Eagle man cited for poaching a wolf outside a designated hunting zone

Hunter reportedly shot the wolf from the road

Eagle man cited for poaching a wolf outside a designated hunting zone
Idaho Statesman



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  1. JB Avatar

    “Witnesses told officers he shot the wolf while standing in the road at the back of his pickup truck…The wolf was shot about 6 p.m. Sunday in the McCall-Wieser wolf zone, which is closed to wolf hunting. He called the 24-hour wolf harvest reporting line Tuesday morning and reported that the wolf had been killed in the Sawtooth wolf zone.”

    I agree with those that have suggested that hunting wolves will be harder than most think. However, as this example illustrates, poaching wolves is relatively easy. Lucky there were witnesses. I wonder how many wolves will be illegally killed in Idaho this year that we will never know about?

  2. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    From my understanding, not only was he in the wrong zone, it is a violation to shoot a game animal from a vehicle, it sounds like he is nothing but a poacher that took an opportunistic shot, hoping his buddies would back him up, I am glad to see he has been cited and fortified his gun, he needs to be punished fully for taking a game animal out of season..

  3. Mike Avatar

    People that whip out their guns and shoot from the road go beyond simple Fish and Game violations IMHO. There should be a higher form of punishment for this reckless sort of behaviour.

  4. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    Save bears Says:
    September 9, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    From my understanding, not only was he in the wrong zone, it is a violation to shoot a game animal from a vehicle, it sounds like he is nothing but a poacher that took an opportunistic shot, hoping his buddies would back him up, I am glad to see he has been cited and fortified his gun, he needs to be punished fully for taking a game animal out of season..

    He was not cited as yet. Disgusting. He should have his hunting license taken away and gun rights too!

  5. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    There is a difference between being cited and the charges being filed, the reports from the state of Idaho, is, he has been cited and his gear has been confiscated, the game wardens cite, the prosecuting attorney file the charges…based on what Mark Gamblin posted, he has been cited, his gun, camera and tag have been taken. Which I am glad to hear. The attorney will review the reports as well as the poachers statement and file charges..

  6. jdubya Avatar

    “”I wonder how many wolves will be illegally killed in Idaho this year that we will never know about?”

    My guess? Less. Shoot and shovel has always been the mantra. But now the wolves know that THEY are the hunted, and they will be less prone to expose themselves, just like the elk that have been herded back into the trees by the wolves.

  7. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    “The wolf is a small female, still a pup”
    But these are “valued big game animals” according to representatives of IDFG

  8. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    Jeff E,

    People harvest young cow elk all the time. The same with yearling deer. We have lots of cow elk hunts in UT and it is common practice to go after a young cow vs a mature cow.

  9. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    As for the poacher, they should treat him just like every other poacher, take his gear, revoke his hunting rights and fine him.

  10. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Josh sutherland,
    People eat young cow elk and deer. The pelt of a wolf is useless this time of year, which is really the only valid reason to kill a wolf via “hunting season”.(not to mention see what a pelt that would be worth somthing at the right time of year will get you with entry and exit tears in it) If you can’t see a difference then I suppose the conversation would be pointless

  11. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    …….the last deer I shot (I shoot game, I harvest tomatoes) was a small two point, and I do mean small, one of the best tasting animals I ever had. When I was butchering it out in the yard I found that it had been shot in the rear ham with a small caliber pistol, 9mm or 38 most likely. Had to of been the same morning that I ended up getting it. Pissed me off no end that some ass wipe would do that. Which is exactly my opinion of this guy and shooting wolves this time of year in general.

  12. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    Have you been up close to a wolf this time of year to see it’s pelt? My horses all are growing coats, so I am guessing that wolves are growing coats too. Pelts might not be so bad.

