Living with wildlife
Reading “No Good Deed?” by Karl Phaler (“Push and Pull,” EQUUS 490), my first thought was concern for the elk. Laws vary state to state, but I found websites that admonish, “Never feed deer or elk. It is bad for them, helps spread disease and creates problems for you and your neighbors.” Instead, two types of fencing are suggested: woven wire, to a height of at least 84 inches, or electric fencing, to a height of at least 80 inches.
The good deed done by Mr. Phaler--providing hay and water for elk during a drought---warms my heart. However, sometimes by loving animals we can harm them. It is better for the elk, and in this case financially better, to fence them out. The cost of feeding the elk would, in the long run, far exceed fencing costs. (I am a ranch owner with a Master of Science in biology and more than 50 years of equestrian experience.) Lisa Wood Lakeside, California