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Up until 1972 mass euthanasia was routine. Then we got "touchy feely" and now we have a problem of monumental proportion.

I would have no trouble with removal of all the feral horses. Or as many as was necessary to keep range damage to an acceptable level.

Convert the 30,000 plus that have no market value into food for starving folks in poor countries. It's being about as "green" as it gets.

Or move them all to DC and let them graze at 1600 PA Ave., the Mall, etc.

G.

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For those of you who advocate slaughtering the excess mustangs to feed the poor, you should know that a person's cultural background determines what a person will or will not eat. So sending them to slaughter and exporting the meat to Europe or Japan where it is culturally acceptable to eat horse meat would be quite all right. But expecting the poor here in the US to eat horsemeat would meet with a massive revolt. It simply isn't culturally acceptable to eat horsemeat in the US and our poor would not accept it. I don't know about countries in Africa or other 3d world nations. My impression is that in Africa, most of the diet is plant based with very little animal protein, mostly in the form of fish or milk in those tribes that keep cattle. I'm not sure that horsemeat would be culturally acceptable there either.

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FYI, as Africa is a giant continent, there's a huge variety in diets. Plenty of Africans eat meat (though probably not horse meat).

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I'm just going to jump back in here for a second and I'd like to respond to WW's post. It may be so that for some people, they wouldn't eat horse meat because it's not apart of our "culture", but for people living on the street, starving to death....will it really matter? If *I* were living on the street and I were starving, I don't care what they were feeding me so long as I was alive. I'm pretty much open to eating just about anything (except bugs) but when you reach a certain point of hunger and need for nutrition, I don't think "cultural issues" are going to decide what you eat. I mean really, who would think like that. It's like..."well, I can starve to death and NOT eat the meat provided to me because it's not socially 'normal', OR I can eat it and live." Really?

As for exporting meat, I think it would be a pretty good idea. It would help eliminate our herd over-population issue, feed 3rd world countries that need it, and if exported to china/japan/similar areas, it creates revenue for our country. I find that to be win-win for everyone.

Those animals were domesticated by man to serve a purpose and that purpose is dying. Sure we still use them for recreation/competition, but not like ANYTHING how we used to. Horses were, I believe, one of the most influential animals in human civilization. They helped us conquer a lot and helped build what we have today, but that's in the past. It's nice to see "feral horses" roaming the plains, but in their numbers they are becoming detrimental vs. beneficial. If we can use them for some other purpose now I'm all for it. And not just slaughter for the blm horses, but even for all the other crap running through sale barns and everything else. Junk horses are just that. Junk. That may seem cold, but when trying to sell horses that are actually GOOD stock, it's difficult with all the crap floating in the market that isn't going to be any good.

But that's JMHO.

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SWW, here in the US we have very few, if any, people who are living on the streets "starving to death". We have too many programs in place to provide food to people, ie food stamps, WIC, food banks, soup kitchens. There may be some hungry people and there is certainly poor nutrition, but there are very few people in this country who are desparate enough to knowingly eat horsemeat.

I do support humane horse slaughter and believe there should be more slaughter houses in the US since I feel that transport is the most stressful part of the process. I've got no problem with exporting horsemeat to countries who do eat horsemeat. But, saying that we should slaughter horses and feed them to the poor isn't a viable argument.

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Just wanna point out I didn't mean just the poor living here. There ARE places that don't have good programs with starving people. I bet, honestly bet, they WOULD eat it. Beggars can't be choosers when push comes to shove.

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Oy.

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Future Supporters,

We have heard you voice your complaints about the roundups.

We have listened to you share so many of your personal stories about your own adopted mustangs.

We have all sent thousands of letters via fax, email, and USPS to our Government officials. Even to the point of their phone lines being unplugged and emails shut down due to the high volume of wild horse supporters on this issue.

We are doing all of these things daily, but there still has been NO change.

It's time for the PONY EXPRESS!!!

I will personally hand deliver each and every letter that you write, via the Pony Express (one of our beautiful mustangs), to Washington DC. I am setting a goal of 20,000 individual letters to take with me. Americans, International supporters, animal activists, anyone who would like to tell President Obama, Secretary Salazar, and Bob Abbey that we aren't going to sit by waiting until these roundups are over is encouraged to write. This is a very important issue to hundreds of thousands of people that have pleaded with our government to stop gathering our wild horses. This way they cannot unplug their phones, make their website impossible to send a comment to, or delete emails. These are GOING to get to Washington. I promise you that!