  13. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Go shoot a wolf right now, do everything right to take care of it. go spend the money to tan it, (pretty spendy all by it self) then take it to a licenced furrier and see what you get for it.( try to cover the entry and exit marks by the way)
    let us all know the results. I could be full of stuffing. probably not but maybe. By the way, another source recently quoted by Ralph, Carter Niemeyer (?) says “wolf pelts are worthless this time of year.” (sic) That is the gentleman which does the vast majority of trapping and collaring for the state of Idaho.

  14. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    Jeff E,

    I am sure the pelts would be worth very little, if you were trying to make money off it, but I am sure that you could make a rug or whatever you would like. I mean we mount deer and elk and antelope that we kill at this time of year and they all turn out great. Dont see how a wolf would be that much different.

  15. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    The point is that unless the hunter does everything correctly, including, within a time frame of hours, the hair all falls out. You want that as a rug, of a pup, have at it.

  16. Cindy Avatar

    Ralph, can you start a different thread for folks to discuss Wolf taxidermy…

  17. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Cindy if you don’t like it don’t read it

  18. Cindy Avatar

    No worries Jeff, just thought this thread was about the poaching incident.

  19. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    The individual would not (probably) have shot this pup had there not been a season. What the story does not say is if the witness’s came forward before or after the guy contacted Fish & Game to report he had shot a pup. He apparently took the time to skin it and detach the skull plus drove all the way to an F&G office to be recorded. Question is, is he trying to cover his butt or really thought he was in the Sawtooth zone. (Ignorance is no excuse but MAY be a mitigating factor) In any case it is illegal to shoot a firearm while on, and for a certain distance off the side of any public roadway, so if that is the case he will at least be nailed with that.

  20. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    People that whip out their guns and shoot from the road go beyond simple Fish and Game violations IMHO. There should be a higher form of punishment for this reckless sort of behaviour.

    I agree, “road hunters” give all hunters a bad name, regardless of the quarry.

  21. idahohawkeye Avatar

    Randy Strickland of Eagle ID was the guy who poached a female wolf pup from the back of his truck… It’s amazing what you can find out with a little google search… Pilot, avid hunter and fisherman.. B.S… This guy better hit southwest.com real quick…

  22. Lynne Stone Avatar

    Josh – the wolf shot was said to be a pup. That means shooting it is like shooting a fawn or an elk calf. Surprised the jerk didn’t shoot it and drive on, and save his wolf tag for another day. Or, under state law 36-1107, he could have claimed it was worrying him and got off free.

  23. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Elk calves and Fawns in the fall are not exempt from hunting as long as it is done legally, this guy from the get go, admitted he was breaking the law when he stated he shot it from the back of the truck…it would have been illegal if he was in either of the two open areas. He is obviously someone who does not give much heed to the regulations despite the animal he is hunting, by his own admission, he is a poacher and he needs to be prosecuted as such…

  24. Aaron M.C. Avatar
    Aaron M.C.

    Yeah, I read that a little while ago. I don’t think that article sets to well for a lot of people. Yet a lot of people really liked how it was worded. It pretty much puts into question whether recreational sport hunting should continue. I’m not a hunter, but I’m not sure what to think about it. Anyone have any opinions to express?

  25. Mike Avatar

    As the years go on I find myself more and more in that camp. I thought it was an outstanding article. Whatever you think of it, this line is spot on when applied to many of our “traditions”:

    “But having done something in the past is insufficient to justify its repetition”

  26. JimT Avatar

    The article hits the nail on the head…the standard for hunting should be “Is it necessary?” If not…any hunter should engage in the kind of ethical and moral examination that this article does. Cudos to the author for raising important issues at the time this unnecessary event is going on.

  27. jdubya Avatar

    I liked that Times article on the ethics of hunting for “sport” not food. I buy into his thought process a lot more than I buy into the guy’s that figures he needs a bunch of stuffed heads in his den.

  28. Aaron M.C. Avatar
    Aaron M.C.

    OK, cool. Its just sometimes you hear some hunters say how much money is generated into the economy by sport hunting and how many jobs its supporting. And that it would be extremely destructive to eliminate sport hunting, is that true?

  29. mikepost Avatar

    “Is it necessary”…how do we square that against native american claims that hunting is such an integral part of their cultural heritage that they need (and are usually granted) hunting privileges that exceed that of other americans, right down to ceremonial whale hunts. There are also others in the main stream hunting community that speak of the “hunting heritage” in much the same light, and believe in it. The historic and current media is replete with hunting heritage stories that extoll not the kill but the hunt and its impact within families and communities. Individual bad examples should not be used for behavioral profiling of any cultural group. It is this kind of “you peope don’t believe what I believe so you are all evil” attitude that that is at the root of many global human tragedies. There is a legitimate cultural heritage issue within the hunting debate that must be addressed that goes well beyond just eating what you kill.

  30. mikepost Avatar

    Aaron, just the excise tax take on firearms and ammo is projected to be well over 1 BILLION dollars in 2009 and that money is all earmarked for habitat conservation types of projects. Your state undoubtably has a version of a “wildlife board” that is adjunct to your fish and game dept. that recieves a share of these monies to purchase land, etc.

    On a more local note, go to any small town in a popular hunting area and talk to the chamber of commerce folks. they will tell you that often 70% or more of a local business’s revenues get generated in a 2-3 month hunting period. I am not talking about sporting goods, I am talking about gasoline, restaurants, motels, not to mention the affiliated sales taxes for that period that support local government. Its not a myth and it is one factor that has to be acknowledged in the larger hunting debate. If you restrict/eliminate hunting, then how do you replace those dollars. Failure to replace them would create a situation in the towns and in the wilderness that is worse.

  31. jdubya Avatar

    Which is exactly the economic point for Idaho in doing away with the lower Snake river dams. The increase in revenue of anglers flailing the waters for steelhead and salmon from Stanley downstream far outweigh the economic benefit of those dams. It has NEVER made economic sense for Idaho to have not have been fierce opponents of those dams and a strong proponent in their destruction.

  32. JB Avatar


    I don’t think the practices of the tribes are relevant; they are sovereign nations. Regardless, I agree that we shouldn’t judge all hunters by the actions of a few, and that hunting heritage should certainly be part of the debate. The problem is, there is no debate. States make wildlife management decisions, and all but a few states are essentially run by hunters. Thus, there is no debate about whether hunting is ethical or what types of hunting are ethical; if the F&G commission approves it, then it is ethical.

    Although I support hunting, I am strongly opposed to some of the practices/events that F&G commissions allow to take place. For example, the coyote killing contests that occur each year in the West are an abomination, from my perspective. I am also opposed to killing predators in order to maximize the harvest of other game species.

    As things stand, people who are not hunters have no voice in these issues–at least, no voice that is heard by state agencies.

  33. timz Avatar

    “It has NEVER made economic sense for Idaho to have not have been fierce opponents of those dams and a strong proponent in their destruction”

    It makes econmic sense to the Idaho politicians whose pockets get lined with donations from the power companies and other enterprises who profit from them.

  34. JimT Avatar


    What makes you think that my own philosophy somehow or another gives Native American issues a “pass?” I don’t agree at all with the whale hunting; too much information indicating endangered or threatened species issues for most populations. The ancient rights dealing with salmon-I have no problems with that; their “take” is a minor concern compared to the impacts of dams, habitat destruction, ocean fishing and pollution. The eagles are already deceased when used in religious ceremonies. And remember..for most if not all Native American tribes and their cultural practices, the hunting is usually associated with some sort of religious or spiritual belief and expression of respect and dependence on each other for life. I have yet to read any comments here that hunters are claiming a similar spiritual or religious cultural connection with hunting ~S~

    Your “hunting heritage” argument suffers from one major flaw..that history was totally based on the fact that those folks NEEDED to hunt to survive. Surely you aren’t pointing to the bison slaughter, or the passenger pigeon slaughter as part of your hunting heritage, are you?

