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post #61 of 69 Old 10-16-2018, 10:35 AM
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@carshon , you said it. People can be educated.

Also, from what I know feral horses don't have natural predators, except humans. Maybe now that they are all 13hh ponies a lion could attempt to take one down?
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post #62 of 69 Old 10-16-2018, 11:47 AM
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@bsms What you say about the Tule Elk is true, but that doesn't take away from the fact that there are still people going to their congress person wanting to take more land that tule elk are on for grazing purposes. The numbers have come back up because they are being protected. But still, it is in small pockets.

The entity that controls predators is Wildlife Services, a federal agency that falls under U.S.D.A. Their purpose is to eliminate predators. An animal that has been reintroduced or protected is still a wild animal that belongs there. Those animals are part of the ecosystem and when removed, like in the past, has detrimental effects to the ecosystem. I don't think people should be getting paid for livestock lost to this. It's part of running your business where you chose to do so. The only thing that I am trying to get at, as far as the horses are concerned, is that if predators were in place where they should be, a lot more feral horses would be eaten by them. Who knows, still maybe not enough, but I don't think that the numbers would be like they are now. Horses keep being removed, which in turn allows more horses to come to be. Yes, they would starve some years, and yes they would get sick, and if there were predators in place like there once were, they would be eaten. That is part of natures cull and to me that is fine. Nature has a better way of culling than a human would ever think to have. As of now, most of the robust, beautiful mustangs are in someones paddock, the crappy ones are out one the range or in holding lots. Even now, our selection is selfish.

As far as cheatgrass, you are right, I misunderstood what I was reading. The cheatgrass was introduced accidentally in packing material but the spread was from grazing too much on range lands and it reproduces easily on disturbed soil. Soil is disturbed by the hooves of too many grazing animals, so it spreads.
They are now coming up with a bacteria that will eliminate cheatgrass and madussa grass that will not remain in the soil forever. Apparently, it does not affect native plants so this will give the natives a chance to regrow. The only problem is that it doesn't happen over night.

We can't do anything that has happened in the past, but we can learn by it and realize what we have done and stop doing it. I'm all for eliminating the surplus of wild horses in a humane way. I don't see sending them to slaughter as humane. It's not the slaughter that bothers me, it the road there that does. It cost too much money to be nice and take care of the animal before it is killed. I'd rather see them all shot and buried so no one profits from it. Horse meat is big business so I don't see people doing this as a one time deal and I don't see people not taking advantage if laws were put into place to allow them to go to slaughter. And that is the track record of humans for the most part. They have already allowed people to buy the horses in numbers and have gone to slaughter for profit. I don't think that anyone disagrees that there is a problem. What can't be agreed upon is the solution.

Am not saying that all ranchers don't care about the land or the wildlife but some do behave that way. I am not saying that that cows and sheep are the only problem and that they should all be eliminated either. As people, we are who we are, and some of us do need laws to be forced to do the right thing otherwise we wouldn't. This is unfortunate because the people who actually do care and do the right thing suffer because of it.
This. This right here.

I mean, the wolves of Yellowstone were wiped out by red mange the USDA introduced to placate cattlemen who were losing calves to wolves.

Cool.

That didn't end so well, so they had to REINTRODUCE THEM, and all the while, ranchers were trying to kill off the wolves that had been replaced in the park (Park is such a misnomer/understatement)

Okay, so now there's pressure to resume grizzly hunting in the Yellowstone area, which Trump was supporting, but a federal judge gave a big fat NO stamp to a few weeks ago. The grizzly numbers just aren't viable yet. I think there's at the most 750 accounted for in Yellowstone?

Yet the ranchers are bellyaching about losing cattle to grizzlies.

Well. Y'know what?

People lose a calf or a sick cow here, every year, to mountain lions, but no one is demanding they get wiped out for it. We know it's the cost of doing business in the cattle industry.

