$11,000 now the offer for info on poaching of huge MT grizzly
This is a brief, but important update on the story we ran earlier this year on the 800 pound grizzly poached on the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana.
Reward now $11,000 for information about grizzly poaching. Great Falls Tribune staff.
Here is the original story from the blog. Giant, 800 pound grizzly illegally killed on the Rocky Mountain Front
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Editor’s comment on poaching stories.
On another thread, some are arguing that there is a rash of poaching going on. I don’t know that this is true. Simply reporting more poaching stories can create this impression. The number of stories on a subject and the amount of trouble actually going on are loosely related at best.
It is well known that the American media’s focus on reporting crime stories led to a public perception of a crime wave for a decade or longer after actual crime in the U.S. had peaked and gone into steady decline. In the meantime politicians jumped on the bandwagon. They passed a number of draconian laws after the problem was getting under control. We still live we some of these laws. Some have a great monetary expense. An example is “three strikes and you’re out.”
Added 11-11. This morning’s Missoulian has an article by Michael Jamison on the shooting of the big grizzly (Maximus). The article is long compared to the original in the Great Falls Tribune, and it has a long discussion about why so much poaching. So whether poaching is really increasing or not, the article shows the some major Montana media believes it is. This could have favorable consequences by fueling more resources for this crime. Story: Reward for grizzly ‘Maximus’ poacher raised to more than $11,000. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
196 Responses to $11,000 now the offer for info on poaching of huge MT grizzly
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Hopefully that reward will be enough to have someone step forward.
Also of note, another grizzly has been killed in Montana. This time a hunter thought the grizzly was a black bear:
When will this stupidity end?
Greetings to all – I just wanted to take a moment on this special day to thank Save Bears and all other veterans. All Americans appreciate your time, energy and sacrifice to protect us and our freedoms.
Glad to hear they caught the poacher of the two wolfs in the NF Flathead.
Talks with Bears,
I agree. Thanks to the men and women who served.
I might add that today a smaller force than before is being called on to do even more,
I know a major way those who are not caught in field are brought to justice is they can’t keep their mouths shut when they are around people they think they can impress.
Let’s for debate’s sake, assume there is a greater number of poaching incidents going on generally across the Western states we pay most attention to here.
Is it possible to link this kind of increase in lawless behaviors to the general attitude in the West that guns and the lifestyle that goes with guns are still under attack by the Obama folks despite evidence to the contrary? That poaching is a way of saying “FY” to the “guvment” and a way of reaffirming membership in the increasing radical right in this country? It is clear, at least to me and Paul Krugman..VBG…that the conservative end of the political spectrum pays more attention to the fear mongering and falsehoods of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck than the leaders of the political party. I do not think there has been a more dangerous time in this country for demagogue-receptive audiences since Father Coughlin.
There has been some comments here as well about the perceived anti-hunting bias. I can only speak for myself, but there are times, in other places and on this list, that as a non-hunter, I feel “talked down to” because I don’t hunt, and therefore, can never “experience nature” at as high a level as a hunter. There are, at time, tones of superiority and arrogance expressed by some pro-hunting people that simply gets one’s dander up and only serves to inflame the conversation. Perhaps if that attitude would change, you would find less knee jerk criticisms of the hunting community when these kind of incidents happen, and more focused attention on both groups identifying the bad apples, holding them fully accountable, and work within the hunting community to make this kind of behavior unacceptable and grounds for being “kicked out of the group”. Shunning can be a very effective behavior changing tool, especially within a tight knit group.
Just thoughts for debate, nothing more intended.
In the old days (pre blog/podcast/twitter/etc) we used to estimate that 10% of the significant crimes got media attention. I do believe that impressions about rising crime (including poaching) are more related to vastly increased crime information being circulated in many more venues than just the old evening news. What probably was true is that we all very much less aware of the extent of poaching in years gone by.
Many thanks to vets and those currently serving.
Hope poachers ego is his ruin, Ralph.
Poaching aside, personally, I was interested in the only comment in th GF Tribune to the first story linked, “how much money can we get for turning in a person that killed another person? A notice to appear in court and get called all kinds of things by a lawyer. It is time to get our priorties straightend out.”
Made me think of Mikes comment on Cabinet bear death story,”As humans began to encroach more and more into habitat, and as the population of earth skyrockets, I think that rare animals will be seen as a more important life than a single human.”
