Hunters and Pot Growers Once Again at Odds

 

Hunters and pot growers are once again at odds.  A summit meeting in Eureka brought representatives of various County Boards of Supervisors, Fish and Game, and environmental groups to a meeting hosted at the Red Lion hotel by Mendocino County Black-Tailed Deer Association which claimed that marijuana farmers are in part to blame for the decline of the deer population in the B zone.

Click on map to enlarge and see B zone

According to the Willits News,

Northwestern California’s “B Zone,” known as California’s “deer factory,” stretches along the coast from the Oregon border to Mendocino and Glen counties, and from I-5 on the east to the Pacific Ocean.

“If you want to find world-class blacktail bucks with antler spreads of 25 to 28 inches or more, this is historically the best place in the world to go,” says Paul Trouette, president of the Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association.

The Tehema County Daily News adds,

…between 1989 and 2009 the harvest of bucks in the B-Zone has dropped 57 percent, in large part due to a dramatic decline in the region’s deer herd. The 2000 harvest of bucks in Mendocino County was 1,256, a decline of 3,976 bucks per year since the 1950’s.

The decline in deer in B-Zone has cut down the number of hunters in the B-zone, where the annual deer hunt pumps an estimated $35 million a year into the region’s economy when all is well.

Among the factors causing the decline, the group discussed “the poaching and wanton use of pesticides due to proliferation of illegal marijuana gardens on public wildlands as the primary causes behind the decline in the blacktail deer population.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

24 comments

  • All the deer have moved to our land. Too many!!!!!

  • All the deer have moved to our land. Too many!!!!!

  • Yep, I wish there were a few pot growers in *my* neighborhood ;^]

  • Yep, I wish there were a few pot growers in *my* neighborhood ;^]

  • hmmm. I think lions might play into it as we see carcasses of deer quite frequently. This year too, I lost 3 calves to something all in the same area. That is a first for us. We’ve lost a calf here or there occasionally, but not all in the same area during the same time. Of course, it could be dogs too. There are more dogs running around. We’ve seen some pass through. I really don’t think that poachers could be taking more deer than historically hunters took, but that could be why the killed deer number is down.

  • hmmm. I think lions might play into it as we see carcasses of deer quite frequently. This year too, I lost 3 calves to something all in the same area. That is a first for us. We’ve lost a calf here or there occasionally, but not all in the same area during the same time. Of course, it could be dogs too. There are more dogs running around. We’ve seen some pass through. I really don’t think that poachers could be taking more deer than historically hunters took, but that could be why the killed deer number is down.

  • Lions, definitely. I’ve see them up there, and neighbors have reported predation on poultry flocks. Also coyote numbers seem to be increasing, and they might have an impact on young ones.

  • Lions, definitely. I’ve see them up there, and neighbors have reported predation on poultry flocks. Also coyote numbers seem to be increasing, and they might have an impact on young ones.

  • Once upon a time, back before the great influx of the back-to-the-landers, we had sheep here… and NO predators. The government hunters killed off all of the coyote, bear and mountain lion. When the newcomers came, they came with dogs and a strong sense that the environment should seek it’s own level.

    The new dogs were not kept under control and killed sheep to the point that most ranchers gave up and moved to the hardier cattle for livestock. The killing of predators was stopped and we are seeing the results. Sad for the deer, but great for mountain lions, coyotes, and bears.

    Bears don’t do much killing, they mostly steel another critters kill, and eat carrion. Mountain lion, and especially coyotes kill a lot of deer.

    I don’t think that anything that we can do at this point will bring the deer back to pre-back-to-the-lander status.

  • According to the original post, the concern about the potential role of cannabis growing in reducing deer populations seems to be centered on how clandestine growers, using public lands for illegal cannabis gardens/plantations, are shooting and poisoning deer.

    Most people growing on their own land just use deer fencing. In other words, this is yet another problem created by Prohibition, not by cannabis growing itself.

    I spend a fair amount of time out in several areas that have a lot of “back to the land” homesteaders and other rural residents, and at least from what I’ve seen, the deer sure do seem pretty plentiful!

    I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with declining deer populations, but if there is, it doesn’t seem to be a product of “homesteaders,” “back-to-the-landers” or cottage-industry-level cannabis growers.

  • According to the original post, the concern about the potential role of cannabis growing in reducing deer populations seems to be centered on how clandestine growers, using public lands for illegal cannabis gardens/plantations, are shooting and poisoning deer.

    Most people growing on their own land just use deer fencing. In other words, this is yet another problem created by Prohibition, not by cannabis growing itself.

    I spend a fair amount of time out in several areas that have a lot of “back to the land” homesteaders and other rural residents, and at least from what I’ve seen, the deer sure do seem pretty plentiful!

    I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with declining deer populations, but if there is, it doesn’t seem to be a product of “homesteaders,” “back-to-the-landers” or cottage-industry-level cannabis growers.

