In an effort to prevent what could be a massive die-off of mule deer and antelope, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners approved fire-related emergency depredation hunts. Wildfires already scored more than 500 square miles of key winter range across the northeast part of the state.
“Last summer’s fires had already decimated a large portion of this winter range, and the additional habitat loss from the 2017 fires have taken a bad situation and made it much worse,” said Tony Wasley, director for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “The affected winter ranges are highly unlikely to be able to support the number of animals it has in years past. Depending on the winter severity, we may see significant herd losses even with the reduced populations resulting from this hunt.”
The goal of these emergency hunts is to reduce the density of antelope and deer herds using these ranges before the onset of winter. Fewer animals on the range will not only reduce malnutrition and starvation, it will also help to maintain the integrity of the remaining unburned winter ranges by reducing the number of animals dependent on it.
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