, huns,
chukars, and fished for brown trout.

I'm sure you were attempting a point, not sure what it was.

Nick J. - posted 9 months ago on 03-04-2018 05:35:50 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Ryan.

Last I checked I hunt pheasants, huns,
chukars, and fished for brown trout.

I'm sure you were attempting a point, not sure what it was.

hauss12
Joseph H. - posted 9 months ago on 03-04-2018 09:48:28 am
Lakeway, Texas
goHUNT INSIDER

Ryan - I agree with you. As stewards of the land we should try to eliminate all of the non-natives to achieve our conservation goals. Feral hogs are the obvious ones that stands out and probably does more damage to ecosystems than any other mammal that I know of (at least where I reside). Nobody is fighting the hog management practices, but are fighting horse management. Similar damage is caused by both. I guess horses/burros are lumped into the charismatic species group...

aj_1
AJ M. - posted 9 months ago on 03-04-2018 09:18:26 am
West Linn, OR
goHUNT INSIDER

Those opposed need to be educated. I’d imagine they’re the same sort of folks that applied the pressure and ended the grizzly hunts in BC.
What is the alternative to this ? Tax payers Footing the bill for a government agency to euthanize them? Because there is more than enough data supporting the need to manage feral horses. I’ve seen first hand the negative impact of wild horses in the Owyhee unit here in Oregon. Something must be done.

Erik S. - posted 9 months ago on 03-04-2018 08:53:35 am
goHUNT INSIDER

@Ryan C.

Are those invasive species you mentioned causing damage to the native ecosystem and wildlife at or near the levels of the wild horse?

Ryan C. - posted 9 months ago on 03-02-2018 12:42:34 pm

While I agree that the biologists should put forth policy there seem to be a lot of hunters who are quite hypocritical calling out people for their affinity for wild horses.

Let's eradicate all invasive and introduced species. Pheasants, chukar, huns, brown trout, brookies west of the Mississippi... I could go on. Of course that wouldn't gain traction in the hunting and fishing community because of the irrational and ecologically damaging preference hunters and fishermen tend to show these non-native animals.

Kyler G. - posted 9 months ago on 03-02-2018 10:25:22 am

It’s a shame many people are so arrogant to think their uneducated opinion holds much more merit that facts dictated by science and biologists.

mahoneychris
Chris M. - posted 9 months ago on 02-28-2018 12:39:18 am
Minden Nevada
goHUNT INSIDER

if you have driven through Nevada, the problem with horses is obvious. It’s hard to drive east of Carson City without seeing them everywhere.

https://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/local/ndot-plans-horse-fencing-for-hig...

Erik S. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 09:21:31 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Common sense would tell you that they need to be managed the same as feral hogs. But common sense isnt so common this day in age and it is replaced by emotions.

Marc R. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 12:44:52 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Thank you for posting this article. I chew on this issue frequently. The comments that preceded mine are spot on. I am no biologist and certainly don't claim to be an expert regarding wild horses or the deer ,antelope an elk that they share the land with. I can say that as an Oregon resident who also enjoys hunting out of my home state including Nevada, these horses are absolutely a detriment as others have stated to the animals that actually belong particularly in dry areas. In the NW corner of Nevada, the horse population is downright stupid. Hunting in SE Oregon only two years ago, there is almost no place in the area I was hunting that didn't have a horse track in it. The ground is bare under the junipers and it smells more like a barnyard than the high desert. Horses occupied my view near and far each day. The very limited water sources are trampled and flattened and absolutely dominated by the horses. A few years back scouting in NW Nevada, was an eye opener for me. The horses were thick with literally hundreds spotted before the trip was over. Good on them for trying but Oregon has proven that roundups quickly lose their productivity as the demand quickly dissolves and is now gone. The facilities that house these horses get saturated in short order. These horses simply become a financial burden and to my knowledge there is still nothing done to curb the population outside of those fences. This tactic no longer even qualifies as a band aid. This is a mountain of a problem that I feel is grossly overlooked. This is yet another example where the true conservationists are ready and willing to lend a much needed hand to a glaring issue but sadly not given a chance. A wild horse hunt is the only cost effective way to gain control over this issue.

Jon T. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 11:42:12 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Are they good eating...?

hauss12
Joseph H. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 11:29:47 am
Lakeway, Texas
goHUNT INSIDER

Manage them just as you would any non-native species. These horses, if I understand correctly are not of the lineages that were native to North America and went extinct. They are a detriment to our native wildlife species and the damage they do to water holes in the arid west makes it tough on elk and mule deer as well as other species.

fordpowerforever@hotmail.com
Eric A. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 10:57:03 am
Forks, WA
goHUNT INSIDER

Its crazy how diluted non-hunters vision of wildlife can be. They have no issues with people handling hogs, rats, pidgeons etc. as needed, but when it comes to something viewed as pets by some (wolves and horses) they are outraged. People fight for wolves while they kill off a dying herd of caribou with no regard for the caribou. Everyone that opposes this horse hunting and any horse culling programs should be adopting a horse in my opinion. The age old fight of feelings winning over science.

Gary H. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 10:07:45 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Everyone wonders why we can only keep 2/3 of our paychecks at best due to over taxation....This should open some of your eyes.

THIS IS WHERE SOME OF YOUR YOUR MONEY IS GOING PEOPLE!

http://thecoloradoobserver.com/2012/06/spending-on-horse/

Gary H. - posted 9 months ago on 02-27-2018 10:04:29 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Any horse not in a corral or a fence that shows clear ownership and domestication should be hunted down and killed. Just like they do with the pigs in the east. They are non-native and destructive. Shoot them all dead.

If you haven't watched the "Unbranded" on Netflix you need to watch it. We are throwing MILLIONS of taxpayers dollars down the drain to protect these things and they are devastating the landscape. This whole program/scenario sickens me and ticks me off.

If I had wild horses running across my property I would shoot them just like I do the hogs.