For the millions of people who are unaware of the roundup process, here it is: The Bureau of Land Management, a branch of the Department of the Interior, has scheduled the removal of America's wild horses and are attempting to change the grazing rights to be cattle only on the BLM owned land, which leave our wild horses homeless. 100 years ago there were 2 million horses. Now, because of these roundups, there are only 30,000 left. They contract low-flying helicopters to taunt and scare the mustangs, separating them from their families, and eventually coerced into tiny pens. The mustangs are then taken off to holding facilities where they no longer have room to roam anymore. They will be moved to a long-term holding facility for up to three years if not adopted out or sold to a buyer that intends on using the wild horse for slaughter.

Deadline for letters: September 1, 2010

This gives us ONE month to get 20,000 letters in hand to bring to our Nation's Capital. You can find all of this information, as well as a link to the letter on our website, www.savingamericasmustangs.org or click the button below. By clicking that button, you will send your letter to our government, but also a copy directly to our Saving America's Mustangs office; where we will print them, put them in envelopes, and hand-deliver to Washington. Every letter counts! Please forward this email to all of your contacts so that we can make this Pony Express as huge as HUMANLY possible. (or HUMANELY possible on behalf of our majestic, wild horses)

Very Sincerely,

Madeleine Pickens

bolded for emphasis... where are they getting this stuff? removing all the horse so cattle can graze? Are they making this stuff up?

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I would guess there are many who might post, but don't wish to argue with a bunch of sanctimonious people with all the answers.

Feral or wild, these animals are a piece of history, not just a piece of meat. Your overall sensitivity underwhelms me.

I'm wondering when Andi will receive his check from the BLM...(maybe you won't get one, but your hard core stance certainly leads one to wonder.)

I'm not going to argue any points, because I'm still looking at it myself, but I have seen the photos of the starving dead horses lying outside fenced off water (fenced off by BLM, not private ranchers) and read other accounts, and I'm enough of a cynic about the oil, mineral folks' usual intentions to get the gov't to allow all sorts of things, (you've heard of BP?) that I have a hard time believing much of what I read here. And of course I don't have evidence to show me that your intentions and backgrounds are what you say, either.

I pay tax money that goes to support gov't funded programs. So I figure I have a right to my opinion too. I say 'no' to using horses in this country to feed people. (go ahead and send your privately owned horses to slaughter, but I own a piece of these herds, and as long as we are co-owners, feed the homeless with your own horses if you want.) Yes, they need to be managed. But the day we lose our ability to see a little"romance" in our view of the west and buy into these horses as simply an economic inconvenience, then that's the day we lose our soul to the corporate world.

If "kill em all" is the best you all can come up with, I've no more interest in any of your so called opinions. I would suggest that anyone who reads this post of yours does their own homework. And I would suggest that they consider the sources of both sides: what does each one stand to gain? Follow the money. Who stands to gain the most? Therein may be the truth.

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Where has ANYONE been saying "kill them all"? The horses NEED to be managed. Other wildlife is managed through controlled hunts- I'm thinking this is not an option for the horses.

There has got to be some middle ground in between "eradicate the feral horses" and "Mustangs should be left untouched!"

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There has got to be some middle ground in between "eradicate the feral horses" and "Mustangs should be left untouched!"

There is, but to the side that believes all the conspiracy theories, anyone who is not in their camp is some kind of horse killer.

I can't imagine thinking Andi was some sort of paid rep for the BLM - she comes across to me as very levelheaded, objective, and realistic. She also knows more than anybody on this board about the issues - she's SEEN the land, worked with countless mustangs, been involved with BLM issues, and actually BEEN there, unlike most of us.

If horses were the only issue facing the publicly owned lands, it might be a different story. But there are other wild species out there, and native plants and ecosystems that also have to be managed. And yes, there are natural resources that should be utilized as well. And I have no issue with cattle either, provided it is all done in balance.

I also think if advocates make their point by assuming things, spreading rumors, or outright lying (they want to replace ALL the horse with cattle? Really?) it weakens their case quite a bit - it creates hysteria, and makes more levelheaded folks start to get tired of the debate.