  • “Hair loss syndrome”(HLS) of black-tailed deer was first described in western Washington in 1995. The condition is caused by a heavy infestation with a Eurasian louse of poorly defined taxonomic status in the genus Damalinia (Cervicola) sp. The normal hosts of this louse are European and Asian deer and antelope, which are not seriously affected by the lice. It causes large patches of hair loss and subsequent hypothermia in Black Tailed Deer during cold and wet spells, especially fawns. David Lancaster, of Fish and Game, has been tagging and studying this newly introduced parasite and it’s affects on declining deer herds, which varies with area. I have only seen a few deer in this area infected and outwardly exhibiting large patches of missing hair on the deer that are experiencing infestation and affects of this new malady, and in severe cases it can cause mortality in individual deer, especially fawns and those with existing heavy parasite loads. So far it does not affect Mule Deer or White Tailed Deer, only our local Black Tailed Deer species. That may be one reason for localized Black Tailed Deer population reductions. Predator prey relationships between deer, dog packs, coyotes, mountain lions and hunters is also a factor in population fluctuations.

    • I did find one reference to HLS affecting Elk and White Tailed Deer. Mark Lancaster is the Fish and Game guy with the most local knowledge of local Black Tailed Deer herd effects.

  • “Hair loss syndrome”(HLS) of black-tailed deer was first described in western Washington in 1995. The condition is caused by a heavy infestation with a Eurasian louse of poorly defined taxonomic status in the genus Damalinia (Cervicola) sp. The normal hosts of this louse are European and Asian deer and antelope, which are not seriously affected by the lice. It causes large patches of hair loss and subsequent hypothermia in Black Tailed Deer during cold and wet spells, especially fawns. David Lancaster, of Fish and Game, has been tagging and studying this newly introduced parasite and it’s affects on declining deer herds, which varies with area. I have only seen a few deer in this area infected and outwardly exhibiting large patches of missing hair on the deer that are experiencing infestation and affects of this new malady, and in severe cases it can cause mortality in individual deer, especially fawns and those with existing heavy parasite loads. So far it does not affect Mule Deer or White Tailed Deer, only our local Black Tailed Deer species. That may be one reason for localized Black Tailed Deer population reductions. Predator prey relationships between deer, dog packs, coyotes, mountain lions and hunters is also a factor in population fluctuations.

    • I did find one reference to HLS affecting Elk and White Tailed Deer. Mark Lancaster is the Fish and Game guy with the most local knowledge of local Black Tailed Deer herd effects.

    • Thank you for all this information. I’d never heard of this before. Blogs at their best are a community of folk pooling their collective knowledge and educating everyone. Thanks Harry especially but everyone sure educated me here.

  • @Harry I have seen quite a few deer with those lice on my propert y recently. They are
    very thin are a much lighter tan color with thinning coats. They look miserable.

    • The infected population is expanding, and cold wet spring weather isn’t helping survival rates. I have seen a few myself, but not till the last couple of years. This introduced pathogen (parasite) is changing our local biology. HLS and a reduction in MAST (acorn crops) from Sudden Oak Death combined seem to be potentially negatively affecting the health of our local animal populations. What is the nutritional components in acorns and how their availability for deer affects resistance to new parasite loads???

      • It’s more complicated than blaming growers or the newly introduced “back to the lander” movement. Clearcuts used to produce more browse for deer and elk, but clear cutting has fallen from favor in recent years. And fire suppression has allowed our meadows to disappear (just looking at Svenson’s Meadow in Salmon Creek since early 1950’s is something I’ve noticed) and the resulting new forests to become overgrown and trending towards a state that promotes stand replacing fires (“natural clear cuts” by fire that mimic clear cut prescriptions) carried into crown fires creating “natural clear cuts”. It’s complicated for sure. It’s easier to point the finger at the “other person or group”.

  • @Harry I have seen quite a few deer with those lice on my propert y recently. They are
    very thin are a much lighter tan color with thinning coats. They look miserable.

    • The infected population is expanding, and cold wet spring weather isn’t helping survival rates. I have seen a few myself, but not till the last couple of years. This introduced pathogen (parasite) is changing our local biology. HLS and a reduction in MAST (acorn crops) from Sudden Oak Death combined seem to be potentially negatively affecting the health of our local animal populations. What is the nutritional components in acorns and how their availability for deer affects resistance to new parasite loads???

      • It’s more complicated than blaming growers or the newly introduced “back to the lander” movement. Clearcuts used to produce more browse for deer and elk, but clear cutting has fallen from favor in recent years. And fire suppression has allowed our meadows to disappear (just looking at Svenson’s Meadow in Salmon Creek since early 1950’s is something I’ve noticed) and the resulting new forests to become overgrown and trending towards a state that promotes stand replacing fires (“natural clear cuts” by fire that mimic clear cut prescriptions) carried into crown fires creating “natural clear cuts”. It’s complicated for sure. It’s easier to point the finger at the “other person or group”.

  • Tannins have a powerful anti-parasitic affect Harry. That’s why squirrel meat is also considered a safer meat.

  • Tannins have a powerful anti-parasitic affect Harry. That’s why squirrel meat is also considered a safer meat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *