Skip to comments.Is cougar hunting breeding chaos? (Bogus study?)
Posted on 03/16/2008 12:28:55 PM PDT by jazusamo
Now, the predator powerful enough to take down a bull elk is lying helpless under a tent of fir trees while Maletzke replaces the batteries in her radio collar, checks her teeth and measures her girth.
Jane is part of a healthy cougar population that lives in relative harmony with its human neighbors in the rapidly growing communities just east of Snoqualmie Pass.
In the past six years, Jane has killed deer less than 50 paces from homes yet residents don't even realize she's there. She has never harmed pets or livestock, nor have any of her offspring.
The story is different in northeastern Washington, where the state has stepped up hunting in response to soaring numbers of complaints about cougars, including two attacks on toddlers. A bill signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire last week could expand the cougar killing.
But startling results from studies such as Maletzke's question this traditional approach to cougar management.
Instead of reducing conflicts between cougars and humans, heavy hunting seems to make the problems worse, says Robert Wielgus, Maletzke's graduate adviser and director of Washington State University's Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory.
"It goes against the grain of what we've been doing for decades," Wielgus says.
Killing large numbers of cougars creates social chaos, Wielgus and his students found. Trophy hunters often target adult males, which act as a stabilizing force in cougar populations. The adults police large territories and kill or drive out young males. With the grown-ups gone, the "young hooligans" run wild, Wielgus says.
"Every time you kill a dominant male, about three of these young guys come for the funeral."
Evidence suggests cougars under two years of age, just learning to live on their own, account for the majority of run-ins with people and domestic animals...
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
Thankfully the DFW is going to wait for more solid evidence since the study was conducted by or people sympathetic to anti hunting nuts and animal rights activists.
For these people to say that killing the animals adds to the chance of cougar-people encounters is a stretch of the imagination, IMO.
They’re the same people who say you don’t fight terrorism because you might make the terrorists mad.
I believe that's been established in many studies in the past but it's due to the younger cougars being forced into more populated areas by mature cougars. It happens when cougar numbers increase and more people move into rural areas.
Cougar numbers are increasing according to WA DFW in latest numbers I found (August, 1999).
Cougars, also known as mountain lions or pumas, are native to Washington state. About 2,500 live in this state, double the populations of the early 1980s, and their numbers are growing.
Good pic, I-M, thanks for posting.
You’re probably correct, WA state has more than our share of moonbats.
I hunt cougars every Saturday night. Or better yet, they hunt me. ;)
I thought by definition it was the cougars who were doing the hunting. I see that a lot when I go out to the bars.
Nothing wrong with your kind of Cougar hunting. :)
I did! Saw that here on FR a while back. Scary picture.
Now that I've hit the big six-oh, the whole idea of cougar hunting in bars has really lost a lot of its appeal. :=)
Try being 23 and 6’6”. Take a guess about how many times I get hit on by cougars in bars.
At 60, I stopped having that 'problem' many, many years ago.
Last year I was ghostwriting a weekly column for an Oklahoma newspaper, and one of the columns was about the OK legislature giving approval for the WL agency there to establish a cougar hunting season.
The agency feels enough of these cougars are moving back into the state to prepare for management seasons.
Cougars are increasing in number, and their ranges are moving across state lines.
"trophy" cougars....never heard of such a thing...
btw ...cougars and bears have for years been desimating elk herds in southeastern Washington....they attack the fawns.....
wolves will probably take over the killing of the elk fawns as their population increases....
wild predators need to be afraid of humans and human activity....when they are fearful, they stay away, far away, and can live their lives as the wild animals they are supposed to be....
those are great pics....love your bio as well...
You’re exactly right! I’ve been a hunter all my life, since 12 anyway, and I’ve never seen a cougar in the wild. That includes hunting in prime cougar country in UT, CA and mostly Eastern OR.
I have a cousin who hunted and ran cougars with dogs in So OR until the referendum was passed to prohibit it and never heard him say once anything about “trophy” cougars.
These people doing this supposed study are full of it, period.
You’re correct, animals that have a fear of man will stay away from them, especially away from housing and business tracts.
Exactly. Predators, like mountain lions, are not used to being hunted. There is no way one can track a Trophy lion and shoot it. I have only seen two lions in the wild in over 40 years in the wilderness, and it was only for a fleeting moment (though I have been stalked by them, as prey).
I had an acquaintance on an RMEF committee that was bow hunting in ID and was stalked by a cougar. He turned and there it was, close. He had a handgun and fired it scaring the cat away. He said it scared the pee water out of him. lol
You are absolutely right.
We have had several generations now of both cougar and bear who have not been hunted with dogs. THAT is why there are more reported sightings. They have lost their fear of humans and the human environment. That along with expanding population area ensures more contact.
I am a WA state hunter, and only know of one friend who’s taken a cougar. That one was an incidental kill on a chance sighting while deer hunting. That is how most cougar now are taken here. “Trophy” cougar hunting, or any kind of “Trophy” hunting in WA state is a joke. Our wildlife populations are on a sustainable management level. Certainly not a trophy level. If anyone here bags a “trophy”, it is purely by chance, not by design.
Actually, I am one of the researchers (graduate student at WSU) on this project. I am a lifelong hunter (30+ years of hunting in Washington) I absolutely do not support any anti-hunting groups. I believe if you re-read the article, Dr. Wielgus and WDFW agree hound hunting is the best method for managing sustainable populations of cougars. The Seattle Times article did a poor job of clarifying the results. The problem is “boot hunting”— not hunting in general. I would have preferred if the headline read “Hunting method is causing chaos” and then went on to blame I-655 (which outlawed hound hunting) is to blame for the problem.
I only speak for myself of the members in our research lab but I am a firm supporter of managing cougars in a sustainable fashion— which I believe hound hunting is the best way. I do not want them extirpated but I don’t subscribe to the whole tree/bunny hugger theory either. I fully plan to hunt cougar when I get the time. I regularly hunt coyote and bobcats, the purpose of my posting is to hopefully change the tenor of the discussion about our results and to keep anti-hunting groups like the HSUS or Big Wildlife from twisting these results around and also to encourage hunters who support sustainable management to thoroughly llok at the results and the article and see that we support hunting — just not the “boot hunting” as it is done now. Fishing and Hunting News actually did a better characterization of the research than the seattle Times did.
Thanks for your time!
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