I also think that wild horse advocates, and more middle ground people, need to come up with actual solutions. It's not enough to complain and point fingers, if you don't have a better plan to offer, then maybe quit the blame game?

I don't like helicopter roundups, I hate all the long term holding of horses - but do I have an alternative? Darned if I can think of one. Other roundup methods have their drawbacks too (danger to people, and time/expense the major factors). If someone can think of a way that is safer for people and for horses, can be done quickly, and doesn't double the costs to the BLM (aka, you and me), I'd love to hear it.

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"""There is, but to the side that believes all the conspiracy theories, anyone who is not in their camp is some kind of horse killer.""""

I don't think that's exactly true, but from the tone of the posts by some here, I could state the converse, that those who don't believe in the conspiracy are out for just getting rid of the vermin that is the wild horse (semantics, they act wild in my perception).

I don't think Andi is being paid by anyone. But that's what happens in a debate where you force an "us vs. them" battle.

Yes, they need to be managed, no, I don't have an Idea either. Pickens may want to fix things, and if we can give those blasted tax credits for people who keep having children, why can't we appoint certain foundations who might be able to do it better and pay them to do it?

Horses should not be run to death. That's just cruel. In that case, if one is only after thinning the herd, just shoot them clean, why don't you?

I have a question: why eradicate entire herds from the pipeline route? Or do they put some back? I can't find that out. I'm still working on sifting through fact and fiction. And previous comments to the contrary, I'm actually learning a lot about different attitudes.

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"""There is, but to the side that believes all the conspiracy theories, anyone who is not in their camp is some kind of horse killer.""""

I don't think that's exactly true, but from the tone of the posts by some here, I could state the converse, that those who don't believe in the conspiracy are out for just getting rid of the vermin that is the wild horse (semantics, they act wild in my perception).

I don't think Andi is being paid by anyone. But that's what happens in a debate where you force an "us vs. them" battle.

Yes, they need to be managed, no, I don't have an Idea either. Pickens may want to fix things, and if we can give those blasted tax credits for people who keep having children, why can't we appoint certain foundations who might be able to do it better and pay them to do it?

Horses should not be run to death. That's just cruel. In that case, if one is only after thinning the herd, just shoot them clean, why don't you?

I have a question: why eradicate entire herds from the pipeline route? Or do they put some back? I can't find that out. I'm still working on sifting through fact and fiction. And previous comments to the contrary, I'm actually learning a lot about different attitudes.

Where were they run to death? And by that i am asking, where did this happen and what is the TRUTH behind it, not the spin of someone with an agenda?

The herds must be managed or they will die. Period. That means round ups.

If the herds aren't managed the wildlife will suffer as well.

Those are facts.

ONE person here suggested "eradication" of the herds, so you apply that to everyone here? And then wonder why no one takes the extreme wild horse advocates seriously?

Bumper

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I'm not poor or starving, but I might consider eating horse meat in the right circumstances, I've eaten stranger things than that. I'd not eat my OWN horses who are pets to me.... but really, from a practical standpoint, it's really not all that much different than beef. Large herbavore. I would suspect that there are a LOT of families in the US that would be willing to put horsemeat on their table as a form of protien if it was made available to them at a good price. When it comes to feeding hungry children, people seem pretty willing to do whatever they need to.

I've heard it is actually quite good for you.

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I'm not poor or starving, but I might consider eating horse meat in the right circumstances, I've eaten stranger things than that. I'd not eat my OWN horses who are pets to me.... but really, from a practical standpoint, it's really not all that much different than beef. Large herbavore. I would suspect that there are a LOT of families in the US that would be willing to put horsemeat on their table as a form of protien if it was made available to them at a good price. When it comes to feeding hungry children, people seem pretty willing to do whatever they need to.

I've heard it is actually quite good for you.

Horsemeat is leaner and better for you than beef, actually. Not that i'll ever stop eating beef...yum! But i've eaten horsemeat and it's quite good. It's a staple in Iceland and many Scandanavian and European countries as well as Asia.

Bumper

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Where has ANYONE been saying "kill them all"? The horses NEED to be managed. Other wildlife is managed through controlled hunts- I'm thinking this is not an option for the horses.

There has got to be some middle ground in between "eradicate the feral horses" and "Mustangs should be left untouched!"

