Navajo Nation Cancels Horse Hunt

The Navajo Nation has canceled plans for a hunt to reduce the size of the feral horse herd on its lands. The hunt had been slated take place in March.
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The Navajo Nation has canceled plans for a hunt to reduce the size of the feral horse herd on its lands. The hunt had been slated take place in March.

In 2016 an independent survey revealed that 48,000 unbranded, so-called feral horses resided on the Nation’s 18-million-acre reservation located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Those free-roaming horses routinely compete with elk and deer for rangeland resources, the survey said.

In the past the Nation has used gathers to help manage herd growth but the tactic was not highly successful, said Gloria Tom, director of the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is part of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources (Navajo Nation DNR). As a result, the Navajo Nation DNR established a special team charged with studying a multifaceted approach to keeping the number of unbranded horses in check. One strategy was a horse hunt in 2018. In response, several wild horse welfare organizations offered to work with the Navajo Nation DNR to develop an alternative to the hunt.

In a Feb. 27 written statement, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye announced that the hunt would not take place

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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