Silence

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Another 45 have died. I know because I counted them. Add in the two dozen or more from before, and that seems to be a pretty significant number. (And apparently the coyotes can’t keep up.) According to Game and Fish literature, it’s expected that about 10 percent of a population will perish through the winter, especially in high-stressed areas. If this is an accurate percentage, then we definitely had more than 500 deer in our yard.

We were working on a bill that would have allowed unfilled deer licenses to be used in areas that are facing extreme amounts of deer pressure. These tags were ones that the Game and Fish Department had already sold and profitted from, I’m assuming with the intentions that they would be filled. If the Game and Fish Department deemed an area a “problem,” then December through March 15, the tags could have been filled.

A perfect solution? Of course not. Another tool in the tool box? Certainly. Apparently continuing on with the status quo isn’t working.

One of the legislators that I contacted regarding the issue was kind enough to reply. He told us that they are sending the bill to a “special committee” to come up with another idea, perhaps with food plots and feeding areas. They don’t want to see the deer shot. My question is why? These are tags that were already paid for and calculated by Game and Fish as being acceptable to lower deer numbers.

Somewhere, somehow, we need to start thinking outside the box and trying something new.

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11 thoughts on “Silence

  1. I did not know that deer were such an endangered species!! The legislators certainly seem to think that. I hope they don’t make ranchers become one.
    I support you in your efforts.

    • Thank you Pastor Paul! And I agree, I pray that problems such as this do not cause a farmer/rancher to lose their farm, their herd, or their livelihood. We are fortunate to be able to ride out these setbacks, but many may not be in the same situation. It’s the reason I’m recording all of this for the future, so our boys can see what we went through. Hopefully, we’ll be able to look back on this and grow from it.

  2. Val…. I just can’t get over these photos and the continued issue. My thoughts are with you as you have to have some very tough conversations with your boys about something so hard for any of us to understand. — jp

    • I agree, David, hunting IS good. Unfortunately, North Dakota Game and Fish do not allow hunting outside of season, and there is no allowance for depredation tags. So, it means that as a producer, our hands are tied. We have had many, many conversations with NDG&F regarding our situation (which, sadly, is not unique in our area), and they talk in circles, but never accomplish anything. Our hopes are that by educating others about the problems, we can work to a solution in the near future. Thank you for your well-wishes!

  3. I agree that your idea could work. I don’t understand why we would want to start feeding deer, and I don’t think a majority of ND lawmakers wouldn’t want to see the deer shot. I wonder what the special committee is?

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