    I don’t know the numbers in the West about hunters, but the number of hunters in the Eastern New England states are seriously in decline and continue in that direction. The hunting community and the state have exerted extraordinary efforts to recruit young folks into this activity, but to be bluntly honest, the kids are more interested in iPods and iPhones than being outside..not just for hunting, but for most activities. I just wonder if this is true in the West. If so, it makes the restoration of native predators that much more critical if ecosystem balances are ever to approach a predator-prey balance again.

    And please, just because we disagree on the hunting issue, don’t put words in my or any one else’s mouth about the hunting debate by saying we think you are “evil”. It is just polarizing, and like our President said last night..a falsehood to make such an assertion, at least for me and my statements here.

  35. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Back in the dam-building days in Idaho, it wasn’t just a matter of politicians and power companies. There was a strong ideology disseminated to the public about virtues of hydropower and irrigation to “reclaim” arid lands for agriculture (the notion that artificially watering that what is naturally dry was reclaiming anything always made me laugh).

    That ideology of irrigation is almost dead now. I couldn’t even get my my Idaho students in Public Lands Politics class to voluntarily read Mark Fiege’s excellent “Irrigated Eden.”

    The demise of more dam-building in Idaho shows what can be done politically when conservationists, boaters, and fishers team up rather than fight. That’s a reason why livestock and other ag pressure groups keep trying (and successfully) to split wildlife watchers from hunters.

  36. JimT Avatar

    Ralph, did you make your students read Cadillac Desert?

  37. mikepost Avatar

    Sorry JimT, did not mean for it to strike such a personal note. I was reflecting more on the general debate. If anything, I am anti-polarization more than anything else.

    That said, everyone once upon a time everyone “needed to hunt”, our bodies have even evolved to faciltiate that effort. Our sports events tend to be the type of contests that test endurance, agility, speed and eye-hand coordination: all ancient skills required for a successful hunt with primitive tools. After thousands of years of that do you argue that there is no cultural heritage to hunting? That does not mean that the act of hunting itself has not socially and culturaly evolved and should not evolve further as society changes, I merely argue for CONSIDERATION of that heritage as we debate, not outright dismissal because of unacceptance.

  38. JimT Avatar

    I think there is more common ground between our points of view than not…focus should stay there :*) The rancor in DC on all of the issues, not just environmental, really has me going back to my cynical days of the 60s. I was really really hoping Obama would help change the culture of DC, but I should know better, having worked there for a number of years. Presidents come and go; the institutions remain with all of their dysfunctional cultural mores. Sigh.

  39. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Yes, I did until I felt it had become dated.

  40. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JEFF E – The issue of value for wolves as a trophy, challenge to a hunter, or as a trophy is one of several important issues being discussed. To understand how wolves taken this early in the season can be valued by a hunter – pelts at this or any other time of the year do not slip their fur or otherwise become useless for a tanned pelt or a full body mount. The difference between prime and non-prime pelts is simply the amount of underfur – the insulating fine fur underneath the guard hair that fur bearers devleop for winter survival. A properly cared for pelt at any time of the year can be tanned with no other differences than the fullness of the pellage. Pelts taken by hunters in September will be valued in the same way a pelt taken in December. You are correct that the commercial value of sub-prime pelts is nil. But not all or even most hunters will be hunting wolves to sell the pelt. Many do consider a wolf to be a special trophy.

  41. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    So how many of the ~12,000 tag buyers do you believe are taking the time to research the proper care of a pelt, taken at anytime of the year, much less in the summer. (the subject of this thread as case in point)
    How does this square with the law of not wasting a (valued) big game animal?
    I maintain that once a kill is “recorded” by the state, the state could give a rat’s ass what is done with the pelt/skull.
    As an analogy one could argue that Wal-Mart sells quality sofa and love seat combinations. I am sure that there are a few that could be found to support that. http://peopleofwalmart.com/
    Another question: will the hides of pups days from being born be as easy to tan, or maybe easier as they will have been “cured ” by am biotic fluid and will that prevent slippage due to the time of year?

