Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » Effort Made to Save 8,000 Deer…

Effort Made to Save 8,000 Deer…

January 19th, 2008

Photo by George Kochaniec Jr.According to the Rocky Mountain News , the state of Colorado is making the effort to save 8,000 mule deer by feeding them with supplemental feed due to the extraordinary snowfall that has fallen on the state in recent days. Without supplemental feeding (human intervention), the deer would starve to death since they cannot find food under the now 4 ft. deep snowdrifts in the valley. Plans are also made to help the Big Horn Sheep and Pronghorn Antelope in the region.

In an organizational meeting, some 300 volunteers showed up to help. This is going to be a huge undertaking, lasting from 6 to 8 weeks. The department of wildlife is calling for volunteers to help them throughout the endeavor. They are especially in need of volunteers with snow mobiles, arctic cats, and four wheel drive vehicles. If you are in the area of the Gunnison Valley and can help, give them a hand!

As I read this article, I couldn’t help but think of this question: I wonder how many of these 300 volunteers are deer hunters? I suspect that the majority of the volunteers have probably been in the same area hunting deer on other occasions. Of course the article does not go into such details, but it is significant to note that the Department of Wildlife for the state of Colorado is heading this charge. That department, if it is anything like our DNR here is n West Virginia, is funded primarily by hunters, through license fees and taxes on hunting related products. The reason I point that out (which is probably evident to most of the readers of this blog anyway) is that we as hunters are often maligned as haters of animals (why else would we “slaughter” them?). In reality, we as hunters are the very ones who do what is necessary to ensure the health and wellbeing of the animals that we hunt. We are the first to jump in there and get our hands dirty when the need arises. And, that is why I have no doubt that my fellow hunters, called upon to save the Gunnison Valley deer herd, answered in resounding numbers.

Recently, Arthur of Simply Outdoors, wrote a post about stepping up or shutting up. Basically, he talked about the need for us as hunters to be more involved in making sure our sport is perceived in a better light. We need to be more active in showing what we are all about. We need to put forth the effort to show that we are not what most people’s perception of us is. We need to be more vocal when we are participating in conservation efforts, of which hunting is typically a small part. Let’s rise up to the challenge, and let it be known that when these animals need our intervention, we are the ones on the front line to help!

To our Colorado friends who have answered the call, and yet remain nameless, Thank You!

One Response to “Effort Made to Save 8,000 Deer…”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! Hunters are the very ones who ensure the preservation of wildlife. Thanks to all the volunteers.

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