Nevada plans to remove "animals with big teeth in order to promote the animals hunters like to shoot"

State solicits Wildlife Service to do what it does best – slaughter wildlife

USDA National Wildlife Research Center
Cougar – photo: USDA National Wildlife Research Center

When wildlife like elk or deer numbers decline, that is usually indicative of something.  Often it can be a temporary decline – a response to a natural event such as a fire, drought, or really cold winter – the natural ebb and flow of things.  Sometimes it’s symptomatic of something else, like diminishing habitat or a game department that issued too many tags in a region.  Mostly, it’s likely a combination of many variables.

Whatever the reasons, one gets the lion’s share of the blame – and the retribution.  Predators are the proverbial ‘whipping-boy’ of wildlife managers (and livestock producers).  Much like the irrational management that is promised for wolves in Idaho, cougars are subjected to political decisions  made by state wildlife managers.  And when state managers decide to abate hunter’s competition, they call Wildlife Services.

Unfortunately, it is often more politically expedient to call for ‘control’ of wildlife that competes with hunters than to restrict the number of tags issued to hunters – by far the largest variable reducing elk and deer numbers – or to call for the patience it takes to put a decent amount of resource into habitat restoration – whether active or passive (passive restoration involves removing human causes of habitat degradation – such as livestock grazing, ORV access, fencing, etc.).

Nev. plans more lion hunts in effort to save deerAP

The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners told agency staff last week to employ the help of sport hunters and contract employees from the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services for the state wildlife department’s new “program of intensive, sustained predator reduction.”



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  1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins


    You’ve pretty much nailed it. You comment well states my own findings about wolf control in the Yukon in the mid-90s. Of course, no one wants to hear that overhunting and habitat degradation and/or fragmenentation are far more important to ungulate population dynamics than four-legged predators.

    All in all, predator control comes down to the refusal of humans to restrain themselves. That’s why conservationists have to do it for them.


  2. kt Avatar

    I think there needs to be an investigation into just how cozy Wildlife Services has merged with predator-hating hunters.

    Just this morning I heard of Wildlife Services being observed out with a hunter. That is NOT what they are supposed to be doing. Seems during the Bush years they have gotten even worse – and devolved further into being a Good Old Boy network of hard-core predator haters.

    I wonder if government property is being used inappropriately? If game laws of various states are being violated? Someone needs to investigate. Of course, when you have people like anti-envtl. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo hiring a Wildlife Services coyote killer as his “Natural Resources” aid ….

  3. Animal Rescue Online Avatar

    It’s absolutely appalling but not terribly surprising. This is being done across the nation to different predatory animals. I read an article the other day about the same practice being adopted in Arizona to deal with coyote populations.

    What angers me most is the nonchalant attitude that people adopt with this issue. As one commenter has already mentioned, people are quick to blame predators and eliminate them before they consider their own impact. No one is even interested in considering other solutions. They go straight for the controlled hunt.

  4. monty Avatar

    It’s always about blaming other “things” for human created problems. Aldo Leopold–as he usually does–said it best: “No species is inherently a pest and any species may become one” Humans are the global pest, “the mother of all noxious weeds”! The impending industrialization of the world means, as Leopold also wrote: “conservation problems heretofore local will become global”.

  5. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    Since 2007, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has GPS-collared 2 Kofa NWR mountain lions while within the refuge boundary, tracked them until they crossed over the boundary of the refugium, and then killed them when the lions exceeded an arbitrary limit of preying on >1 desert bighorn sheep within a 6-month period. There is a guesstimate of 3 remaining Kofa cougars after these 2 tom cougars were shot. I considered these killings as cowardly acts based on illogical bias and devoid of any fair play. I initiated the Kofa cougar study as a research project before I retired. The current refuge staff and the AGFD turned the intended research into an efficient lion-killing project instead.

    Scoping for the Mountain Lion Management Plan & Environmental Assessment ended last summer 2008 and we are awaiting the draft EA, 7.5 months later. I am sure one of the Alternatives will be to allow killing GPS-collared cougars while within the refuge, which is now prohibited.

    I can post the information on this blog—if Mr. Maughan agrees—when the comment period opens and I urge your draft EA comments. Wildlife Services and the AGFD are partners in writing this EA, along with the USFWS and the BLM.

    Brian, thank you for your post.

  6. John S. Avatar
    John S.

    Sick world out there

  7. meadow Avatar

    Forever, I have heard what great conservationists hunters are. Now maybe I’m thinking not so much. Who will be the next Teddy Roosevelt to rein them in?

  8. Virginia Avatar

    What kind of person goes to work for “wildlife services” in order to just eliminate predators?