  42. BrianTT Avatar

    JEFF E

    Why are you so worried about what, if anything hunters are going to do with their pelts? The law doesn’t require them to do anything with them. Once they are checked by Fish and Game they can throw them in the dump if they want to. The law of wasting big game only applies to meat. Hunters are not required to harvest meat of wolves or cougars. I suppose if someone shot an elk and only took the meat but left the hide and antlers, which is perfectly legal, you would have a problem with that too.

  43. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Brian TT
    If your not going to eat the meat and just throw the skull and pelt in the garbage………………

  44. BrianTT Avatar

    To each their own, they’re within the law to do so. I personally wouldn’t but everyone has their own set of values. As long as they are following the law yours and my opinion really don’t matter.

  45. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Brian TT,
    So following the letter of the law is the only consideration?

  46. BrianTT Avatar

    JEFF E,

    It’s the only requirement.

  47. BrianTT Avatar

    JEFF E,

    I can tell you are disturbed by the fact that people might hunt wolves just for sport. My only point was that you are hammering on Mark Gamblin about wether or not people are going to take care of the pelts, etc. His job is not to judge people’s ethics and morals. His job is to make sure they follow the letter of the law.

  48. rick Avatar


    I noticed that the wolf hunting map was updated to reflect the wolf taken in the McCall-Weiser zone. Can you clarify for me if wolves killed by cars, removal permits, or WS removals will also be reflected in the number of wolves that will be available for hunting. I know that several people on this website have expressed concern that wolves killed by WS will not be considered part of the 220 wolves. However, I have also heard that they will be considered part of the 220. I have tried to find more details on the IDFG website but have not been able to find the information. I would appreciate any information.

  49. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Brian TT,
    I would hardly call killing an animal for no other reason than to kill it; sport. I guess I was just raised differently.
    I am not hammering on Mark so much as I am the states position that a wolf is, now, magically, considered a “valued big game animal”. I find that statement patently repugnant when the total history of reintroduction is considered, not to mention supporting issues with other wildlife issues. It is all interconnected and should be looked at as a whole picture not bits and pieces.

  50. JB Avatar

    “As long as they are following the law yours and my opinion really don’t matter.”

    Brian, I think this is the problem; there is no consideration as to what is ethical, just what is legal.

  51. Lynne Stone Avatar

    BrianTT – “As long as they are following the law yours and my opinion really don’t matter.”

    If people didn’t speak up, and voice their opinion, our laws would never change. And black people would still be at the back of the bus, women would not be voting, and we’d still be shooting bison from trains.

    People who oppose the wolf hunt need to speak up.

  52. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    So should all hunters be REQUIRED to tan their wolf pelt? What if they just want a skull mount? Would they still be required to tan the hide?

  53. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland


    I am just curious, would you accept ANY wolf hunt? I am not trying to rude, I just know you have spent alot of time with the wolves and care alot about what happens to them. So would you support a wolf hunt? If so what requirements would you need to support it? Just curious.

  54. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    What another person does or does not do is a matter of personal choice. No one else has to look in the mirror for them.
    I, do however, have my opinion and will state it, or argue the point (whatever that point is on a given day) to the best of my ability. Agree with me or not, is your choice.

  55. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    That is a problem with hunting any predators. The state can’t nail people with wanton waste like they can with ungulates.

  56. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I suppose if someone shot an elk and only took the meat but left the hide and antlers, which is perfectly legal, you would have a problem with that too.

    Most people I know leave the hide with the meat locker and they do who knows what with it. I’m assuming there is generally not near as much waste with ungulates as predators.

  57. JimT Avatar

    Yeah, the stats are a bit dated in Cadillac Desert, but the stories and history still ring true and should be read by anyone who wants to know how we got the messed up, water law/water developments we got out here.

