Wildlife questions

Richard Pardon, Minot

On the front page of The Minot Daily News on Feb. 15 was the story “Search for a deer solution.” North Dakota Game and Fish Department is on a vigorous public relations campaign to try and appease North Dakota deer hunters and conservationalists in regard to the decimated North Dakota deer herd and future hunting opportunities. The fact of the matter is that North Dakota Game and Fish is at least 50 percent responsible for this decimation.

Folks, remember the three severe winters in a row? After the first bad winter, Game and Fish issued approximately 140,000 licenses. After the second winter another 140,000 were issued, and the third year approximately 110,000. In some cases Game and Fish almost begged sportsmen to buy all the left over doe tags. Some hunters received three or four extra tags. Why? Game and Fish did this knowing we had three bad winters and that Conservation Reserve Acres were being eliminated from the program by the thousands.

If memory serves me correct, it took Game and Fish quite some time after the second harsh winter to finally discover that the mule deer herd was at a record low, and the antelope population was so low in numbers that there were not enough antelope for an antelope hunting season.

Sportsmen, ladies and conservationalists, in all my years of enjoying the North Dakota outdoors this is the greatest example of wildlife mismanagement that has happened during my lifetime. It’s a darn shame.

I therefore ask the question. Why did Game and Fish do this? It couldn’t be related to the old saying “Follow the money trail,” could it? I apologize, it was weak of me for even having this thought. I guess the jury is still out.