As controversial as this may be, I think our “priorities” or our outlook has to shift dramatically with regard to our place on the planet in relationship to other species. The irony is that when we humble ourselves and allow other species to recover and flourish at our partial peril we flourish in the abundance of diversity with the return of healthy ecosystems.
“It is clear, at least to me and Paul Krugman..VBG…that the conservative end of the political spectrum pays more attention to the fear mongering and falsehoods of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck than the leaders of the political party. ”
Jim, why would ANYONE liberal/conservative or otherwise listen to or believe a member of the current political class? The only thing the current political parties are concerned about is their power and future – party first, country last.
And as far as “fearmongering and falsehoods” the current President of the United States takes first prize.
Just thoughts for debate, nothing more intended.
“The only thing the current political parties are concerned about is their power and future…”
How does this differentiate them from Limbaugh, Hannity, or Beck?
There are those who accuse the President of fearmongering and falsehoods.
I am just not impressed by his performance so far. What fear?
As far as the rumor that “they” are going to take our guns; that is a construction out of thin air, but it has real consequences. For example, ammunition is getting to be very expensive. Do I have to start loading my own? I wanted to buy a semi-automatic pistol, now do I want to put up the money?
People who stock up on a lot of guns and ammo are not doing it for hunting. After a while, they are going to feel silly unless they continue to worry — kind of like those people who stocked up for the millennium bug on the computers. There are lots of people like Glenn Beck who tell them to keep worrying, and these agitators get bolder every day that folks ought to take some kind of “action.”
Ralph – I was referring to the following examples: 1. The Obama stimulus package – had to be passed without reading or adqueate review and IF we don’t the unemployment rate will exceed 8%. Clearly, we do not have to debate the effectivness of this measure. 2. Obama “we must bailout GM (and others) or else we will spiral downward” 3. Obama – “We must have government take over health care or we will not be able to create jobs” – thought that was what the stimulus was for???? Ralph – It is not just the executive branch. Seriously folks, when there is NO TRUST of those in the political class how can there be leadership????
++Is it possible to link this kind of increase in lawless behaviors to the general attitude in the West that guns and the lifestyle that goes with guns are still under attack by the Obama folks despite evidence to the contrary? That poaching is a way of saying “FY” to the “guvment” and a way of reaffirming membership in the increasing radical right in this country? ++
There’s absolutely no question that this sort of thing plays a large role.
A lot of people with a few guns and some acres think they are “detached” from society. Anything but the government is bad, yet these guys have no problem using the road system, the public schools and the government subsidized communication lines that alllow them to post on the internet.
And as far as “fearmongering” by Obama, don’t think so. He inhereted the worst economic disaster since the depression and makde some controversial decisions to stave it off. It worked! There was a real possible banking collapse that would have ruined this country as we know it.
If you want fear mongering, see the Bush administration from 9/11 to 2008. That’s the worst I’ve ever seen.
Some interesting comments in the new Missoulian article on the poaching problem. One of the theories mentioned in the article is that the TV hunting shows are presenting things as more of a “thrill kill” than a harvest and eat type of experience, and that this is rubbing off on the viewers, and thus a bump of paoching cases where animals are shot and left to rot.
I can tell you from first hand experience that this “thrill kill” thing is not rare. I grew up with a group of hunters, and when they would drink at night they would then drive the roads and shoot things that went in front of the vehicles. This was a mix of suburb and rural guys who just liked to shoot stuff just to shoot it. They were in their 20’s. I personally stopped about six cases of poaching that night, a few woodcock, a porcupine and some other stuff. I yelled at my companions and told them this is the kind of crap boy would do, and thaht atheyneeded to grow up. Still leaves a bad taste in my mouth to this day.
That also doesn’t even factor in to the rural residents I was friends with in the U.P., who poached year round. One of these guys was in his 50’s, had a few traps set up along the swamp year long. He actively hunted year round. He bought his tag just like everyone else, but it didn’t matter. HE read Field and Stream Outdoor Life, used bow as wellas rifle and had lots of animals hanging on his walls.
Mike – In my opinion, your post above and other posts over the last day prove that you do know more about poaching than economics!!!! Mike – you easily give a shoutout to politicians – how about a shoutout to real American heros, veterans?
Talks with Bears,
I agree with you to a degree. I really agree the political class has lost its credibility. So have other “leadership” classes.
The stock and trade of political talk is exaggeration, false minimization, efforts to frighten (often overblown), appeals to our vanity and so forth.
It doesn’t surprise me that we quickly learn as children to lie because our leaders do it all the time.