    I am now reading Robert Glennon’s new book Unquenchable. It focuses on water mis-use in general all over the US, but the stats are up to date and he writes (and speaks) very well. He is at the UofA in Tucson, so he knows the importance of water in the West.

    I think some of the upset on the pro wolf side with the hide, etc. is the feeling of the lack of respect for the wolf in its death. Maybe that is why the Native American cultural relationships, myths and history with predators resonate more positively with alot of folks even if they did kill them.

    As for being pro wolf hunt, yeah, when the wolf is re-established in most of its traditional habitat in the lower 48, the populations are genetically healthy, and the ranchers stop being able to effectively set up bait traps with their livestock management approaches without taking any responsibility or being held accountable.

    I think I will see pigs fly before the aforementioned conditions happen, but one can dream…~S~

  58. Lynne Stone Avatar

    Josh – I don’t know you. If I say no, what will you do with that? If I say, yes, limited hunt. What then? Don’t try and bait me. I’m not biting. Your kind of question, is exactly the reason that I am working toward moving all wolf-related news toward a Boulder-White Clouds Council (the group I work for) Facebook “Cause” Page, where only “friends” are invited, and we can have a good discussion, without having our comments, distorted by the blog net networks. My Facebook personal page has taken off in the six weeks that it’s been up. Lots of wolf news, photos, and a growing list of local, regional and national media.

  59. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland


    Not trying to bait at all. It just seems to me that the pro wolf side would fight against any sort of wolf hunt. Not saying you fall into this category, it just seems that no matter what happens, there could be 3000 wolves in ID and I am certain that there would be many people that would still adamantly oppose any sort of wolf hunt. Thats all. Its kind of why I think compromising at this stage of the game is a waste of time. It will never be good enough.

  60. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I don’t think they all would. I think there would be internal disagreements, but that some, maybe most of them would agree to a hunt if other changes were made in wolf management and restoration.

  61. Rita k. Sharpe Avatar
    Rita k. Sharpe

    Tend to agree with Ralph on his last post.

  62. Cris Waller Avatar
    Cris Waller

    “some, maybe most of them would agree to a hunt if other changes were made in wolf management and restoration.”

    I am not so sure of that- at least as far as individuals, rather than organizations (as the nature of organizations is almost always to compromise) go.

    I’ll take a minute to explain my views, as I know they might be quite foreign to some.

    I know that, personally, I cannot fathom any ethical justification for sport hunting wolves. As far as I am concerned, sentient beings should only be harmed if harming them is necessary to prevent a greater harm to others. So I can justify killing wolves who attack livestock, or cougars who threaten humans. I cannot justify killing wolves (or coyotes, or cougars, or bobcats, etc. etc.) for fun or trophies, especially when there is no biological need whatsoever to do so. To me, artificially boosting ungulate populations to satisfy hunter demand is not a legitimate need.

    Because of this ethical stance, arguments like “it won’t hurt the population” or “we have a legal rights to do so” fall flat wth me. From my perspective, individuals do have rights, and we can best safeguard the future of the population by respecting the rights of the individuals who compose the population.

    Personally, I would like to see a nationwide ban on all sport hunting and trapping of carnivores. I realize that, in this polarized and often-benighted country, this will not happen any time soon. However, I see it as a laudable goal.

    As I mentioned in another thread,as an example, the banning of all sport hunting of cougars in CA has not led to any widespread negative effects for cougars, humans or prey. On the other hand, lesser degrees of “protection” in Oregon and Washington have lead to more dead cougars, more animosity, and, as recent research has shown, more problems with cougars and more damage to cougar populations and social structure.

    So why compromise? Why allow predator hunting? It’s simply kow-towing to the view that, to a large degree, got us here in the first place; that animals as individuals are devoid of any intrinsic value; their only value coming from their utility to humanity. No one except the tiny, tiny minority of predator hunters benefits from such an allowance- and the predators, plus all those who respect their rights as sentient individuals, lose.

