Wild horses found dead in Arizona’s Apache Sitgreaves Forest

Story by Nancy Harrison, KPNX

“Local Sheriff allegedly believes disgruntled gardener could be responsible…”

HEBER, Ariz. – A Heber man is concerned that someone is shooting wild horses in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. Robert Huchinson says he found two dead wild horses in the forest this week, both with gunshot wounds.

He says the horse carcasses are about 5 miles from his home. He’s lived in the area for 25 years. Huchinson says he’s not sure who is responsible, but says bear hunters may be to blame. He admits he’s a wild horse lover, but knows some people in the area are not.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture animal services department tells 12 News shooting wild horses is illegal anywhere in our state.

Jim Molesa of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office says his agency is investigating, but has no leads at this time. He says there are some people near Holbrook who look at the horses as pests, rather than majestic animals. He adds the animals are sometimes known to trample gardens and vegetation…(CONTINUED)

http://www.12news.com/mb/news/local/arizona/wild-horses-found-dead-in-apache-sitgreaves-forest/439006069

 

9 comments on “Wild horses found dead in Arizona’s Apache Sitgreaves Forest

  1. I hope they find the responsible person behind these shootings and i hope they rot in jail. This is disgusting and disturbing to shoot horse’s. What kind of person would do such a horrible act of cruelty. Fence your garden in! Do you shoot deer,rabbits and other wildlife that gets into your garden…. wow sicko….hope kids don’t get into it and pick something. You need to get some help.

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  2. It is my understanding that there is a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $100,000 fine for each wild horse (or burro) killed. Over the years, hundreds of our wild horses and burros have been killed and yet very few arrests have been made and the convictions that I am aware of have only been what I call a slap on the wrist. One way to stop these murders is to find and give the guilty party the maximum penalty for each and every killing.

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  3. Here’s the entire article, pretty poor example of journalism. No maps, no indication of how or where the horses were found, if they were mutilated, where they were shot (gut shot to die slow painful deaths away from the shooter?), nor any verification that bear season is underway or there are folks doing that in the area. Also weird they quote the Sheriff’s office (no title, so was this an officer or a receptionist?) about “trampling” without balancing that claim with the solid truth that all wild animals will be “trampling” vegetation in and near USFS lands. For example, I had an entire strawberry patch wiped out one day before harvesting by a family of foxes, who obviously held a riot there overnight, rolling and running and eating and wrestling around. I do not as a result harbor any hatred towards foxes — I found it humorous even at the time despite my own loss.

    I wonder what the “research” underway already is all about, and wonder why the “reporter” didn’t link to any of this work? It would be good to know what they are doing and considering as it may be useufl for other areas, or not. We can’t know what reporters don’t report!

    HEBER, Ariz. – A Heber man is concerned that someone is shooting wild horses in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. Robert Huchinson says he found two dead wild horses in the forest this week, both with gunshot wounds.

    He says the horse carcasses are about 5 miles from his home. He’s lived in the area for 25 years. Huchinson says he’s not sure who is responsible, but says bear hunters may be to blame. He admits he’s a wild horse lover, but knows some people in the area are not.

    The Arizona Department of Agriculture animal services department tells 12 News shooting wild horses is illegal anywhere in our state.

    Jim Molesa of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office says his agency is investigating, but has no leads at this time. He says there are some people near Holbrook who look at the horses as pests, rather than majestic animals. He adds the animals are sometimes known to trample gardens and vegetation.

    According to information in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) website, the Forest Service and other state agencies and Arizona State University are conducting research to come up with a plan for wild horse population management.

    The ASNF anticipates having a proposed action plan developed by the end of 2017. The planning and public comment process on the proposed action is expected to occur in 2018, followed by the environmental analysis and development of a management plan for the Heber Wild Horse Territory by 2020.

    © 2017 KPNX-TV

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  4. I very sincerely doubt that gardeners are shooting these horses – this is public land in a National Forest. In addition, in Northern Arizona, No-Fence Districts have not been established in Coconino, Navajo, Apache and Greenley. If an area has not been designated a No-Fence District, it is open range. Within these areas, the private landowner who is concerned with livestock or wildlife damage or encroachment has an obligation to fence his/her private land with a lawful fence to keep animals out. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/asnf/landmanagement/resourcemanagement?cid=stelprdb5327051&width=full

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  5. How about frustrated bear hunters? It is bear hunting season in this area. “Arizona offers a few different bear seasons with varying opportunity. Most of the seasons are over-the-counter (OTC), with the first being the spring hunt landing in late March and running through early May.”

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    • It is possible the horses (if shot and found near each other) were killed to use as bait for bears, but the “reporter” fails to follow that line of reasoning. Considering there are “no leads” in the case, it would be logical to add a tagline asking any citizens with information or tips to call in to an anonymous tip line (we have this in CO, not sure about AZ). It would not have taken much effort for the “reporter” to also include the fines for killing wild horses.

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  6. Staged! I hate to say it. I think after they announced the tribe is set to kill them by offering HUNTERS to do so, then suddenly they are killing them to justify it by saying look they are a problem. Come on. I hate to say it, but it’s staged. Even if one guy got mad because he had an issue it’s all to set the plan up to justify murdering wild horses.

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