I think anyone running cattle 'free range' on federal lands needs to suck it up and consider the cost of doing business in the cattle industry. I can't imagine having to count cattle and track them and check on their well being on the vast acreages we're talking about here. How the heck do YOU know if it was a bear, or a mountain lion, or a pack of wolves that ate your missing cow and it isn't sitting in some dude's freezer?

Even so - that's part of the risk in ranching. And don't think these guys aren't getting re-payed for their loss. Cattle loss is a tax deduction. We document every cow or calf we lose, have an autopsy done, and photograph each one. Then write them off on our taxes.

I just get so aggravated at our lack of wisdom, or perhaps the choice of putting the almighty dollar first, when it comes to wildlife. But also... our insistence that we are of superior intellect and can manipulate the natural world effectively (African Honey Bees anyone?) We can't and The Big Giant Heads are just screwing up left and right.
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post #63 of 69 Old 10-16-2018, 12:31 PM
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@bsms What you say about the Tule Elk is true, but that doesn't take away from the fact that there are still people going to their congress person wanting to take more land that tule elk are on for grazing purposes...

...An animal that has been reintroduced or protected is still a wild animal that belongs there. Those animals are part of the ecosystem and when removed, like in the past, has detrimental effects to the ecosystem. I don't think people should be getting paid for livestock lost to this...
The Tule Elk have a very limited range. I honestly cannot imagine anyone trying to take it over for grazing.

Predators who are reintroduced eat livestock on private land. When changes to federal law result in losses to private people, I think it is reasonable for those losses to be reimbursed. Predators don't recognize private land. Traditionally, livestock owners can protect their stock from predator attacks. But if federally protected animals are reintroduced in an area, it is illegal to protect your livestock.

This WOULD result in "Shoot, shovel, shut up!" To prevent that, the law reimburses for losses from protected animals. Without it, the reintroduced animals would simply disappear.

"How the heck do YOU know if it was a bear, or a mountain lion, or a pack of wolves that ate your missing cow and it isn't sitting in some dude's freezer?" - @AtokaGhosthorse

Tracks. Method of dying. You can't make a claim for missing animals. You need evidence that your animal was killed by a protected animal. There is a big difference between a bear kill, a coyote kill and a bullet. On private land, with unprotected animals, you can shoot predators. When that option is taken away because people want more predators, I think it is reasonable to reimburse. As a practical matter, if there is no reimbursement, the folks living out there with the animals WILL shoot, shovel and shut up.

And there are no other people in those places to know what goes on. 85% of Nevada is owned by the feds. 39% of Arizona. 65% of Utah. 48% of Wyoming. And that doesn't include state owned land!


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post #64 of 69 Old 10-17-2018, 12:18 AM
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I have been busy so I haven't replied on this thread for a few days. Some great posts have been made but I thought I'd throw a couple cents in again.

We have lost calves to mountain lions and coyotes. No one is saying they ALL have to be eradicated. Same with the horses, they ALL don't need to be rounded up and sent on the kill truck. The numbers need to be managed just like any other wildlife. Im curious as to who thinks them being hunted like deer, elk or coyotes would be more humane than slaughter. Because the horse advocates threw a fit over issuing tags on the rez somewhere down south last year (NewMexico?)

We had a mountain lion problem due to over population. When I say "we" I am just speaking about my experience on the ranch this was an issue to be clear. Tags were issued. They were killing dogs, calves and stalking people. The population was controlled but not completely wiped out. There are still cats there, I see their tracks.

Same with the coyotes, there is so many here. I have had them stalk and attack my dogs. We shoot them but it isn't wiping them out, nobody is attempting to wipe them out. But you bet I'm going to shoot them when I come across a heifer who laid down to calve and coyotes attacked her, ate her hind end out and the face off a perfectly healthy calf. Bite marks on her head and neck when she was trying to fight them off. She was so exhausted and destroyed we put her down. How is that humane?.


