Fish and Wildlife may propose a horse hunt on the Navajo Nation

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
A gaunt horse grazes along State Route 264 near Tse Bonito, N.M. on March 27.

WINDOW ROCK

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 government officials sometimes take information from NNDFW as something that employees are paid to say as part of their jobs and concerns from experts who work for the government might have less impact on elected officials than the voices of their constituents and voters.

“To me, you have a greater chance of success,” she said.

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.

“I compare this problem to our cat and dog problem,” she said.


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Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at Chrisp@navajotimes.com.