I view the health care debate differently than you do, but that is just a typical political disagreement.
What bothers me is the insistence by some people and groups that we need to arm ourselves for political reasons. They might think they will have a revolution, but there is no majority anymore in the United States. There will not be a civil war, but there could well be violent turmoil.
Thrill poaching might be related to the thrill serial arsonists are said to have.
I think the “revolution” will continue to be fought as it has been for quite a while now, and that is at the ballot box, and I really don’t think the President is as important as the State Reps that get elected..
Even with years in the military, I am not ready or willing to take up arms against the government, unless some foreign power makes me…
That was “unless some foreign power invades and makes me!”
Ralph – I do not hear/feel the anxiety regarding “arming up” in my circles – I will keep an ear open though. Now off to the incredible Tobacco Roots – maybe the elk will move with the weather moving. Good evening to all.
I do not think that the nubmer of proaching cases are greater than they were 25 years age. Twenty five years ago one did not read about proaching in the news like we hear about it today. Why?
In Montana and other western states they have proaching tip hot lines that offer a reward for information that leads to the arrest of the offender. Before that, the proaching cases were kept in the wildlife offices. In order for these hot lines to be effective the game warden collects as much evidence that he/she can and then distribute details of the case to the media.
From what I have read it is ex girlfriends that solve a number of cases. The proacher tells his sweetie what a bad thing he and the boys did last Saturday. All is fine. Some months later the girl has been dump or caught the proacher in bed with another girl and is told to move out. Well, she knows about this proaching case with an $11,000 reward. She is broke, piss off at him and the bill collector are calling her. Eleven thousand dollars will clear her bills and exact it revenge. Case closed.
This does not happen in all cases but it has happen enough.
++Mike – In my opinion, your post above and other posts over the last day prove that you do know more about poaching than economics!!!! ++
Right….so Obama didn’t inherit the worst economic crisis since the great depression?
Is it possible to link this kind of increase in lawless behaviors to the general attitude in the West that guns and the lifestyle that goes with guns are still under attack by the Obama folks despite evidence to the contrary? That poaching is a way of saying “FY” to the “guvment” and a way of reaffirming membership in the increasing radical right in this country?
I believe you are right on this and I also think this is also behind much of the wolf hating. It’s not so much that wolves are hated it’s what they represent to certain people. Wolves represent big gov’ in some weird way. It’s all tied together in a big ugly mess. I live in wolf country and I’ve witnessed these attitudes from a few of my neighbors. The Flathead is very conservative anyway, nothing like Missoula.
I have to say I’m a big supporter of the Second Amendment and even though I’ve never shot anything or hunted in my life I believe strongly in the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I just don’t want wolves, griz or any of our predators shot and killed.
I do not think that the nubmer of proaching cases are greater than they were 25 years age. Twenty five years ago one did not read about proaching in the news like we hear about it today. Why? ++
The U.S. was a wilder place 25 years ago, that’s part of it. Also, with the internet newspapers, every little story can be put online without worry of ink costs or deadlines. There’s more people in the woods, more people finding carcasses. Some of the formerly tiny towns out west like Kalispell now run pretty nifty media operations, and they are right in the heart of one of the best wildlands in the lower 48.
As the population grows, poaching will of course increase.
From what I have read it is ex girlfriends that solve a number of cases. The proacher tells his sweetie what a bad thing he and the boys did last Saturday. All is fine. Some months later the girl has been dump or caught the proacher in bed with another girl and is told to move out. Well, she knows about this proaching case with an $11,000 reward. She is broke, piss off at him and the bill collector are calling her. Eleven thousand dollars will clear her bills and exact it revenge. Case closed. ++
Let’s hope it happens.
++ have to say I’m a big supporter of the Second Amendment and even though I’ve never shot anything or hunted in my life I believe strongly in the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I just don’t want wolves, griz or any of our predators shot and killed.++
Unfortunately the more guns out in the woods means more wolf/grizz shot and killed.
++He inhereted the worst economic disaster since the depression and makde some controversial decisions to stave it off. It worked!++
Please set down the cool aid.. Unemployment as still increasing and the “stimulus” has only accomplished creating more govement jobs and raising the deficit. He should have let the whole thing go down the crapper and let it rebuild it self naturally. Instead all we have accomplished is propping up businesses with poor operating plans at the tax payers expense.
As for the road system and public schools argument, state and local taxes pay for a huge portion of that.. Federal oversite is what many fear.
++I believe you are right on this and I also think this is also behind much of the wolf hating. It’s not so much that wolves are hated it’s what they represent to certain people. Wolves represent big gov’ in some weird way. It’s all tied together in a big ugly mess. I live in wolf country and I’ve witnessed these attitudes from a few of my neighbors. The Flathead is very conservative anyway, nothing like Missoula.++
To many rural residents they represent bongo beating, starbucks drinking, subaru driving liberal know it alls.
Unfortunately the more guns out in the woods means more wolf/grizz shot and killed.
I know Mike, it’s a conundrum.
++Please set down the cool aid.. Unemployment as still increasing and the “stimulus” has only accomplished creating more govement jobs and raising the deficit. He should have let the whole thing go down the crapper and let it rebuild it self naturally.++
He should have let the bank system collapse? Do you like having your money disappear, never to return?
Instead all we have accomplished is propping up businesses with poor operating plans at the tax payers expense. ++
Tough times call for tough choices, and no plan is perfect. But at least it was ACTION that did provide some relief and helped prevent a complete and total colapse of our economic infrastructure.
As for the road system and public schools argument, state and local taxes pay for a huge portion of that.. Federal oversite is what many fear.
Do you think Montana could support it’s road system with it’s tax base? Get real.
I agree mostly with Ralph…Obama, overall, has not been as much of an Implementer of Solutions as I had hoped, nor has he done right by the environment, according to my own values. And certainly the political discourse has grown into a dysfunctional system of trade-offs instead of measured compromise for the greater good, regardless oif whether it concerns the environment, wildlife, energy or the economy, and regardless of what party is in charge, I admit.
But, fear mongering? LOL…I have not heard or read a more measured approach to political issues management than Obama’s, almost to a fault it seems to me. Read Krugman’s piece; he compares the national discourse to the state of affairs in California in terms of legislative stalemating, and the utter disasters that result for the state because of the constant blocking of action by the minority party, It is clear to those who read several sources of information about DC that the current minority party is not interested in the slightest in advancing any solutions at all. They have become a rump party, as Krugman says, content to obstruct and demonize no matter the cost to the country, in selfish hopes of gaining seats in 2012.
And there are legitimate signs the economy is beginning to respond to Obama’s efforts. I was no fan of the bailouts, but remember, it was the Bush administration laissez faire attitude about Wall Street and bank behaviors that led to this crisis in terms of government’s role, and some of those bail out decisions were made by the Republican Treasury Secretary. It was him who basically gave away 350 BILLION dollars to the banks with no requirement for accountability, or constraints on its use. If there is one thing I have supremely disappointed by, it is the failure of this Democratic Congress and Administration to pass badly needed re-regulation of the banking and financial industries. Until that is accomplished, folks, this could happen all over again.
Can someone please tell me what the hell is wrong with driving a Subaru? it is the State Car of Vermont and New Hampshire..LOL, covering both ends of the political spectrum. It is a well made, boring, dependable piece of machinery. Cheaper to run than a truck, and most of the time suitable for what it made for..transportation.
If liberals bought trucks, and drank only Duncan Donuts coffee, could we all get along then? VBG….
I though that this thread was about a $11,000 reward for a proached grizzly, not an econ 101 course. But since the $11,000 is for the one who does the right thing and is awarded the money, then this might be about personal economics. Follow foreward.
++To many rural residents they represent bongo beating, starbucks drinking, subaru driving liberal know it alls++
For the haters, the wolf seems to be a symbol of their own unhappiness. These are generally angry people who blame the wolf for their own poor choices in life.
++For the haters, the wolf seems to be a symbol of their own unhappiness. These are generally angry people who blame the wolf for their own poor choices in life.++
Mike why are you so unhappy?
If the wild Rockies is what you really like, why have you made such a poor choice to live in Chicago? Is it that you would have a very difficult economic time if you move here? Or are willing to enjoy your economic sucesses in Chicago and be able to visit here when time permits.
++He should have let the bank system collapse? Do you like having your money disappear, never to return++
Oh wait what about the FDIC? That’d cover most people banking investments.
++Tough times call for tough choices, and no plan is perfect. But at least it was ACTION that did provide some relief and helped prevent a complete and total colapse of our economic infrastructure.++
So if GM and Chrysler went away the economy would collapse? GM would have survived, but the corrupt unions would have taken it in the shorts. If chrysler went away, darn, less poor made gas guzzling cars on the road.
