North Dakota Ballot Measure 2 Pits Hunters Against Hunters

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In just a few weeks, North Dakota residents will go to the ballot to vote on a total ban on high fence hunting operations. Ballot measure 2 makes the “killing or attempted killing of privately-owned big game species or exotic mammals confined in or released from any man-made enclosure designed to prevent escape” illegal.

The Wall Street Journal is running a solid article on the subject, it can be viewed here.

From the article:

On Nov. 2, North Dakota voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would do away with these ranches. What's surprising is that the battle over Ballot Measure 2 doesn't pit hunters against their natural adversaries, animal-rights activists, who have long opposed the ultimate blood sport. Rather, the debate is dividing hunters themselves.

If North Dakota passes Ballot Measure 2, it will join states like Wyoming and Montana that have heavy restrictions and bans on private game management.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

I don't know which side of

I don't know which side of this I fall on.  I am not at all a proponent of high fenced hunting, or importation of exotics just to hunt.  However, if someone wants to do it on their own land, with their own animals, I don't necessarily believe we have the right to step in and tell them to stop.

hawkeye270's picture

That is a tough situation and

That is a tough situation and it is never a good thing when hunters are pitted against other hunters. That is just not the type of publicity or situation that we need. I am not sure where I stand on the topic. Although I would never take part in a high fence (canned) hunt, I don't know if it should be outlawed everywhere. On second thought, I guess if it came up on the ballot here in Colorado I just might vote to ban it in my state. I wouldn't be for a federal ban if it ever came up. I'm for the states managing their own game populations. Wow, kind of a sticky subject. It will be interesting to see if it passes. Somebody has got to update this topic after tonight.

CVC's picture

"Although I would never take

"Although I would never take part in a high fence (canned) hunt,"  Never say never about high fence hunting.  I wrote a story about my dad and me and a high fence hunt.  Once you read the story, ask yourself if you found yourself in that situation would you do a high fence hunt or not?

Also, if you ever plan to hunt Africa, you may find yourself in a high fence type of operation.  I think that most in South Africa are high fence now and more and more areas are going to it for better game management.  So, while the stereotypical canned high fence hunt is probably what most people think about, there are other high fence hunts that are really no different than open range hunts due to the size of the enclosure.

ecubackpacker's picture

CVC, what is your source for

CVC, what is your source for most South Africa operations having high fence hunts? That's a new one on me. I've come to believe South Africa was the only place to truly "hunt" native game.

+1 on the size of the range can give the hunter a true hunting experience even if it is high fence.

One thing we have to differentiate is the "canned hunt" from the "high fence hunt." There is a difference however slight it is. The canned hunt is where the animal is in a cage and is released in a very small pen. The person usually shoots the animal as soon as it gets out of the cage. The high fence hunt can be a totally different hunt experience depending on the size of the property.

As far as whether I would vote for or against this proposal, I don't know. I guess what would weigh my decision would be if they put a minimum size limit on the enclosure. If they would make it a minimum of, say 2,000 acres, then I would vote for it. What I'm saying is I would like for "canned hunts" to be outlawed.

CVC's picture

I don't have one specific

I don't have one specific source for this, but it is based on my research when I was thinking about hunting there.  I contacted outfitters and discussed it with knowledgable people on other forums and the conclusion was that most of SA was high fenced, but that it was not a big deal because of the size of the ranches.  The idea was not to keep the animals in, but to keep some out and to stop poachers.

Here is an excerpt from a Boddington article....and link too. The other thing I learned is that these ranches buy some of their animals which brings up what is actually "native."

The genesis of game fencing in South Africa came at a time when native game was at its nadir and seasons were short, far too short for a safari operation. Game fencing allowed longer seasons on the theory that the fence protected the game outside the fence, not vice versa.

ecubackpacker's picture

The link went to Sports

The link went to Sports Afield website. I didn't see any article from Boddington about High Fence hunting in Africa.

It's brand new to me. I never heard that before. I guess Africa isn't Africa any more.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Yeah, the high fence thing in

Yeah, the high fence thing in Africa would be new to me too.  I know they do it, but most of their hunts are indeed free ranging game.

I still don't care for it.  I can see if it's thousands of acres, where you never see the fence, but even then, I don't know if I would do it.