    I know that I am by no means alone in this viewpoint. When I was very active in cougar circles in the years leading up to protection in CA in 1990, I met at least three cougar biologists who also believed in banning sport hunting of cougars. I’ve got a friend now who is a staff biologist with FWS who shares my views (I wish he’d really work on his dream of one day heading FWS!) Certainly the rank and file of many, if not most, animal welfare groups believes the same.

    So i don’t think that mine is an isolated or unusual viewpoint.

  63. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland


    I am not an expert, correct me if I am wrong but I thought I read somewhere that CA has the most problem cougar ecounters than any other state. And the most lethal control for those problem cougars. Like I said I dont remember where I read that but have you heard that at all? If it is true, then cougars are being killed, just not hunted, but killed when they become a problem that people feel is dangerous.

  64. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    Cris here is the small piece I read:

    “Even in cougar-friendly California, however, there are limits to interspecies goodwill. Hunters note that an average of 100 “problem” cougars are killed each year in California — about twice the number killed annually by hunters before the 1972 ban. ”

    That was in the NYT.

    This was in the Mountail Lion Foundation Website:

    “In 2001, 149 mountain lions were killed in California alone for killing pets or livestock that weren’t properly secured in mountain lion-proof enclosures. While it is against the law to hunt for mountain lions they must be destroyed if they have killed an animal on private property. Whatever county the property is located in must pay to have a professional come out and kill the animal, something that can cost up to $500.”

    So they are killing cougars, just not hunting them. Also it said that they are having record complaints of problem cougars, something like 385 calls they had to respond to in one year, like 1994 I believe. So just a little over a call a day. So I think there are some negative side effects.

  65. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland


    Sorry for multiple posts, put the State of Utah in that same year (2001) issued 266 permits. I dont know exaclty how many were killed or what the success rates were, but I am sure it probably was about the same amount of cougars killed in CA that same year. Just killed by hunters instead of the state.

  66. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I haven’t been following this thread today, just checking in. Spent the day in the hills.

    However, it jumped out at me as I read this that it is hard to compare cougars in CA with other states not only because there is no hunting in CA, but CA is larger in area than other states and has a much higher human population density.

    So multiple factors confound drawing conclusions about the number of problem cougars

  67. Cobra Avatar

    Not to mention the fees that the california game dept. would aquire through tags that could help them in some way I’m sure. I believe I saw in a post that you had a web page if so I’d like to visit your site but haven’t seen it.

  68. Cris Waller Avatar
    Cris Waller

    Josh- I posted the stats for this in another thread- darned if I can find it right now! From that post, off the top of my head:

    Incidents in CA are decreasinga nd have been for years. 46 cougar were killed on depredation permist last year.

    Of the reported public safety incidents 2001-2009 throughout the US, only 3 of 36 occurred in CA.

    So there is no evidence- despite the huge population of both people and cougars in this state- that cougars are causing more problems here than they would if they were hunted.

  69. Cris Waller Avatar
    Cris Waller

    “Not to mention the fees that the california game dept. would aquire through tags that could help them in some way I’m sure.”

    Probably not nearly as much as the $30 million each year for 30 years that the passage of Proposition 117 (the initiative that banned mountain lion hunting) gave, through the creation of the Habitat Conservation Fund, to acquiring and maintaining wildlife habitat statewide. Thousands of acres have been acquired and maintained through this program.

  70. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland


    Oh I agree, I dont think hunting an animal would mean less problems. I am just saying that cougars are being killed, just not by hunters. Thats all. From your post it sounded like you were stating that no cougars die from man. I dont think hunting instills fear of man in animals, God instilled that, it might make them more wary of man, but I dont think that without hunting you would see more attacks.

    It sounds as if most of the habit problem lions are being killed, hence the reduction in lion kills last year. The funny thing is in all my years of hunting I have never seen a cougar. I know the houndsman in UT are complaining and wanting the state to issue less tags.

  71. Cris Waller Avatar

    Here’s the latest on the poaching incident-


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole