Sunday, April 5, 2009

High Fences Can Kill

You can view this video of this injured, dying deer. (Not suitable for some.)

Recently I was driving along a boundary of a large, well-managed property in east Alabama when a group of 4-5 deer raced across the road in front of me. Several ran straight into a new high fence built by the adjacent landowner. This 8-month-old buck was severely injured and was dead within minutes. These deer were on the outside, following their traditional escape route to cover. I have also seen a doe inside a high fence enclosure injure her face by repeatedly leaping into a fence, seemingly not understanding that it was impenetrable.

These so-called "high fence operations" are cropping up all over the landscape, and should never, in my opinion, have been permitted by state conservation agencies. Wealthy landowners who want to manage trophy bucks love them, but the practice is viewed by many hunters as unethical, it puts publicly-owned wildlife into private control, and, as seen here, it can kill wildlife.

The Wildlife Society's position statement on high fence ungulate enclosures can be found here (pdf).

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