It’s certainly an unorthodox way to deal with a quickly expanding wild horse population, but if you give Wyoming veterans a task, they’ll find a way to get it done. Recently, the Cowboy State’s finest offered to help control the local wild horse population by shooting wild mares with birth control-filled darts. Not to mention, this would also give the veterans an honorable purpose that prioritizes many of these men and women’s passions – hunting.
Of course, the end goal of the hunt isn’t a huge head mount and a freezer full of meat, but it would maintain healthy populations of wildlife which is very much the same.
The idea for this bizarre solution for Wyoming’s wild horses came from a veteran’s advocate who has devoted much thought to the process. In fact, Army National Guard veteran Cameron Ring explained to Cowboy State Daily that their veterans already have all the training they need for the job.
“Veterans, especially combat veterans, have the skills to navigate in rugged terrain and use stealth. Plus, those dart guns are remarkably similar to an M-16,” Ring said.
Wyoming’s wild horse herds encompass roughly 4,000 animals. Currently, there are bills before the Wyoming Legislation and Congress, but Ring, a Military Policeman from southwest Virginia and founder of Veterans For Mustangs, doesn’t think these methods will do the trick.
Advocate Says Proposed Method Would Also Equally Benefit Veterans Facing PTSD
“The federal government sort of has a one-size-fits-all approach, and the states would be better at managing it,” he said.
Of course, the potential wild horse-focused jobs would also provide coping mechanisms and a sense of community for veterans facing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other mental health challenges. Likewise, Ring isn’t happy with the V.A.’s “one-size-fits-all” solution either.
“‘Here’s your happy pills. Now, go be happy,’” he said of the expected treatment.
“In the modern Western culture, the warrior bears the burden of war alone,” he said. “The number one cause of depression in veterans is lack of purpose, and no pill can fix that.”
Supporters Help Push Wild Horse Birth Control Method to Congress
Among the supporters of Ring’s idea and Veterans for Mustangs is Rep. Lisa McLain, R-Michigan. This past April, she sponsored H.R. 7631, which “would authorize and ‘prioritize’ veterans dispensing high-velocity equine birth control on BLM lands” Cowboy State Daily explained.
“(The Department of) Interior shall provide appropriate compensation to military veterans participating in such a certification program,” said the bill’s summary.
This also means providing our nation’s finest with proper compensation to help supply birth control for these wild horse herds, too.
In the end, Ring wants to help bring the healing aspects of the outdoors to these veterans.
“There’s this unique Wild West that you don’t get anywhere else but in America,” he said. “It’s a big part of what these veterans fought to protect.”