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March 31, 2008

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A Look Over the Fence

Five years ago, I was on a hunt in a high-fence ranch in northern South Africa when a friend shot and wounded an eland. He, I, the PH and two trackers followed the animal for four days, dawn to dusk, when the blood trail finally dried up and we could see that he was eating and drinking and not hit seriously.

The point is that we were hunting inside a high fence and we never caught up. Hunting in the RSA is now a big business, and game animals are becoming extremely valuable, so a high fence makes sense because it keeps them from wandering off, and it keeps non-paying personnel from wandering in and poaching your critters.

The plain fact is, that if you have enough acreage inside the fence and enough cover, the game has all the chance it needs to stay alive. Aesthetically it is not nearly so pleasing as hunting without fences, but that is the way things are today.

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Comments

Jim in Mo.

Jeff,
I said 'welcome to the new world'. But I sure didn't mean to imply a better one. At least not as we new it.

Jim

I have hunted on a 15,000 acre electric fenced Buffalo Ranch in North Central Nebraska on foot, no vehicles are allowed as the bulls are known to tear them up. The owner’s Grandson’s 4 wheeled was tromped until it was not recognizable and Grandson spent a month in the hospital.

It was one of the hardest hunts I have ever done! While the herd was over 500 we saw many less. I was hunting with CVA’s new (at the time) Electra Muzzleloader in -12 degree weather with snow flakes and ice around every piece of cover. We found a small herd of 5 (3 bulls and 2 cows), but never were able to get closer than 200 yards. I wanted a 125 yard or less shot on such a big animal. After five failed stocks we ran out of daylight. Second day we hunted until mid afternoon before we found the three bulls in a large meadow. After a long crawl I had a good shot at the herd bull at 80 yards trotting across in front of me at 80 yards. One shot from the Electra pushing a 440 Gr Flat Nose Powerbelt with 150 Gr of Pryodex broke the front shoulder, took off part of the top of the heart and lodged in the off shoulder. The big mount is one of my favorite trophies and I worked dang hard for it. He was estimated to be 15 years old and his teeth were well worn. He was well past his prime, sorta like me.

Did the fence help me? The Rancher says “A Bull will only stay in if they are content.” Nothing really keeps them in if they want out. Once you stand beside one you will believe the rancher.

Would I hunt some of the small 100 acre and less high fence hunts? No and I have been invited many times. It is not a hunt if you can see all the game from the fence and use a post for a rest. It’s not a hunt if you ride out on the tractor and kill an animal when they come in to feed. It is a hunt, if you are wore slick hunting for your trophy and never see the fence after you enter the ranch. Would I hunt this ranch again? Just as soon as we are out of meat I’ll be working on a trade to get a cow this time so I can have some steaks!

Just an ol’ man’s thoughts that traded stuff for the hunt as I could not pay the price, but the meat is much better than from the store.

Terrance Mahoney

Hat's off to you Mr. Pretzal for a very fine blog and forum. Only one I read and re-read. Alway's and enjoyable read. And great to see different view points and ideas discussed in a civil and friendly manner,without the obscenities and name calling so commen on the web. as always hunters and fisherman seem to hold themselves to a little bit higher standard of behaivior and ethics than a lot of groups INMYHOP.

Zermoid

Well after many years of hunting in NJ the difference between a high fence hunt and wild hunting is even more blurred for me, sure the deer were wild, and hard to find, but on so little ground it might as well be fenced! Other than the Pine Barrens there is no large expanse of woods (if you want to call miles of 4-8 foot pines woods) in NJ.
And upland game? Pheasants and Quail planted by the Fish & Game department, Pheasants and most quail are pen raised and released so the "hunters" have something to shoot at. Big Challenge.
Sure there are no fences but it really isn't "wild hunting" either.
So where do you draw the line as to hunting or target shooting at live game?

JasonB

Sarg-

I know some folks from Carter Co. That's some pretty country over there. I'm about an hour south of Louisville in Hardin County, near Ft. Knox.

Chev Jim

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I am still opposed in principle to hunts on "enclosed lands," because I feel that the principle of "fair chase" is compromised if the game animals are "captives." I also don't like the idea of running around the woods in ATVs unless you are "physically challenged." And I have a problem with shooting deer right beside deer feeders. Hunting today is focused upon convenience for the hunter and increasing his chances for success through "canned hunts" and the like. It kind of reminds me of a small zoo near my hometown. There was a 12-point buck in that zoo. One night, some "hunter" broke into the zoo, shot the buck and dragged him away. That "hunter" was not too far from the ilk of some "hunters" that we have today. Yes, I've been driven to deer stands on a game preserve but I will never do it again. When hunting is reduced to the equivalent of picking out the lobster you want at a seafood restaurant, I'll quit. Going to Red Lobster and ordering a meal is not "fishing," and going on canned hunts is not "hunting." If you're not willing to meet your game on a more-or-less equal footing, it's not hunting that you are engaged in--it may be shooting, but it's not hunting.