++Do you think Montana could support it’s road system with it’s tax base? Get real.++
It’d be interesting to see, If its like other states, the Federal money comes for interstate highways and local money supports local roads. I guess it would be dependant on how much money left MT in the form of federal income tax compared to how much comes back in.
++For the haters, the wolf seems to be a symbol of their own unhappiness. These are generally angry people who blame the wolf for their own poor choices in life.++
I do believe smog has contaminated your brain cells.
Actually, Ryan, the FDIC covers small banks. That isn’t to say there are not failures right now, there are. But there are mechanisms in place that allow them to step in, and re-organize a bank before the problem gets too big. People alot smarter than I have said that if those mechanisms were in place for places like AIG and others deemed too big to fail, the recession would not be as bad or deep.
They were not the problem; it was the Wall Street investment entities like Bears Stearns and AIG, plus the investment susidiaries of large banks like BoA, and Citibank. Banks got into trouble when they started to act like financial advisers…which wasn’t possible until Regan, Carter, and Clinton dismantled the oversight laws.
Let me see if I can did up a website on how much states get back vs. what they send out to the Feds. I think it is a pretty good deal for most states…
I agree, what the hell is wrong with a Subaru??? I have owned two of them and continue to drive one as well as my Jeep!!!!
I do believe smog has contaminated your brain cells
the wolf haters are also prone to personal attacks…….
++It’d be interesting to see, If its like other states, the Federal money comes for interstate highways and local money supports local roads. I guess it would be dependant on how much money left MT in the form of federal income tax compared to how much comes back in.++
Montana, like most rural states is a leecher of federal dollars, not a giver:
As are the anti hunters Mike…
Mike why are you so unhappy? ++
In the context of this blog, I’m unhappy about all the poaching going on during hunting season on public lands.
Outside of that, couldn’t be happier. 🙂
If the wild Rockies is what you really like, why have you made such a poor choice to live in Chicago?++
Because if everyone moved to the wild rockies, the wild rockies would be wild no more. I have no interest in building a home next to a national forest and contributing to the sprawl that is engulfing the area. I am more than content with 40-50 tent nights a year in national forest and park land out there, with relatively few other things to take care of during that time. In real state they say “location, location, location”, and camping gives you the best possible choices in that regard. I can stay at the some of the worlds finest wildlands of my choosing.
++the wolf haters are also prone to personal attacks…….++
Self righteous Libs are prone to labeling.
Subarus are nice cars, infact on the list for my wife to get until I saw where there corporate donations go 🙁 . Live in Oregon long enough and one will quickly realize the subaru has replaced the VW van.
Wish I knew who poached that bear, I could use $11,000.00 about now.
++Self righteous Libs are prone to labeling++
Ahhh…”libs”. Did Sean Hannity teach you that one?
++Ahhh…”libs”. Did Sean Hannity teach you that one?++
Nope, I try not to get my talking points from media figures.
Crips, a VW van, that is one of the ugliest vehicles to ever grace the face of the earth!!
God, now I am going to have nightmares! Yikes!
I lived in Oregon for a few months, no, thank you, that is a communist state!
You think Oregon is bad. I wouldn’t move to The Peoples Republic of Washington if I were you SB. This is a difficult state to try and feed your family with just wild game. $40 for deer tag and you can’t even shoot antlerless without a special permit (That you have to pay to apply for) in the majority of GMU’S.
++ This is a difficult state to try and feed your family with just wild game. ++
Couldn’t you buy quite a few groceries with the money used to buy guns, bullets and gas?
I reload all of my ammo, I rarely target practice and the supplies I have, were purchased when I worked for FWP a few years ago, and I have enough to last me for the rest of my lifetime…
The only reason, I am thinking of Moving to WA, is I might, possibly be able to get a job with the State Game Commission and actually use this degree I got! We have been talking for a few months now, and it looks promising!
Good Luck S.B.
Good luck to all of you!
Life is getting harder for most people and some get hit with 3 or 4 things at one time. I hope things turn around soon.
Depending on where you are, Washington State offers alot of positives. Avoid the Seattle area at all costs….but places, like Bellingham are beautiful, rural, and offer a nice life for family. The Olympic area is stunningly beautiful. Winters are rainy, but with the temperate climate, spring comes early and it is green, lush, colorful..just what the spirit needs after four months of drizzling. The summers and falls are gorgeous…usually sunny and highs in the 80s. The islands off the coast are a never ending source of fun and beauty, and Vancouver, BC and its set of islands are amazing to visit and explore…
I hope you land the job, even if it means moving. I know how tough moving can be…so far, we have done the back and forth from West to East three times!! Hopefully, we are in the West to stay.
And Oregon is hardly a communist state….LOL…just open-minded…
How ’bout Missoula? My house is on the market
I’m looking at Wa. also….the Rosyln, Cle Elum, Teanaway, area . Used to do alot of fishing and camping around there. Also looking at northern New Mexico where I grew up. Chama, Questa, even Jemez Springs.
Good luck with the job.
++I lived in Oregon for a few months, no, thank you, that is a communist state!++
Wa is no better anymore and there are way more people. I live in the Portland Metro area now and hate it. But the location is great I can be at the Ocean in 1 hr, the mountian 1 hr and the desert in 2.5.
Are you just anti-city, or is there something about Portland specifically that bugs you? I agree, though, the location is ideal for varied geographies, one of the reasons why we are considering the Eugene area for our later years. Pehaps you could move to the Sisters area, and commute back to Portland, though it would be a hell of a drive…VBG…
I am very anti-city. I don’t like people at all and Portland is full of weird ones. Eugene is Okay, I personally prefer Roseburg, Grants pass, Klamath, or Burns. The sisters/bend area has turned into little LA over the last 15 years :(.
And Oregon is hardly a communist state….LOL…just open-minded…
Its getting there, the taxes are through the roof and businesses are leaving in Droves.
Several years ago a neighbor couple near Salem was shot; their car was taken and found about 10 days later near Portland. No progress was made on the case until a woman came forward with information that her ex-boyfriend came on one night and stated he had wasted an old couple for a mere $75. For some reason he later threatened the woman’s young child. He was tried and is serving life with no parole.
As Mike said “it is ex girlfriends that solve a number of cases.’
You might want to rethink a move to the Cle Elum or Teanaway areas. You and everybody else moving to those areas will be taking away human conflict free wolf habitat.
In fact, one of the biggest flaws in the draft WA wolf plan is that they carelessly assumed human population and land use would remain static as wolves migrate in. WA failed to adequately acknowledge it already has a much higher human density than any of the NRM states AND more unsuitable habitat (interior Columbia Basin has no elk and few deer, but lots of sheep and cows) or physical barriers (Columbia and Snake Rivers, freeways, etc) that will prevent a contiguous range for them. The Methow Valley, the NE corner and the SE corner are about the only real areas where people aren’t in great numbers. The Olympic Peninsula has possiblities but winter elk range to the north is occupied by humans, as is the east side. The Forks area, as Ralph and I have already discussed, has its social challenges (see a wolf kill it attitude, not unlike some parts of the NRM).
That makes translocation the center piece of the plan, without adequate focus on the continuing costs of such management practices to ensure genetic exchange.
Actually the area I am looking at is Carson, WA, close to the gorge, great elk country, very small populations and it still has reasonable taxes, I would never live in a town, let alone a city, never again!, Jay called me a World Class Jackass the other day, and to be honest with you, Us World Class Jackasses, like to be alone with very few neighbors!
I use to buy oil and gas leases in that area in 1981 and 82. Great country, good hotels, good places to eat; it was one of the best times of my life. Of course Arco paid for everything in those days. Good Luck
You might even catch a steelhead or a salmon down there. Carson fish hatchery on the Wind River does a nice job of trying to keep the Columbia producing fish. If I recall correctly, larger elk populations are fairly new, and growing for now. You won’t be hunting in the woods alone, and if I recall correctly the area gets about 70-80 inches of rainfall a year, some of which falls as snow. Lots of yuppy wind surfers and second home owners from the Portland and Vancouver areas. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams at your doorstep, with a view across the Columbia to Mt. Hood.
Nice place overall, if you don’t mind all the people.
WM….from Skykomish north to Ross Lake and to the Pacific Crest Trail and a ways to the East of it there isn’t much, if any, human activity. In fact it would probably be good wolf country from Snoqualmie Pass noth to hwy 2 and beyond. And there are elk in that area and plenty of deer.
I walked the trail in my younger days…an occasional hiker was all I encountered. Maybe it’s changed, but I doubt it. Actually with the new wilderness north of Skykomish there’s more of it protected.
Forks….tough country along with the Grays Harbor Area. They don’t have much use for anything except steelhead.
I do think the people around Sequim and Port Townsend would be more apt to welcome wolves. How wonderful it would be to have an ” Upper Elwha Pack”! One of my favorite places.