When cattle get turned out they are counted. When it's time to for them to come off they are counted again. In the mean time they are rode through or flown over. I and the people I have and do work for try to make sure every cow is accounted for no matter how big the country is. Sometimes the neighbors bring back what your short I have ridden across stuff that has died whether from sickness which might result in a coyote snack and make note of it. In the fall we use planes and helicopters to spot cattle you can also see your death loss if any. When you come across them you can tell what probably happened. Sure don't have to haul it in for an autopsy. One can tell the difference between a sick death and a mountain lion kill.

When this was going on, we took care of 3,500 yearlings plus 2,000 cows on over 300,000 acres and made our contract of less than 1% death loss and most of them were accounted for. So while it seems impossible to keep track of that many on big country, it can be done. Really is dependent on how big and rough the country and the cattle you have on it.

Yes, death loss is a tax deduction but the amount varies on depreciation. It sure in the he!! isn't an excuse to not take care of your cattle or protect them. There is always a cost of doing business and it is live animals so you're always going to have that risk. And for me it is not about just the dollar amount loss but I take it personally when something dies. I care about the cows. If I didn't I should get a new job. A tax write off doesn't make it okay to let a cow die when that cow also supports families and feeds people.


The use of public land is not "free range".

Land leased for grazing costs the government $2/acre to maintain. Ungrazed land, $5/acre. Saving tax payers $750 million in land management costs.
Where the cattle are so are the wildlife. My grandpa had a lease back in the 50's, govt. took it to preserve wildlife, when the cows left so did the wildlife. They gave it back.

The Sage chickens were on the endangered list. No longer due to ranchers working with the USDA. Plus I have pictures of Sage chickens where the cattle were doing there mating dances close to the water provided for the cows. When the cows moved to a different allotment so did the chickens.
You have to realize the offset between what you get with a private lease and a govt. lease. On public lands you develop the water fences, etc. Private lease those costs are usually included. Looking at the bottom line but not the incurred costs and time makes it look like a great deal.


I think it's pretty easy to judge when it is not your livelihood at stake and you read about it but live so far from where it is happening.
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post #65 of 69 Old 10-17-2018, 12:59 AM
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@AtokaGhosthorse - We've always had wolves. Our native wolves are a type of timber wolf. Still have them. Though not anywhere the Grays run.

But there was big money to be made getting the non-native Canadian Grays introduced. Now the grizzly bear is being pushed out of the park and is at risk of increased pressure by humans. This year there has been a high number of human-griz interactions that have ended badly for both species.
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post #66 of 69 Old 10-17-2018, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
I have been busy so I haven't replied on this thread for a few days. Some great posts have been made but I thought I'd throw a couple cents in again.

We have lost calves to mountain lions and coyotes. No one is saying they ALL have to be eradicated. Same with the horses, they ALL don't need to be rounded up and sent on the kill truck. The numbers need to be managed just like any other wildlife. Im curious as to who thinks them being hunted like deer, elk or coyotes would be more humane than slaughter. Because the horse advocates threw a fit over issuing tags on the rez somewhere down south last year (NewMexico?)

Personally, I don't think that they should be put on a truck to slaughter. The reason why being that as soon as a good profit can be made on them, they WILL disappear. If people were interested in horse meat, I wouldn't have any issues with tags just like any other grazing animal. But, first off, horses do not have such a defined breeding season as say deer so how do you know that you are not shooting a pregnant mare? How would you even be able to tell males from females from a distance? I do see complications in this.

We had a mountain lion problem due to over population. When I say "we" I am just speaking about my experience on the ranch this was an issue to be clear. Tags were issued. They were killing dogs, calves and stalking people. The population was controlled but not completely wiped out. There are still cats there, I see their tracks.

Animals do things by routine. So how do you know if you actually got the cats that took a penchant for stalking people? Or are they just taken until you get lucky and get the right one? No more problem and then no more tags?

Same with the coyotes, there is so many here. I have had them stalk and attack my dogs. We shoot them but it isn't wiping them out, nobody is attempting to wipe them out. But you bet I'm going to shoot them when I come across a heifer who laid down to calve and coyotes attacked her, ate her hind end out and the face off a perfectly healthy calf. Bite marks on her head and neck when she was trying to fight them off. She was so exhausted and destroyed we put her down. How is that humane?.


When I watch National Geographic and see a predator catch an animal and kill it, I feel bad for that animal. If they miss, I feel bad for the hungry predator because if they keep on missing they and their offspring are going to die. It's human nature to feel that way. Either way, someone has to live and someone has to die, so in the end both are ok. I feel the same way about the cows and the horses out there

When cattle get turned out they are counted. When it's time to for them to come off they are counted again. In the mean time they are rode through or flown over. I and the people I have and do work for try to make sure every cow is accounted for no matter how big the country is. Sometimes the neighbors bring back what your short I have ridden across stuff that has died whether from sickness which might result in a coyote snack and make note of it. In the fall we use planes and helicopters to spot cattle you can also see your death loss if any. When you come across them you can tell what probably happened. Sure don't have to haul it in for an autopsy. One can tell the difference between a sick death and a mountain lion kill.

When this was going on, we took care of 3,500 yearlings plus 2,000 cows on over 300,000 acres and made our contract of less than 1% death loss and most of them were accounted for. So while it seems impossible to keep track of that many on big country, it can be done. Really is dependent on how big and rough the country and the cattle you have on it.

Yes, death loss is a tax deduction but the amount varies on depreciation. It sure in the he!! isn't an excuse to not take care of your cattle or protect them. There is always a cost of doing business and it is live animals so you're always going to have that risk. And for me it is not about just the dollar amount loss but I take it personally when something dies. I care about the cows. If I didn't I should get a new job. A tax write off doesn't make it okay to let a cow die when that cow also supports families and feeds people.

The loss due to predation is small. I still think that it should be viewed as the cost of doing business where you are choosing to do it. It's not the cows fault, humans chose to put them there. It's also not the predators fault, that is their home first and foremost in my eyes. They didn't ask for anyone to move in. And what do you expect them to do when you put dinner in front of their faces? As far as stalking dogs? Well, keep them in or get a different kind of dog. There are guardian breeds that would take on any pack of coyotes or bear for that matter without hesitation and keep the predators away from livestock.
I get it that you care about the cows and you should. I would take their death personally too if they died from sickness that I could have prevented or I left them out there to starve in a hard winter. I would not take predation personally though.
Just because a cow supports and feeds families and the predator or any other wild life does not, makes no difference to me. The cow is a foreigner put there by people who want to do this business there. The wildlife has no where else to go. They either live right there or perish



The use of public land is not "free range".

Land leased for grazing costs the government $2/acre to maintain. Ungrazed land, $5/acre. Saving tax payers $750 million in land management costs.
Where the cattle are so are the wildlife. My grandpa had a lease back in the 50's, govt. took it to preserve wildlife, when the cows left so did the wildlife. They gave it back.

I've never interpreted the words 'free range' as no cost to the operator. My interpretation of those words is range with no fences.

I have not seen where it cost the government 2 dollars an acre to maintain grazed land and 5 on ungrazed land. I do see what is paid for leased grazing land and I have read that at least half of that income is put right back into the land for maintenance. Seriously, where I live, I bought my land, pay my taxes every year on it, pay to maintain it myself and the county still tells me what I can and can't do with it. The only write off that I had is mortgage interest and that went away for next year.


The Sage chickens were on the endangered list. No longer due to ranchers working with the USDA. Plus I have pictures of Sage chickens where the cattle were doing there mating dances close to the water provided for the cows. When the cows moved to a different allotment so did the chickens.
You have to realize the offset between what you get with a private lease and a govt. lease. On public lands you develop the water fences, etc. Private lease those costs are usually included. Looking at the bottom line but not the incurred costs and time makes it look like a great deal.

Common sense would tell me that if sage grouse were there before cattle then they are not there now solely because ranchers are providing them with water so I decided to read a little more about them. According to Wikipedia, Populations of sage grouse are in decline due to environment loss and decline of the pristine plains environments it requires to mate. The sage grouse is found in significant numbers within only half of the states comprising its original territories. The Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and other organizations have petitioned to list the grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

In March 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concluded that greater sage-grouse are warranted for protection as "threatened" under the U.S. federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). However the USFWS also concluded that immediate listing was "precluded" by higher listing priorities for other jeopardized species. Thus they designated the species a "Level 8 Candidate" for addition to the list of threatened species at some future date. Their finding is being litigated by groups contending the species should immediately receive protections under the ESA.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigated some of the reasons for the declining sage-grouse population. Researchers observed cattle who share grazing land with the sage-grouse. They found that cattle, after consuming about 40% of the tussocks in between sagebrush bushes, will continue to consume the tussocks growing underneath the sagebrush, thereby destroying the nesting habitat for the sage-grouse.[9] In order to preserve the population of sage-grouse, ranchers can monitor the rate at which cattle consume the tussocks in between sagebrush bushes. Once cattle have consumed around 40% of the tussocks in between bushes, researchers ask that ranchers move their cattle to new grazing trail.

GPS trackers show that sage grouse congregate in small areas with certain resources, rather than being widely spread.

So, that is how ranchers are helping. Hopefully they ALL do the right thing



I think it's pretty easy to judge when it is not your livelihood at stake and you read about it but live so far from where it is happening.
Just so you know. I am not judging anyone or arguing with you. These are just some of the things that I think about and questions that I ask. I do care about peoples livelihood but I also care about the wildlife that belongs there. I don't think that the wildlife should be destroyed in the name of business as I don't think that would be productive to the world as a whole.

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post #67 of 69 Old 10-17-2018, 03:06 PM
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Just so you know. I am not judging anyone or arguing with you. These are just some of the things that I think about and questions that I ask. I do care about peoples livelihood but I also care about the wildlife that belongs there. I don't think that the wildlife should be destroyed in the name of business as I don't think that would be productive to the world as a whole.
Every person I know in ag agrees. We all like seeing wildlife. Even predators.

I may roll my eyes, sigh, and start adding up the cost when I feed dozens and dozens and dozens of "the nation's" deer, antelope, and elk ( and bunnies and field mice). THAT is just part of the cost of doing business. It gets harder for me to overlook deaths of cattle (or goats or dogs, etc) just because they are easy picking. I also get really sad when I see a deer taken down.
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post #68 of 69 Old 10-17-2018, 03:53 PM
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The sad reality is the numbers are ridiculously high from people breeding when they shouldnt be. Unfortunately IMO this is one of the few ways to bring the numbers down. Would I ever send a horse to slaughter? never. Would I encourage anyone to do it? never. Would I save a horse from it? YES. But reality is something needs to happen to lower the numbers. There will always be debates about how they should be euthanized as well but that is a forever non ending discussion.
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post #69 of 69 Old 10-17-2018, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LoriF View Post
Just so you know. I am not judging anyone or arguing with you. These are just some of the things that I think about and questions that I ask. I do care about peoples livelihood but I also care about the wildlife that belongs there. I don't think that the wildlife should be destroyed in the name of business as I don't think that would be productive to the world as a whole.
I know. We may not see completely eye to eye on the situation but I realize it is a matter of perspective. And I agree that wildlife should not be destroyed either! That is what can be so frustrating; those who lease public grounds are seen as greedy and don't care about the wildlife.( not saying you) But I know most people I know DO care. These leases benefits wildlife and tax payers.
The only thing that steals food out of the mouth of others is over population, no matter the species. Someone mentioned already, due to human intervention and expansion we are beyond natural selection. We have to find and control the balance.
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