The slaughter of 39 Pronghorn Antelope by a North Eastern New Mexico rancher because they were "taking money out of my pocket" will surely start a firestorm of recriminations between New Mexico sportsmen and ranchers. The Ranch Lobby ought to run away from this one as fast as they can. If they don't they will certainly lose big time in Santa Fe at the next legislature. And they should. At the same time I recognize that many ranchers protect wildlife and see them as an asset and adjunct to their ranching business. They provide waterholes that are crucial to wildlife and many love these animals for their own sake. But this inhumane shotgunning of New Mexico's wildlife is not pardonable especially when the Game and Fish Department offered to help with fencing.
The agricultural community has always had a strong and effective lobby in Santa Fe. But it will pale beside the outrage of our state's hundreds of thousands of hunters. State land lease holders should be very interested in this issue because it will certainly envelope them.