When I lived in Vancouver, WA, that was the area I spent most of my hunting time, up around Trout Lake, Goose Lake, Peterson Prairie, Indian Heaven Wilderness area and Mt. Adams, last time I spent much time in the area, Panther creek was one of the best fly fishing trout streams I had been on, it is a nice area and would work out great, because the job I am working on, is the Gifford Pinchot forest area, which is where I did a small amount of my field studies…I love that area!
How about Alaska? No one is speaking of Alaska here… I think about it all the time, but it isnt wolf loving country.
hey what do you know? here’s another story on an unnecessary killing…
they did find domestic cats in the stomach of the lion, it was hanging in a tree close to a home with children and cats are becoming increasingly bold in Montana and several other areas, in addition, they are one of the only predators that will actively hunt humans for a food source…
More sad news form the crowd that just likes to shoot things. Where was animal control? Why no attempts to get i nthe car and drive the animal away from the property?
People like this are sick in the head.
I will say, that 200lbs is quite a bit more than 99.9% of lions weigh, so I would say that is a over exaggeration..but a mt. lion at any weight after kitten phase can be a very dangerous animal…
SB they could have moved the cat, not killed it.
I know I have been tracked by cat(s) while hiking. I just make a LOT of noise and wave my stick around. My dogs know too…
but I dont bring a gun, and I would never shoot it if I saw it. I have been very afraid but just be as loud as ever…
this guy could have had the cat moved, though, not shoot it like it was 100 years ago…
Once a Mt. Lion has decided that humans are fair prey, they cannot be relocated.
I am all for wildlife, but Mt. Lions are a completely different type of animal, this cat was hanging in a tree watching the coming and goings of this family..
I am not sorry to say, this person, made the right choice.
Not all hate, not all love, but a Mt. Lion is not an animal, I want to mess with, or give a break…
you are a pretty amazing person, to say the least, when it comes to a human life, or an animals life, the animal is going to loose every single time, Lions are not an animal to give a break, they hunt people for food, there is only one other species in north America that does this, fortunately it lives in a sparsely populated area..and that is the polar bear..
Your comment: ……from Skykomish north to Ross Lake and to the Pacific Crest Trail and a ways to the East of it there isn’t much, if any, human activity. In fact it would probably be good wolf country from Snoqualmie Pass noth to hwy 2 and beyond. And there are elk in that area and plenty of deer.
I agree with your first sentence concerning human activity, but that area is definitely not much for elk habitat, and if I recall not that productive for deer, either. The deer country is further to the east, in the upper Methow (already a pack there and growing if the a…hole poachers don’t get them). The problem with what I believe you refer to as the North Cascade (Nooksack) elk herd is winter range – the whole herd is only about 600; that’s it! Problems already exist with keeping enough winter range for the elk herd, which I understand is growing under the watchful eye of WFW. They are trying to grow the herd up to 1,500 because the limiting factors are not three season forage availability, but rather winter range and conflicts with agriculture. The elk management plan will hit head on with the draft wolf plan, if I understand the constraints of both correctly.
Mind you, I am not against wolves on the Olympic Peninsula, but an urbanizing Sequim will have its problems. Elk have already been moved out of there to the Quilliyute Reservation, becasue they are getting into gardens, etc. When wolves show up, the elk in the Park will move down to the urbanizing areas where they are safer. It is already happening in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone, or Banff, in Canada.
The area N of Snoqualmie about Cle Elum, as you probably know is being turned into condos and golf courses – Suncadia is the most recent and largest. Human land use will definitely have impacts as this area continues to grow.
This cat was almost 2.5 feet tall at the shoulder, and almost 6 feet long from nose to tail, that is a large cat, with a massive amount of power, the kids were quite a bit smaller and the necropsy showed it had been preying in the neighborhood!
Why is their a problem here? It has be habituated to the presence of humans and was actually looking at comings and goings, even relocating it, it would have found another neighborhood, somebody would have got hurt seriously or killed…
Continuing on the Sequim scenario…the wolves will follow the elk into town and get into trouble. This very scenario was considered when Rocky Mountain NP rejected the idea of reintroducing wolves in February of this year. I was told they invited some of the wildlife folks from Banff, who told them of their problems. RMNP was concerned this scenario would play out in the town of Estes Park at the East Entrance. They love their elk, which are already in town by the way, and figured the wolves would just follow their prey into town. (This is from a reliable source on the RMNP reintroduction study team – I think it is even addressed in their report).
When was the last time a mountain lion scratched or clawed someone in Montana?