The present circumstance is precisely that middle ground. The "fly in the ointment" is that we don't have an effective strategy to deal with the removed horses. We used to have one, but we got "humane" and now we have 30,000+++ standing around, eating, and waiting to die.

Again, I've no heartburn with allowing some on the range, or removing all of them But what are we going to DO with the removed animals?

G.

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Really? Interesting ...

OK, in reply:

First -- GT ... I *really* could have gone without reading that. I get emails from Mrs. Pickens little group and mostly I try to ignore them unless I feel the need to get pissed off and worked up.

This paragraph:

For the millions of people who are unaware of the roundup process, here it is: The Bureau of Land Management, a branch of the Department of the Interior, has scheduled the removal of America's wild horses and are attempting to change the grazing rights to be cattle only on the BLM owned land, which leave our wild horses homeless. 100 years ago there were 2 million horses. Now, because of these roundups, there are only 30,000 left. They contract low-flying helicopters to taunt and scare the mustangs, separating them from their families, and eventually coerced into tiny pens. The mustangs are then taken off to holding facilities where they no longer have room to roam anymore. They will be moved to a long-term holding facility for up to three years if not adopted out or sold to a buyer that intends on using the wild horse for slaughter.

So many things wrong with that statement!

1. I want to know where she heard they are removing all the horses so cows can graze there? I have watched the gathers and the BLM here in Oregon for enough years to know the minimum AML has changed very little in the last 20 years. That tells me, these gathers are "routine", just like they have been doing for years, nothing more, nothing less. Yeah, some of them have been total screw ups and gathering in the summer heat is stupid but we *are* talking a gov't entity here.

2. 100 years ago there were 2 million horses. OK, there were also about 4 million bison and maybe 10 million people, most of them east of the Mississippi. So? And her point is what?

3. Horses don't give a rip about "room to roam". They want food and water, period. If you feed them on the range, they won't "roam", they will stay where food has been dropped.

4. "Families". Please. The horses themselves split up "families" if they have a decent lead mare in the band. Horses do not have "families". They have get. Period.

5. Helicopters. Oh yeah, the only reason they use them is because they all hate the wild horses and want to taunt them and torment them and separate them from their families. :rolleye0014: I'll be sure to tell my friends at the BLM who own wild horses how they hate them.

OK ... next?

Ah yes, winsome!

I would guess there are many who might post, but don't wish to argue with a bunch of sanctimonious people with all the answers.

Sanctimonious? Really? All the answers? I better tell the DC BLM office to check this thread! I wish there were easy answers!

Feral or wild, these animals are a piece of history, not just a piece of meat. Your overall sensitivity underwhelms me.

With the exception of 1 or 2 posters, I think most everyone on here agrees the wild horses ARE a piece of history. Wild and feral are the same to me. I call them Mustangs too. I didn't see everyone on here calling for sending them all to slaughter.

I'm wondering when Andi will receive his check from the BLM...(maybe you won't get one, but your hard core stance certainly leads one to wonder.)

I need to send this to the BLM. I've been telling our local BLM office for years they need to put me on their payroll. Of course, then I wouldn't have the freedom to speak out against them, or for them, like I do now.

Oh, and Andi, spelled with an "i" generally denotes female gender.

Hard core stance? I must have missed something. My "stance" is one that we need to find a solution that doesn't involve the following:

1. Removing grazing allotments.

2. Overgrazing the range.

3. Running off the other wildlife because there is no grazing -- you know, the truly "wild" animals like deer, elk, antelope, big horn sheep, rabbits, migratory birds -- things like that.

4. Taking away water rights privately owned. Yes, that has been suggested -- taking away the water rights that private parties own on public lands. In Nevada, there are NO "public" water rights.

5. Killing all the horses.

6. Stopping all the gathers.

Yeah, hard core. That's me.

I'm not going to argue any points, because I'm still looking at it myself, but I have seen the photos of the starving dead horses lying outside fenced off water (fenced off by BLM, not private ranchers) and read other accounts, and I'm enough of a cynic about the oil, mineral folks' usual intentions to get the gov't to allow all sorts of things, (you've heard of BP?) that I have a hard time believing much of what I read here. And of course I don't have evidence to show me that your intentions and backgrounds are what you say, either.