Clay Cooper

Terrance Mahoney
O’Brother , where were you on the June 08, 2007
“The Great Crossbow Debate”? http://fieldandstream.blogs.com/gunnut/2007/06/the_great_cross.html
The Howler Monkeys and the Moon Children where all out on this one. Doing there darndest to say how evil CBs are. Then we have a Muzzle loader with electronic ignition and didn’t get all the hate and discontent as the CBs did.

Del in KS says
Go with a flinter when the experience is more important than the kill.
My hat is off to you Sir and a fine Sportsman to boot!!

Jeff

To Jim in MO. I know things are changing but I hate to accept going down without a fight. As with anything in life, if someting is good than by all means, defend it. You know the old sang, "if it aint broke..."

Jim in Mo.

Jeff,
The stuff we're talking about now made me think how years ago as a child my brother and I would giggle when grandpa would start talking about 'the good old days'. The stuff we're saying now is the same thing except I truely believe my grandpa's generation was closer to my generation than my generation is to my 17yr. old son and definately more than my (hopefully) grandchildren..

sarg

Jason, I believe I've talked with you here before., If you are going to be around Harrodsburg on April 26 2008, there will be a big thing going on all day about the Harrodsburg Tankers. Kentucky National Guard, 192 Light Tank Battallion, They were sent to the Phillipieans during WWII and when their Commander surrendered the Troops to Japan, they experienced the Batton Death March with on 38 surviving. I may run down, I know some people in Harrodsburg anyway.. The Gov. sent me an invite.

Jeff

Jim in Mo, I'm 21. Ha, thought that may cheer you up.

Shaky

Jeff; enjoy it, sonny, it won't last long.

JasonB

Sarg,

We may have talked before, I don't remember for sure.
Thanks for the info on the Harrodsburg Tankers. I'm not familiar with their history. Hopefully, I can get down there for it and talk my kids into going as well.

Dr. Ralph

What the hell, I'm opening a game farm where you pick out any animal you want from his stall and we release him on one of those Motocross tracks... you get a Suzuki Quadrunner and a Ruger Super Redhawk and let the games begin! We could even make it a timed event. The television rights alone will make me millions, and then a feature film starring Johnny Knoxville and a Grizzly.

Jim in Mo.

What the hell lets buy a ranch, install miniature trains like they transport people at the zoo and recreate the buffalo slaughter of the 1800's.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Get use to it, high fencing is coming at an alarming rate. I own a small farm less than 100 acres and my Son and I spend about 8-900 bucks plus many hrs with tractor to plan food plots for the wild game.Birds, rabitts, squirrels, turkeys, w-tails. Our property is off the beaten path but that does not stop the road hunters, poachers, Idiots from killing game on our property. We found 8 bucks last week, only the horns missing. I saw while hunting 4 deer in one pile, one a buck with his horns sawed off. Only meat taken was one side of back straps. I'd give a lot to know who did this. If was in a position I would fence it all or buy a couple of guard dogs. Some of the guys who hunt live as far as 50-75 miles away,as word has spread we go 2 Albinos on the property.I've decided to complete my ground blind or do a few minor improvements to the old farm house and spend a few nights there to catch these guys. HAve called the game Warden and he;s doing all he can, but they give him the slip. If i catch these guy, trouble is brewing. Someone suggested to shoot all 4 tires a couple times and let these guys walk 10 miles to a tire center for replacements. Shooting over therir heads does no good, as have done so, they return the fire. Have made up my mind, not going to continue to allow this period. Will take what-ever measures to stop it. I hunt out West each fall, and i pay dearly to hunt and never hunted with-out permission or either a guided hunt.So the fenceing is not all the landownere fault, it's the Damn poachers and the unwelcomed guys who are killing the prime animals.About 5-6 guys are willing to help me out this fall, as we plan to patrol the area afer dark and put a stop to it. Also, it's not just my property they hunting, its the joining owners as well,who live away and did not know this was happening. THey gave me permission to do what-ever was requied to stop it,and i shall. So next fall if not on the Blog,you will know I am in jail, shot or died.Any way, sometimes fencing are required to stop the un-wanties. Brings to mind a tip to oorado back in 93,we had maps and knew the BLM boundries. A few Outfitters posted the right of way into the BLM as private property. When you thousands of miles from home, its kinda hard to know where the BLM is. O well, not going back to Co. as winter kill has killed in excess of 50% of Deer and many Elk. Check DOW in Co. to get a report on this matter.




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