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2006/09/25

Wildlife Woes

This is an image for an upcoming story about the conflicts between ranchers, hunters and wildlife in the Cibola National Forest/McGaffey Lake area.
Ranchers are having problems with elk getting into their grazing areas, eating the grass and hay they need for their cattle and destroying fences and creating other problems in the process. Some of the ranchers have taken to shooting the elk, wounding them so they wander off and die off the ranchers' property.
Meanwhile the hunters are angry about the animals being shot and run off, and they resent the ranchers.


While I was out in the forest and ranch lands I came across a small herd of deer. I was amazed at how close I was able to get to this one in particular, especially since it is hunting season (bow hunting and muzzle loading I believe).
As the deer wandered away into the woods one of them turned to look back at me - apparently deciding that the giant camera lens was not an actual threat - before walking deeper into the trees.
I don't understand it exactly, but there is always a thrill I get from recording a wild animal, even if it something as relatively common as mule deer.

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