How do you know the BLM fenced off the water? How do you know there wasn't a gate that the horses didn't get to? How do you know it wasn't PRIVATE water on PRIVATE land that you were seeing? Did you know in the latest mess with the Tuscarora gather that it was a RANCHER who gave the BLM the 40,000+ gallons of water to take to the horses? That mess was totally the fault of the BLM. The cattle were not allowed to graze on that allotment since last year and the BLM knew that since THEY told the rancher he couldn't use his allotment. Since he wasn't using the allotment, he didn't turn on HIS water. If the BLM had thought about it, they would have realized that no cows on that allotment meant no water. They could have gone to the rancher and had him turn on the water, and he would have. No skin off his nose, since it's nothing out of his pocket. But the BLM dropped the ball on that one, big time.

Ah yes, the BP conspiracy. They are not removing all the horses in the HMA's where the Ruby Pipeline is going to cross. Why would they? They don't remove horses when they are putting up power lines either. The horses don't care about it, the contractors don't care the horses (or deer or elk or antelope, etc.) are there so what would the point be? They have to apply to run the pipeline across gov't land but that's about it.

As for my intentions and background? You can read about it in my book that I wrote on Oregon's "Living Legends". You can get it right here in the HC store. Of course, I don't expect you to do that, so I'll tell you a little bit ...

I spent my summers here in Harney County, Oregon as a child. My grandpa had a small ranch in the SE end of Catlow Valley, just under 2000 acres. He ran about 100-200 head and he captured wild horses off the range for his ranch stock. He'd been doing that since the 30's before the war and then again after the war. The first horse I rode in 1966 was an old Mustang mare (he called them "broomtails") named Old Trixie. This photo is from 1968 of me and Old Trixie:

26088_1379214126670_1421424231_31064235_5345796_n.jpg

This one is from about 1967, I think, of my grandpa's horses on the range; he grazed them on his allotments with his cows and kept a couple in at the ranch at a time to ride:

26088_1379213806662_1421424231_31064227_7440038_n.jpg

This is him from the mid-50's sometime with a Mustang colt he was halter breaking:

26088_1379213846663_1421424231_31064228_4963254_n.jpg

This is me, again in 1967, with "Cindy", a Mustang filly off the range:

26088_1379214166671_1421424231_31064236_708688_n.jpg

I've been a volunteer for the BLM for about 10 years. I have taken in over 2 dozen orphan foals and countless other wild horses have passed thru my gates on the road to new homes. I've been on a gather and I've helped process horses at the wild horse corrals. I've been around wild horses longer than the BLM has been around them.

Yes, I believe in horse slaughter. No, I don't like it but I see the need. No, I wouldn't send my own horse to slaughter but I have the option available to me to put it down and dispose of it on my own property. Not everyone has that option.

No, I don't believe the BLM is secreting horses off to slaughter. Not that I wouldn't blame them, and not that they don't have the LEGAL RIGHT to do so. But they don't. One time, in 1996, a BLM employee was caught sneaking unbranded horses out and selling them to slaughter. He was fired, charged, prosecuted and jailed for it. I don't think the BLM secretly authorized him to do that.

OK ... enough about me ...

Again, GT:

I can't imagine thinking Andi was some sort of paid rep for the BLM - she comes across to me as very levelheaded, objective, and realistic. She also knows more than anybody on this board about the issues - she's SEEN the land, worked with countless mustangs, been involved with BLM issues, and actually BEEN there, unlike most of us.

Thank you! I'm sorry but there just isn't enough money to get me to work for the BLM! Talk about a hard, thankless, heartbreaking job! I've seen what the wranglers have to do, in all types of weather and conditions. No thank you!

So, there ya have it!

Any more questions?

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I'm not going to argue any points, because I'm still looking at it myself,...

Turn your binoculars around so you're looking through the little end and then have a look. It'll make more sense that way.

...but I have seen the photos of the starving dead horses lying outside fenced off water (fenced off by BLM, not private ranchers) and read other accounts, and I'm enough of a cynic about the oil, mineral folks' usual intentions to get the gov't to allow all sorts of things, (you've heard of BP?) that I have a hard time believing much of what I read here.

And what makes you think wild horse freaks are going to be any less greedy in what they want than BP?

And of course I don't have evidence to show me that your intentions and backgrounds are what you say, either.

I pay tax money that goes to support gov't funded programs. So I figure I have a right to my opinion too. I say 'no' to using horses in this country to feed people. (go ahead and send your privately owned horses to slaughter, but I own a piece of these herds, and as long as we are co-owners, feed the homeless with your own horses if you want.) Yes, they need to be managed. But the day we lose our ability to see a little"romance" in our view of the west and buy into these horses as simply an economic inconvenience, then that's the day we lose our soul to the corporate world.

If "kill em all" is the best you all can come up with, I've no more interest in any of your so called opinions. I would suggest that anyone who reads this post of yours does their own homework. And I would suggest that they consider the sources of both sides: what does each one stand to gain? Follow the money. Who stands to gain the most? Therein may be the truth.

What do the wild horse freaks stand to gain? They get a major "I saved the the pretty horsies; aren't I speshulll?" fix.

What does the BLM stand to gain? Not a darn thing. They get paid the same, no matter what they do with wild horses.

What do ranchers stand to gain? Not much. Their grazing allotments are severely restricted and getting rid of all the wild horses wouldn't change that because the enviro-nuts moan and gnash their teeth just as much as the wild horse freaks and often to much greater effect. (I hope nobody is foolish enough to be insisting that private land owners must let "your" wild horses have free run of private property!)

If you want "romance", buy a Harlequin paperback. Real life is not so simple and one-dimensional as "romance".

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[Not Worthy] Andi! Thank you for saying what I started so many times after that winsome something or other (forgot the full name, sorry) posted.

I would start response after response and then I'd lose my train of thought because I was interrupted or the rambling nature of some of those posts was nearly impossible to address.

However, just to throw it out there, I had an interesting discussion with our region's new Dept of Ag director today. And I'm interrupted again.

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ohh wow.. im alittle late to the party here, but grazing management is the key.. too many horses, and their gonna starve.. somethign has to be done to keep the numbers to a manageble level.

living in and around an area where there is ALOT of BLM land, animal management is crucial to teh livelyhood of the wild animals and the horses, as well as the surrounding ranchers..

Last october we had 650+ elk move down from teh high country on to our property.... the first couple days i thought they were pretty cool... until i discovered just how destructive they really were.. and how much time, money, and headaches they would cause.

11151_165364446863_503326863_2890168_543135_n.jpg

there is 3550 acres of irragated hay land and we take care of about 70 horses and 150 cattle between the two places. i didnt really think much about how much of an impact that many elk would have on the horses and cows, but it was HUGE..

being there was so much snow in the high country, the elk were forced to move down to a lower elevation to find enough to eat. within a week or so, they had eaten up almost all of the good grass on the irragated parts, and were starting to try their hardest to get into the big hay sheds. a few more days passed, and they were then down with the cows and horses after they discovered that the cows and horses were fed square bales daily. so we started having to double the amount of hay we were feeding so that OUR livestock would have enough to eat.. within another few days, the elk were chasing off the horses and cows from the hay we were putting out for them...

things very quickly became a double edged sword.. its against teh law to chase the elk.. but we only had so much extra hay that we could be feeding over and above what OUR livestock needed to survive, or we would run out and our own livestock would suffer the consequences of having the elk around.. surrounding the upper side of our property line (2.5 miles) is a housing development that LOVES to see the elk.. but they call out the Dept of Wildlife if anyone is so much as getting alittle to close to teh elk or they think their being "chased".. alot of that housing developement definatly fit into teh "bunny hugger without a clue" category.

we had many talks with teh DOW on how to deal with them.. but sadly everything we tried was unsuccessful, because those elk KNEW the cows and horses got fed everyday, and if they were on our property there wasnt any houses roads of traffic to disturb them. after being OK'ed by the DOW, we used our dogs numerous times everyday to drive the elk away from our own livestock, but in a few hours, the elk would be back looking for whatever was left to eat when teh cows/horses finished eating their feedings. ohh man alive did the people at the housing development throw a fit over that!.. the DOW's phones rang off the hook.

the DOW gave us cracker shells, rubber bullets, and other means of non-lethal ammo to help attempt to drive the elk out.. but nothing would work, so we resorted to feeding them, as per the DOW's solution to teh problem... 4+ ton of hay per day!!! in addition to what they were eating from teh cows and horses or if they ripped down the elk panels and got into the hay sheds...

