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Deer population should be a major issue

To the editor:

Thank you, Vin Suprynowicz: Your column in Sunday’s newspaper on Nevada’s mule deer population was spot on.

I am a native Nevadan who was born and raised in Ely. I went on my first deer hunting trip with my dad back in 1957. I have seen what the deer herds in this state used to be and have witnessed their decline, just as Cecil Fredi has. I was surprised to see that Nevada Department of Wildlife officials have changed their tune on the decline of the herd to blame it on habitat problems, because they had touted drought as the major cause for many years.

If NDOW would look to our neighbor to the east, they would find that Utah has recently passed legislation to increase funding for coyote control in an effort to rebuild their deer herds. Like Nevada, Utah, too, has seen its deer herds dwindle despite spending tens of millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to protect winter habitat, fence highways and improve conditions for deer. Their data have shown that coyote predation is a major negative contributor to Utah’s deer numbers dwindling, and they are doing something about it.

I have to take exception to the statement by Tony Wasley of NDOW that Nevada’s deer populations and harvests are only “slightly below” the historic average. If you look at the data on NDOW’s own website for the mule deer harvest for 2011, you will see that there were a total of 12,111 deer tags sold for all deer hunts. Their harvest numbers show that a mere 4,207 hunters (35 percent) bagged a deer. If that isn’t “hunter failure,” then what is?

Mr. Fredi has been saying that predators have been the major reason for the deer herd’s decline for years, and you will find the majority of the sportsmen and women in this state agree. However, NDOW officials choose to ignore him and the majority of the hunters who have seen what the deer herds once were.

Please keep this issue on the forefront. Thanks again.

Mike Bellino

Las Vegas

Deer count

To the editor:

Vin Suprynowicz’s Sunday column on the mule deer population seems to be hyperbole.

During the 1988 count, the ratio of mule deer killed to hunting licenses issued was 0.5-to-1. In 2008, the ratio was 0.4-to-1. This is hardly a huge difference.

Maybe Nevada needs to hire some animal life counters (paid by the job) to count the numbers of mule deer and the number of predators such as lions and coyotes. Then you would have a basis for claiming that lions are decimating the mule deer herds.

Mr. Suprynowicz’s current data suggest that when fewer licenses were bought, fewer deer were killed.

Fred H. Freeman Jr.

Henderson

Hoodie issue

To the editor:

Regarding the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida:

I’m confused over all the hoopla going on about his wearing a hoodie most likely leading to his death. Even the Miami Heat, and their group of stars, posed for a picture of the team, all wearing hoodies in protest.

The shooter, George Zimmerman, apparently mistook the kid for a criminal because he was black and wearing a hoodie. Self-defense? Who really knows? But I do believe the guy should be in jail.

As an American of Mexican descent, stereotypes are nothing new to me. They’ve been part of my entire life.

But how is it that almost every night on the TV news when they show a picture of a person suspected of robbing a convenience store, saying authorities “need our help” in capturing this criminal, many times it’s a person wearing a hoodie?

Does this make what happened in Florida right? Absolutely not. Is George Zimmerman an overzealous gun nut who would have eventually killed someone? I truly believe so.

But the Miami Heat and everyone else protesting the hoodie thing should step back and have another look at how all of this might have been avoided. No, I don’t believe hoodies should be banned. But I do feel if you’re going to walk down the street at night, you should consider how others might perceive you and how you’re dressed.

Bernie Lopez

Las Vegas

Union tactics

To the editor:

I just watched a debate on local television between Michael Wagner of the Culinary union and Lori Nelson of Station Casinos on the same unionization issue I have read about in the Review-Journal. Ms. Nelson offered a secret-ballot union election. Mr. Wagner said no, we want to see how they vote.

The debate is not over whether Station will allow its workers to vote on organizing, but how the vote will be taken.

Station Casinos is offering — like we do in our American elections — a secret-ballot process, and the unions are insisting on a card-check system in which they can stand there and see how each person is voting. To me, this leads to intimidation.

The city just opened the Mob Museum. Seems like the union approach would fit right into that theme. Mob tactics.

Joe Conover

Las Vegas

Army killers

To the editor:

Everybody is looking to try Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused in the Afghan killings, and do him in as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed his fellow soldiers and wounded many others at Fort Hood, still hasn’t come to trial 2½ years later. They can’t decide whether he’s insane or not.

Give us a break. If Bales is found guilty and executed, then Hasan should go down with him. What Bales did was bad news, but Hasan killed his own people.

Rodney T. Elkins

Las Vegas

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