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  1. Default Feral Horse Hunts Anyone???

    As predicted by many, the horse population continues to spiral out of control, and the current "adoption" programs can't keep up. Just curious, but would anyone out their be interested in hunting and eating wild horse? Would likely be a PR disaster for hunters even if there was an interest. Here's a recent article: http://wildlife.org/horse-blm-lays-out-options/

  2. #2

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    50 million to HOUSE an invasive species is insanity. I guess biological pollution is ok if it's fluffy. Even in liberal Delaware they do it better..
    http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fis...nakeheads.aspx
    Last edited by MikeMaland; 06-06-2016 at 07:20 PM.

  3. #3

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    Our ancestors hunted them, and they are still eaten in much of the world, I hear they are tasty so why not? Because much of the US and other parts of the world sees them as pet, or noble creatures I guess. So hunting them will never happen even if it makes sense.

  4. #4

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    My best uneducated guess would be that they're an icon of the west and they have fur.
    Burmese pythons were pets in Florida and they just wrapped up a state wide hunting contest.

  5. #5
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    Default Feral Horses

    Given the Whiteboard of tags this season, it looks like I will be spending a lot of time in the land of feral horses. It is hard for me to go back to places I hunted while going to college in Nevada and see the degradation of the water sources that have occurred from so many feral horses on the land.

    This article by The Wildlife Society is one of many they have been publishing about this topic. I commend them for doing so.

    http://wildlife.org/horse-blm-lays-out-options/

    This one line is dead on target - TWS recognizes these horses and burros as an invasive species, which present several challenges for wildlife professionals tasked with science-based management and conservation of native wildlife.

    When I bring this issue up I often catch hell from those who enjoy horses. I understand that people like horses, but any time we let one species, especially a feral species, go unmanaged, while the rest of the species on the landscape are managed, things usually turn out poorly.

    I wonder what would have happened if the USFWS would have issued a warranted decision and put sage grouse on the ESL, all the while these feral horses are allowed to go unchecked in a manner that is damaging to sage grouse habitat. Sooner or later, Congress is going to have to get a spine and address this problem. Reducing BLM funding for round ups, passing laws that make it illegal to render a horse in the USA, and a host of other foolish acts by Congress does nothing but make the situation worse.

    A big battle is looming on this topic. I am sure I will see plenty of them while hunting deer in UT, NV, and elk in CO.

    This horse was the badass dude among his herd when me and Cornell2012 sat a waterhole in NV, waiting for an antelope to come in and water. It never happened. The horses would stand and wait for the basin to fill slightly, then come in and drink it dry. Any antelope were forced to stand back and hope the horses would leave, which they never did in our four days of sitting there.

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    The future of mule deer and antelope in much of the Great Basin is heavily influenced by whether or not Congress will do what they are supposed to do and fund the solutions to this problem of invasive feral species ruining the habitat for native species.

    I hope you will click on this banner ad when it rotates through. It is the Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, a group trying to come to some solutions. I have put this banner in our rotation because of the importance I feel this issue has to the future of native wildlife in these areas. The Coalition has some great videos, links, and articles that provide a lot more information on this topic.

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    http://www.wildhorserange.org/
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  6. #6
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    Based on some recent reading (American Serengeti by Dan Flores) I came to understand that horses evolved here, then migrated with a number of other species across the land bridge, went extinct in North America at the end of the Pleistocene and were then reintroduced when European explorers arrived.
    This doesn't change the current problem but makes me ponder the feral designation as well as management in light of other (more recent) reintroduced species.

  7. #7

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    Feral hogs of the west. Good luck.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Fin View Post
    Given the Whiteboard of tags this season, it looks like I will be spending a lot of time in the land of feral horses. It is hard for me to go back to places I hunted while going to college in Nevada and see the degradation of the water sources that have occurred from so many feral horses on the land.

    This article by The Wildlife Society is one of many they have been publishing about this topic. I commend them for doing so.

    http://wildlife.org/horse-blm-lays-out-options/

    This one line is dead on target - TWS recognizes these horses and burros as an invasive species, which present several challenges for wildlife professionals tasked with science-based management and conservation of native wildlife.

    When I bring this issue up I often catch hell from those who enjoy horses. I understand that people like horses, but any time we let one species, especially a feral species, go unmanaged, while the rest of the species on the landscape are managed, things usually turn out poorly.

    I wonder what would have happened if the USFWS would have issued a warranted decision and put sage grouse on the ESL, all the while these feral horses are allowed to go unchecked in a manner that is damaging to sage grouse habitat. Sooner or later, Congress is going to have to get a spine and address this problem. Reducing BLM funding for round ups, passing laws that make it illegal to render a horse in the USA, and a host of other foolish acts by Congress does nothing but make the situation worse.

    A big battle is looming on this topic. I am sure I will see plenty of them while hunting deer in UT, NV, and elk in CO.

    This horse was the badass dude among his herd when me and Cornell2012 sat a waterhole in NV, waiting for an antelope to come in and water. It never happened. The horses would stand and wait for the basin to fill slightly, then come in and drink it dry. Any antelope were forced to stand back and hope the horses would leave, which they never did in our four days of sitting there.

    Name:  IMG_0021.JPG
Views: 1329
Size:  284.6 KB

    The future of mule deer and antelope in much of the Great Basin is heavily influenced by whether or not Congress will do what they are supposed to do and fund the solutions to this problem of invasive feral species ruining the habitat for native species.

    I hope you will click on this banner ad when it rotates through. It is the Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, a group trying to come to some solutions. I have put this banner in our rotation because of the importance I feel this issue has to the future of native wildlife in these areas. The Coalition has some great videos, links, and articles that provide a lot more information on this topic.

    Name:  horse.jpg
Views: 1313
Size:  24.4 KB

    http://www.wildhorserange.org/
    A whole lot of agreement from me with that post! IMO, the first step has to include a revision (or even repeal) of the Wild Horse and Burro Act. Regardless of funding, this law really hamstrings management options. Second step would be to fund the new alternatives that are allowed under the WHBA 2.0. I do not see a way to truly get a handle on the situation without having some means of lethal population control. I'd be happy to hunt/shoot one, but I think the more measured approach would be to add that task to that of Wildlife Services. I would think a couple years of hard culling get get the pendulum swinging in the correct direction. Not sure the social-media satiated public has the stomach for it...

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    Managing species of all kinds, whether they are either endangered or overpopulated to the point of being out of control is an issue that needs to be in the forefront. As for myself, I will eat everything as least once. There are definitely things I will not try twice (slaughtered goat on the streets of Afghanistan with what appeared to be a sharpened hub cap). On another hand, I think it would sure be weird to see a "trophy photo" of someone kneeling next to black beauty.
    In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen. - Theodore Roosevelt

    A hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be. - Fred Bear

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hansontyrel View Post
    Managing species of all kinds, whether they are either endangered or overpopulated to the point of being out of control is an issue that needs to be in the forefront. As for myself, I will eat everything as least once. There are definitely things I will not try twice (slaughtered goat on the streets of Afghanistan with what appeared to be a sharpened hub cap). On another hand, I think it would sure be weird to see a "trophy photo" of someone kneeling next to black beauty.
    What we eat is so much cultural than it is anything. In Europe, horse (under many different names) is often on the menu in fine dining establishments.

    Horse on the menu cannot happen here, as the feral horse advocates got Congress to pass laws that make it illegal in this country for rendering plants to process horses for any purpose. Like most issues impact wildlife, Congress and their ineptitude or inaction can be a very large contributing factor. This is just one of the many issues that will need to be fixed in order to get the feral horse problem under control.

    I agree with the posts here, our society is not ready for the reality of what needs to be done. But, that does not make the problem disappear.
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  11. #11
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    Dead horses, shot with copper bullets seems like it'd be great carrion for California Condors....sounds like a win win to me.
    Four of a kind, 7x57, 284 winchester, 7 Remington Mag, 7 Mashburn.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1_pointer View Post
    A whole lot of agreement from me with that post! IMO, the first step has to include a revision (or even repeal) of the Wild Horse and Burro Act. Regardless of funding, this law really hamstrings management options. Second step would be to fund the new alternatives that are allowed under the WHBA 2.0. I do not see a way to truly get a handle on the situation without having some means of lethal population control. I'd be happy to hunt/shoot one, but I think the more measured approach would be to add that task to that of Wildlife Services. I would think a couple years of hard culling get get the pendulum swinging in the correct direction. Not sure the social-media satiated public has the stomach for it...
    You are losing a lot of support as long as people can say that the void will just be filled with subsidized public land cattle. True or not, there's just too many cowed-out areas to point to and claim cows are just as bad.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobG View Post
    You are losing a lot of support as long as people can say that the void will just be filled with subsidized public land cattle. True or not, there's just too many cowed-out areas to point to and claim cows are just as bad.
    One is easily regulated/managed with the laws currently on the books and one is not... Either one needs to be managed to adhere to the objectives of the management plans for the area. See my first sentence for figuring out which one it is easier to accomplish this with.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobG View Post
    You are losing a lot of support as long as people can say that the void will just be filled with subsidized public land cattle. True or not, there's just too many cowed-out areas to point to and claim cows are just as bad.
    Your observation of how people view the discussion is correct. But, the "cowed out" premise is incorrect, given how restrictive grazing is in the areas where horses are present. Grazing has been reduced, while the grazing permitees continue to build water infrastructure that benefits not just their cattle, but wild horses and wildlife.