the DOW brought out people to hunt them.. the owners, their family, friends, and a bunch of other people filled their tags for each of the 4 elk seasons.. as well as the management tags whcih were vaild until march 1.. but still WAY to many elk...

now, we are by no means rich or in a position to be able to afford feeding almost $500/day in extra hay jsut to the fricken elk, but we had to in order for our livestock to be well fed an not be run off their hay by the elk.. When it was all said and done, the DOW traded out hay with us.. we ended up with about $20k worth of hay from them in the end.. granted this was nowhere near the quality of hay we had fed the elk, nor close to the amount, but we had no choice, it was a take it or leave it deal.. if we didnt feed those stinking elk, or shoot every last one of them, our own livestock would have starved to death.. the hay and cattle are our lively hood.. and an excess of elk could have easily put us under had we not had the means to deal with it the way we did with the help of the DOW.

by the time early spring rolled around, we were definatly noticing "survival of the fittest".. even with us feeding them, there were elk dying every week.. at first we tried helping some of them get up on their feet when they were too weak get up, or leaving extra hay in front of the sick/injured/skinny ones.. but it didnt work.. they died eventually.. then we had to dispose of the bodies, so that we didnt have them in the irragation ditches and the hay fields. im not sure just how many elk we disposed of, but i know it was atleast 35, maybe more..

now i know those stinking elk are not wild/feral horses.. but the grazing/feeding principals are teh same.. the animals have to eat to survive.. and if theres not enough food for them their going to try to go where they can to get enough feed, and should there be too many animals for the land to support with no other options, their going to die.. the same is true for the horses..

we have hunting seasons on deer, elk, and other game, but should anyone ever suggest it for the horses as a means to control the population, it would quickly become a hotter topic that "slaughter".

the numbers of wild/feral horses needs to be controlled. period. if its not undercontrol, it becomes similar to the little old lady with 75 cats and not enough money to take care of even 1/2 of them, making the whole lot of their health and wellbeing suffer because shes not keeping it at a manageable level... out of control animal numbers need to be addressed..

but those numbers cant be addressed when we have a serious lack of ways to deal with those excess numbers. alot of people throw a fit about slaughter, "you cant kill the pretty horses, you need to adopt them out"... ok, well thats all fine and dandy if people want to adopt them.. but what are you going to do with 30K horses sitting in pastures that nobody wants? it costs alot of money, time and effort to deal with that many horses, if nobody wants them, the land cant support them, and nobody has a better solution to the problem of draining the BLMs monetary resources, slaughter is a viable solution. if there is not enough land to support them, they will die painfully of starvation, rather than quickly and without pain should they be euthed/slaughtered. and the meat could go to feed alot of people.

i know from personal experience that i would eat horse meat if it were available in the stores. i tried it, and liked it.. like beef, but leaner and less of a gamey taste, not that beef is at all gamey.. but its very similar. i know alot of people who consider horses "pets", but their acctually "domesticated livestock"that the human population have drug over into teh "pet" category. sure, i think of my horses as pets, but their livestock.

Livestock= refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food or fibre, or labor.

back in the day, horses were used for labor and transportation... now, there mostly classified as "pets"..

A pet is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or a household animal, as opposed to wild animals or to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic or productive reasons.

as everyones views changed as to the classification of the horses, thats when we started seeing issues with dealing with the excess horse population and flooded market we have now.

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[Not Worthy] to equi-librium!

There are NO easy answers, but we need to do SOMETHING.

Bumper

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There are NO easy answers, but we need to do SOMETHING.

Bumper

thats just it.. something needs to be done to manage the herd numbers, regardless of which specie it is. as far as im concerned, those elk that moved in here are no different than the horses in other areas. their wild/feral animals needing food their not getting in their "normal" living area. causing destruction, threat to peoples livelyhoods, and ultimately starvation within their group should their numbers become too numerous for the area they live in.

everyone wants to save the wild horses.. yet, nobody wants to help keep their numbers under control or provide teh BLM with a viable way of dealing with the excess in numbers. Just like slaughter, herd management is a necessary evil.

i honestly think that if more of the "save the horses" side of things were here having to deal with our elk problem over the past winter, id be willing to bet some would easily change their stance on the matter after seeing it first hand.

herd management is key to their survival.

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