  9. Barb Avatar

    Wildlife Services is trying to “pretend” they care about finding non-lethal ways to deal with predators. The way I see it, their agency is in itself a conflict of interest. How can an agency under the FOOD dept (USDA) look upon wild predatory animals in a good (or neutral way) when all they care about is protecting non-native, invasive species called cattle.

    From their own website:

    “WS’ vision is to improve the coexistence of people and wildlife. The program recognizes that the entire field of wildlife damage management is in a period of change, and those involved with this field must consider a wide range of public interests that can conflict with one another. These interests include wildlife conservation, biological diversity, and the welfare of animals, as well as the use of wildlife for purposes of enjoyment, recreation and livelihood.

    The WS program strives to develop and use wildlife damage management strategies that are biologically sound, environmentally safe, and socially acceptable. WS also strives to reduce damage caused by wildlife to the lowest possible levels while at the same time reducing wildlife mortality. This approach represents the future towards which WS is moving, In charting this course, WS must continuously improve and modify wildlife damage management strategies that constrained by current technologies, knowledge, or resources, do not reach this high standard.”

    On a scale of 1 – 1,000,000 with as far as they have progressed/developed since they were called the Biological Survey, I would say they have progressed to about 1.1. They couldn’t be farther behind the times if they tried in their thinking and their outdated methods of dealing with wildlife —

    Wildlife Services, by their own beginning and orientation, is not and never will be capable of understanding and appreciating that NATIVE WILDLIFE is more valuable than cattle.

    People can live without beef — if they insist on eating it, why not beef from bison? At least the bison can naturally fend off native predators, as nature intended. Man’s constant tinkering in the environment is not only unnecessary; it’s destroyed the west and its wildlife.

    “What is man without the beast?
    If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit”

    ~ Chief Seattle ~

  10. Barb Avatar

    I’ve always had a problem with Teddy Roosevelt as he was a trophy hunter.

  11. Virginia Avatar

    There is a great ad in the Casper Star Tribune this morning on page A6 from explaining that “Wyoming’s top predator isn’t the wolf. It’s the PICKUP TRUCK.” Good job to westernwolves!

  12. Barb Avatar

    I just wrote a letter to the Nevada Wildlife Commission and others in the DOW concerning their horrible plan to kill predatory animals.

    I received a few responses (not from commission members) including some egging me on! 🙂 no names mentioned.


    *Sportsmen (2011)
    5100 West Acoma Rd
    Reno, NV 89511
    (775) 852-4636 (H)


    *General Public (2009)
    c/of Arizona Charlies
    740 South Decatur
    Las Vegas, NV 89107
    (702) 258-5114
    FAX: (702) 258-5196


    *Sportsmen (2011)
    2060 Maison Way
    Carson City, NV 89703
    (775) 720-2470 (cell)


    *Sportsmen (2011)
    1932 Ivy Point Lane
    Las Vegas, NV 89134
    (702) 401-1848 (H)


    *Conservation (2009)
    999 Munley Dr.
    Reno, NV 89503
    (775) 747-7545
    (775) 328-2493
    FAX: (775) 328-6176


    *Ranching (2010)
    HC 32 Box 290
    Tuscarora, NV 89834
    (775) 756-6553 (H)
    (775) 756-6553 (W)


    *Sportsmen (2010)
    90 Nob Hill Avenue
    P.O. Box 812
    Eureka, NV 89316
    (775) 237-7064 (H)
    (775) 318-0506 (C)


    *Sportsmen (2009)
    P.O.Box 823
    Overton, NV 89040
    (702) 249-2379 (C)
    (702) 397-8952 (H)


    *Farming (2011)
    HC 72 Box 02200
    Dyer, NV 89010
    (775) 572-3154

    Attend a meeting or contact the board with your ideas and concerns.
    The 9-member, governor-appointed Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners is responsible for establishing broad policy, setting annual and permanent regulations, reviewing budgets, and receiving input on wildlife and boating matters from entities such as the 17 county advisory boards to manage wildlife.

  13. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    It’s amazing to me how people do look for the quick fix. Just look at what’s going on in Alaska. It seems to me that hunting is an obsession with some people and not just a hobby. I think that people are forgetting what time period this is (21st century, not 19th) and that mountain lions, wolves, and bears are not our competitors. I like to hunt just as much as the next person, but I am not some cave man who thinks that everything else is competing with me. If I don’t get something, who cares. I think people who have this mentality are more of a danger to the sport (yes it is just a sport like fishing, baseball, and football) than any environmentalist or “tree hugger.” Especially when they are to the point that a lot of people can’t take them seriously.

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Brian Ertz