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STRONGER PREDATOR CONTROLS SOUGHT TO BOOST DEER HERDS

SHARE STRONGER PREDATOR CONTROLS SOUGHT TO BOOST DEER HERDS

The president of Wayne County's chapter of the American Land Users organization says Utah's deer herds could be wiped out in just a few years unless state agencies change their wildlife management practices.

In his criticism of state agencies responsible for land management, Darys Ekker, Hanksville, said "Predators are keeping the deer population at a near record low and, yet, there is little effort to control them."The president and members of the WALU chapter called for state agencies to consider stronger predator control.

Ekker said the deer numbers in the Henry Mountains in eastern Wayne County dropped to an alarming low while he was working in gold mines in the area way back in 1932. But the population increased substantially in the 1940s after 52 mountain lions were shot and killed.

Ekker noted that "from 1945 to 1965, the Henry Mountains were producing some of the biggest and best deer in the nation." But he said claims that bad winters are responsible for low deer numbers "isn't the basic problem."

He suggested cutting back on the numbers of licenses being sold (which the state has done this year) and better control of predators as the best management tools to increase the deer herds.