Talk in the 10: No on SF0111…let Game and Fish decide what is the best management practice

    Fremont County is large, diverse, and filled with opinions, or “talk in the 10.” “Talk in the 10” is an opportunity for you, our readers, to articulate and share your thoughts about what is happening in the community with the community. Letters may have been edited for clarity and length, but generally have been published exactly as received. The views expressed in the following are solely those of the author. Send your letters to our editors by emailing opi[email protected]

    Oppose SF0111… Forcing the Game and Fish to manage whitetail deer and mule deer separately will have significant negative impacts.

    I would encourage everyone to research and oppose the passing of SF0111. Simply put, this is a solution looking for a problem. Under the current Game and Fish policy, the professional managers have the tools and ability to effectively manage both species. Watching the Wildlife Taskforce process on this issue, it became clear that such a move is not warranted. The Game and Fish under current policy and authority, has the ability to effectively manage each separate.


    Furthermore, all decisions for wildlife management should be based on sound Science and done through the commission. There is absolutely no biological argument to support this move. The North American Model relies heavily on the use of Science to manage wildlife. By forcing change through the legislature or the ballot box, we effectively cut Science out of the decision making process. We have the Game and Fish Commission for a reason. They are trusted to manage our wildlife and they should understand and know about the issues on a deeper level than our elected officials.

    Splitting the 2 species will increase pressure on both species. Currently about 1/3 of the deer harvested with general tags are Whitetail. Many hunters (myself and many I know) use the current system to hunt for a trophy mule deer and then use the later whitetail hunts to “fill the freezer”. Under the current system we are forced to choose, harvesting (or drawing a limited license) for one species means sacrificing the opportunity at the other. Under the new rules, we will essentially have the opportunity to harvest both with no sacrifice. This will result in greater draw pressure and lower draw odds for both species. Right now everyone has to choose to apply for one or the other. Under the new rules we will all be allowed to apply for both. Thus the draw odds for whitetails will decrease as mule deer hunters will apply for whitetails, and as whitetail fans will apply for mule deer.

    Ultimately this is being pushed by a select few who would profit and benefit from a more limited approach. Their benefit will come at the sacrifice of everyone else and at the sacrifice of the resource. While we may not all agree with the management choices of the Game and Fish, we have a process to address such issues… Through the Commission, we can make the changes necessary. Honor the process, keep the power over wildlife management in the hands of the wildlife managers. We do not need government overreach and excessive regulation making such decisions.    

    Robert Winn
    Lander, WY


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