WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — (Mar. 30, 2017). With multiple efforts to reduce the number of wild horses on the Navajo Nation, officials are considering a hunt.
The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife asked hunters and sportsmen for their support for a hunt as a potential means to reduce the number of wild horses on the Navajo Nation at the 2017 Navajo Nation Sportsman’s Expo on March 25. NNDFW staff confirmed after the conference that a proposal has not yet been completely drafted, so the department hadn’t yet anticipated details of how the possible hunt would work such as weapons to be used, number of tags to take horses, and hunt unit maps.
Department manager Gloria Tom said the department hoped to address the problem and would propose a solution to Navajo Nation governance once drafted, but also called on the hunters present to add their voices to the conversation around the feral herds and what to do about them.
“Our leaders, they really need to hear from people like you,” Tom said. “People who live out there, people who hunt.”
She said previous attempts to trap, round up, or allow horses to be adopted had not made a large enough impact.
NNDFW officials said the department is drafting a proposal to get support from Navajo Nation leaders.
When you visit the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife website (NNDFW) they state that their agenda is to “Conserve, protect, enhance, and restore the Navajo Nations fish, wildlife, and plants through aggressive management programs for the spiritual cultural and material benefit of present and future generations of Navajo Nation.”
Insofar as we can see the NNDFW’s “aggressive management programs” consist of hunting and trapping to kill all types of wildlife such as: bear, muledeer, elk, mountain lions, game birds, water fowl and doves.
Now the NNDFW want to add wild (also referred to as feral) horses to the wildlife they hunt and kill.
We cannot comment on the spiritual benefits (if there are any) of hunting and trapping animals, but we can definitely comment on the material benefits of it — they are no doubt making a killing with all this killing.
So often with this type of culling, wild animals are mismanaged or simply left alone to create an imbalance or surplus which they turn around and resolve by staging hunts thereby making a tidy profit.
We see this in numerous situations around the country with all sorts of animals, and not just with the Navajo Nation. However, we are not aware of any advertised hunting and killing program of Mustangs.
Federal employees of the US government have reportedly sold wild horses to the meat man, a criminal act for which they appear to go unpunished. Must this sort of murder be added to it?
Insofar as the statement “previous attempts to trap, round up, or allow horses to be adopted had not made a large enough impact” goes, we say — try harder.
Navajo Times; by Christopher S. Pineo; March 30, 2017
A gaunt horse grazes along State Route 264 near Tse Bonito, N.M. on March 27.
Navajo Times; Adron Gardner.
Some of you have written that you wish to take action. If you wish to contact Navajo Nation regarding the proposed wild horse hunt their contact information is:
Write to Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 1480, Window Rock, AZ 86515 or call 1-928-871-6450.
You can also email Council Delegates. Some of them have more than one email address. We recommend you use their navajo-nsn.gov address. Please be polite and succinct.
Latest update: 2:05 pm EST; 6 Apr 17