North Dakota Ballot Measure 2 Fails

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57% of ND voters voted against Ballot Measure 2 which would have banned high fence hunting in the state. We posted an entry about North Dakota Ballot Measure 2 here.

The Wall Street Journal has a write up on the results.

"They outspent us," Mr. Kaseman said in an interview. His group, North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase, led the campaign on a shoestring budget, spending only about $25,000, he said.

The opposition was led by a whitetail deer rancher named Shawn Schafer. He and others formed the Citizens to Protect North Dakota's Property Rights, which framed the measure as a battle for private-property rights, rather than a debate over the ethics of hunting.


hawkeye270's picture

I can think of atleast one

I can think of atleast one example of how high fence hunting ranches can degrade property values. Chronic Wasting Disease was first recorded in mule deer being held at the Foothills Research Facility of the Colorado Division of Wildlife in the late 60's or early 70's. Not far from Fort Collins there were various high fence elk ranches. These areas had elk that were held in a higher than normal population density and therefore the disease permiated the herd. Atleast one of the ranchers intentionally released his herd upon finding out that they were diseased. This part of the state still has some of the highest prevelance rates of Chronic Wasting Disease. Because the prions that cause Chronic Wasting Disease (and other Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathy diseases) can lie dormant in the soil, property values were degraded.

CVC's picture

The high fence hunting didn't

The high fence hunting didn't lower the property values.  A criminal act was committed and even then I am not sure how property values were affected.  Now the wild herd was definitely affected, but that is a different story.

Your reasoning is akin to saying that we should not allow gas stations to exist because one gas station owner improperly disposed of his waste oil and contaminated the water supply for the community.  Again, it is not the business, but the criminal act.

With proper and enforced regulation, there is no reason high fence operations can't co-exist. TSE's are found in sheep too, so should the grazing or sheep be banned from public lands?  What about BSE in cattle - make them come off BLM land?

High fence operations are an emotional and controversial issue.  I do believe that where these businesses operate and there is a risk to the wild herd that strict rules should be enforced to prevent the spread of disease and unintentional breeding of domestic and wild animals.

Interesting in some countries they put up fences to  prevent the wild animals from spreading disease in the domestic herds.

outdoorsman121's picture


I am a strong supporter of free range hunting, and fair game chase. But to me a state trying to ban high fence hunting seems that they have nothing better to do! People have the right to own land and build on with a permit, if an individual wants to build a high fence, hold game animals and allow hunting within the fence then that should be his or her choice, not the choice of the state. The states job is to provide security, and make sure citizens have opportunities, and keep order within their jurisdiction. Not worry about high fence hunting.  

CVC's picture

I am not sure this was a

I am not sure this was a state initiative, but one pushed by the voters of the states.  I think it is a ballot initiative like CA's prop 19 where the people get enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot for a vote.

Same with the outfitter's licenses.

CVC's picture

The property right issue is a

The property right issue is a compelling reason to consider not banning high fence hunting.  People should, within limitations, do with their property as they please.  i say with limitation because they should not be allowed to use their property in a manner detrimental to other property owners and in a manner that negatively affects property values.

I don't think high fence hunting negatively affects other property value so it is really an subjective argument against high fence hunting.  Unless those that support the ban can demonstrate scientifically that high fence hunting poses a danger, one that cannot be controlled with reasonable measures, they are fighting an uphill battle.

The argument against high fence hunting is often an emotional one and I have mixed feelings about it.  I think it should be controlled to protect the wild herds but not banned.