Jake Hamill: Fund food for herds


— To the editor:

Winter is here as I'm again reading the headlines of the Craig Daily Press on Saturday, Nov. 28: "DOW states they are planning aggressive winter action."

Is the DOW planning aggressive dialogue with the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, State Land Board and private landowners all working together for a solution?

Or is applying selective enforcement through deception, surveillance and entrapment costing taxpayers many dollars causing animosity and hatred? These procedures do zero to correct the problem of wildlife that's concentrated.

When there is an excessive number of wildlife in any location (regardless of the season) this is a field issue that needs to be resolved between the affected parties and the DOW.

The article in the Daily Press states that the DOW is stockpiling panels and issuing landowners kill permits. The DOW is tap dancing around the problem. Killing a few animals and fencing the stackyards still leaves the majority of animals concentrated. Don't let the animals concentrate. Keep them disbursed in their natural habitat. Supplying panels and giving kill permits is acting after the fact.

As a solution, I suggest haysheds strategically located, filled with high quality hay, be ready when conditions are needed. This program can be funded by a fee on hunting licenses and earmarked for feeding.

In the winter of 2008, the DOW tested animals for malnutrition and tests found that animals didn't need assistance. Northwest Colorado residents could see that animals were starving and many were dead. So much for the DOW high tech. If money is allocated for feeding, is it a crime if they were not fed? If money is not allocated for Northwest Colorado, how can we get the funding when we have the largest game herds in the state? There is only one solution for starving animals - food.

Hunting is big business in Northwest Colorado.

The local economy depends heavily on the money that hunters bring to our corner of the state. We all need to be allies and work together to solve this problem.

We need a game management plan that benefits the wildlife and allows DOW, BLM, State Lands, Federal Lands, the Forest Service and private landowners to work as partners in solving this critical problem.

Jake Hamill



cantstandtexans 8 years, 3 months ago

Good luck trying to convince the DOW to act responsible, given the T.V. commercials the DOW runs, stating that they (The DOW) are "Keeping Colorado Wild". Well...that may be why there wasn't a emergency feeding program instituted last winter...except of course around Gunnison Basin and the areas north of Eagle....so much for our hunting tags helping the herds in Northwest Colorado.

As last year persented a grand oportunity to eliminate hundreds if not thousands of elk....even as the rebounding deer herds were suffering massive losses....this winter may very well spell the end to Craigs claim to fame as the "Elk Capitol of the World". Maybe this is the plan? Seems that is the case.

I would gladly pay much higher tag fees...IF...I knew that those dollars would be spend for programs that helped deer/antelope/elk, instead of having to pay for television/cable bills to advertise the DOW's concern for a Wild Colorado!! And of course if you or I or anyone would intensionally leave hay available and/or place hay near elk or deer herds...you do know we'd be charged with a wildlife crime.

I guess I must be stupid or dumb....that is the way I feel the DOW looks at anyone outside that Department!! There must be something that can be done to force the DOW to act responsible...truly responsible for the welfare of Colorado's most tresured asset. But....the herds have been mis-managed for decades you know...first one extreme to back 180 degrees in the other extreme direction. And we're the lame ones??!!


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