    Permitees are governed by how many AUMs, what dates allowed on the range, when animals must be removed. None of that applies to feral horses. The argument that fewer horses would cause places to be "cowed out" in the absence of horses is an effective PR argument. But, when one looks at the facts, the argument turns into a bunch of horse manure, feral horse manure.
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1_pointer View Post
    One is easily regulated/managed with the laws currently on the books and one is not... Either one needs to be managed to adhere to the objectives of the management plans for the area. See my first sentence for figuring out which one it is easier to accomplish this with.
    Well, even if they are "easily regulated/managed" the BLM can't seem to do it very well, especially in arid places. Their mismanagement of cattle has resulted in a lot of people not feeling the need to swap horses for them. Take cattle out of the equation and the problem will get easier... enviros/conservationists don't like the feral horses either.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Fin View Post
    Your observation of how people view the discussion is correct. But, the "cowed out" premise is incorrect, given how restrictive grazing is in the areas where horses are present. Grazing has been reduced, while the grazing permitees continue to build water infrastructure that benefits not just their cattle, but wild horses and wildlife.

    Permitees are governed by how many AUMs, what dates allowed on the range, when animals must be removed. None of that applies to feral horses. The argument that fewer horses would cause places to be "cowed out" in the absence of horses is an effective PR argument. But, when one looks at the facts, the argument turns into a bunch of horse manure, feral horse manure.
    Being familiar with BLM lands (and AUMs, etc) where there are no horses, I can't agree with that. Are horses worse? Probably. But replacing bad with a little less bad isn't a very effective selling point.

  17. #17

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    Wow learn something everyday. Never knew it was an issue.

    I am not sure I could bring myself to shoot one but I would have no problem managing them like any other wildlife animal is.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobG View Post
    Being familiar with BLM lands (and AUMs, etc) where there are no horses, I can't agree with that.
    Based on opinions of those with professional training of range science and scientific study, or personal anecdotal observation?
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Fin View Post
    Based on opinions of those with professional training of range science and scientific study, or personal anecdotal observation?
    I think you are TOTALLY missing the point. The public perception of what is going on is what matters.

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    I think 1-pointer nailed this one.

    There will be no significant changes until the WHBA is somehow changed to allow for management (probably lethal management) to happen.

    Arguing that cows replacing feral horse is a public perception problem is a joke. As has been stated by both Bigfin and 1-pointer, there is a regulatory process in place to deal with livestock grazing. That includes public involvement.

    This issue, like most others related to resource management, has to be supported via science...and the science is pretty clear that grazing can be done correctly without impairment to the productivity of the land. It can be done in a way that supports both livestock and wildlife.

    I could give a FF about the publics perception, when that perception is based on emotion, hear-say, biased opinions, and anecdotal "evidence".

    What matters is the regulatory process, the laws, statutes, and science.

    Our job is to educate the public about all of it then apply the science via the regulatory process to manage in the best way.

    You have to start by having the legal authority to deal with feral horses...guys like RobG can argue later about the cow pies on public lands.
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzH View Post

    I could give a FF about the publics perception, when that perception is based on emotion, hear-say, biased opinions, and anecdotal "evidence".
    Yup, you and a lot of people. And that is why this problem is probably not going to be solved.

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    I'd gladly shoot a feral horse and put it in my freezer. I'd even pay for the opportunity to do so.

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    They need to be managed, but I'm not eating one. No problem with other people shooting and eating them

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobG View Post
    The public perception of what is going on is what matters.
    I totally agree with you on that point. It is a huge PR challenge to get people to understand. The science side can be determined, the PR and social messaging is the complex part.
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobG View Post
    Well, even if they are "easily regulated/managed" the BLM can't seem to do it very well, especially in arid places. Their mismanagement of cattle has resulted in a lot of people not feeling the need to swap horses for them. Take cattle out of the equation and the problem will get easier... enviros/conservationists don't like the feral horses either.
    Pull your skirt hem down, your bias is showing...

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