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State has no luck hunting wild game on former NFL player’s ranch

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Wildlife mangers failed earlier this week to kill any of the estimated two dozen wild deer, elk and moose trapped inside a new hunting preserve in eastern Idaho.

Wildlife managers tried to flush out all the large animals last August before the fence was sealed around the 2,000-acre enclosure owned by former Denver Broncos player Rulon Jones.

But some remained behind, and state law requires that they be slaughtered now that they might have mingled with domestic elk and contracted disease.

Jones said there was no chance any of the wild animals could have gotten sick from contact with his herd because the domestic animals have been tested.

“There’s no threat,” Jones said. “It’s just a way to make us look bad.”

Hunting preserves have come under criticism in Idaho because of elk that escaped from another eastern Idaho ranch last year.

Last August, about 160 elk fled Rex Rammell’s Chief Joseph hunting preserve, prompting then-Gov. Jim Risch to order an emergency hunt to reduce the chances they could spread inferior genes or disease to wild herds near Yellowstone National Park.

Rammell has filed a $1.3 million tort claim against the state, alleging it was negligent and capricious in its handling of the incident.

On Monday, deep snow combined with rugged terrain thwarted hunters with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Agriculture, and two hunting preserve employees as they tried to kill the remaining wild animals inside Jones’ property.

“This is likely going to be a long-term task,” Mark Gamblin, regional supervisor of Fish and Game’s Pocatello office, told the Post Register. “It’s extremely difficult to remove wildlife from (hunting preserves).”

It’s illegal for a landowner to keep public wildlife behind a fence, which is the reason for the hunt. Wildlife managers also said they are concerned the animals could be out of food.

“We had some serious concerns that the mule deer behind the fences are at risk of starving,” Gamblin said. “That’s why we needed to move quickly.”

Hunters are expected back in the enclosure soon.

“We understand very well that this is distasteful to have to go in and shoot the public’s prized wildlife,” Gamblin said. “But we really don’t have any other choice.”

· Registered
680 Posts
i thinkit has to do with the private landowner capturing public animals.

what would stop a landowner fencing in a huge wild deer population, getting free deer. Then going and charging people to shoot the peoples wildlife. one could argue that outfitters do this anyway charging people to hunt. However they dont confine the wildlife in high fences and thereby prohibiting a citizen due chase. state wildlife should be able to freely cross legal borders if not therein would lie the legal issue.

I dont see why they just dont shoot and drug them then repopulate or trade with another state that wishes to try and reintroduce elk.

· Registered
153 Posts
I don't see why they won't let me come out there and help out, take the trusty ole' Ross too em. :oops:
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