Once a Mt. Lion has decided that humans are fair prey, they cannot be relocated.++
Except that wasn’t the case here as no attacks were reported…..
I am all for wildlife, but Mt. Lions are a completely different type of animal, this cat was hanging in a tree watching the coming and goings of this family..++
I’m starting to think you really aren’t for wildlife, Save Bears unless it can fit in your freezer.
++I know I have been tracked by cat(s) while hiking. I just make a LOT of noise and wave my stick around. My dogs know too…
but I dont bring a gun, and I would never shoot it if I saw it. I have been very afraid but just be as loud as ever…
this guy could have had the cat moved, though, not shoot it like it was 100 years ago…++
You are right. This was a knee jerk reaction by someone who just wanted to shoot something.
We have nothing further to talk about, you have your postion, I have my position, and they will never merge.
I will continue on my path and you continue on your path, enjoy your visits..
and by the way gline, what is your address, if you want it relocated, I will make sure and let FWP know, so they can relocate to your property
I tend to think your urban upbringing is showing, notwithstanding your annual trips out West. Cougarss are difficult to manage in an urbanizing environment. They are confident, bold and like most predators will exploit their potential prey. Cats and dogs are not much of a challenge and apparently good to eat. Human fatalities are very rare, but attacks are becoming more common, and cougar do have a tendency to wonder into new areas where they get into trouble. There were some studies done, I believe at Washington State Unviersity (cougar is their sports mascot), a couple of years ago which seemed to suggest that younger cats learn from older more experienced ones. As a result, if a cat has a bad experience with humans the older one will pass that on to the younger ones. A fatal experience for a cougar prevents the lesson from being passed on, but not everybody has a gun that shoots rubber bullets. I expect a tree is probably not a good use for rubber bullets anyway.
Heck a cougar will even attack mountain bikers, as well as hikers, and hunters. Look big if you can, fight, yell, kick, and maybe you will survive it you are an adult. A six year old, or even a 14 year old might be a different matter.
And, where was animal control? ……the story doesn’t really say whether they would have been available.
What you would have done if your goats were at risk? And before you answer, let me tell you I have a friend that lost two pack goats outside Thayne, WY when a cougar jumped on top of a ten foot shed roof and into a pen that had a ten sheep foot fence around it. He is very attached to his goats and was devastated.
Hays, Montana has a population of 700 according to the 2000 census, and who knows if this family even lived in town. Animal control there is more like self-help with whatever is available. Any ideas what to do with a cougar in a tree within spitting distance of your house?
Maybe the guy made the right decision.
Once again this is a non issue, cougar populations are not endangered and are growing in many states across the west. The loss of one member that was too bold and a safety threat is better than the loss of a human life that would lead to several cats getting whacked.
so what do we do then SB kill them all ? In the future as more and more humans, should we just eliminate all predators??
Sure SB, that is what they say about wolves – you want them, put them in your back yard. Well, they are in my “backyard”. I would rather have wild animals than not. Im not really enjoying “civilization” as it is, would rather live with wild animals… maybe find a new way to co exist, rather than kill.
Where are you?? are you in western us or what ? I think you have said before… you and I seem to be on the same page. and cat Bestland where did you go???
Hi gline –
I live in the midwestern U.S., in Illinois. We killed all of our predators here so I know what the landscape looks like when people get too agressive and trigger happy.
I tend to think your urban upbringing is showing, notwithstanding your annual trips out West. Cougarss are difficult to manage in an urbanizing environment. ++
It doesn’t really matter where you live, Muse. There are rural people who know nothing about mountain lions, and there are urban people who know a lot(and vice versa). It all depends on the person and their willingness to learn about nature.
I spend a lot of time camping in an area with the highest predator concentration in the lower 48 (Glacier National Park), as well as the GYE. In fact, the lastest post on my site talks about an encounter with a sow grizzly and three cubs this fall. Pretty cool moment. Click over to the blog roll and look for “the wilderness sportsman”.
++Hays, Montana has a population of 700 according to the 2000 census, and who knows if this family even lived in town. Animal control there is more like self-help with whatever is available. Any ideas what to do with a cougar in a tree within spitting distance of your house?++
Sure. Rocks, heavy objects, honking horn, motor vehicle, warning shots, loud music, law enforcement, call neighbors, etc.
Mike and you feel you know alot about our western environment??? LOL…. good one. I had a long day and that made me laugh. Either you are so naive or ignorant, I dont know which one. Stay in IL, its better that way.
I have had a cougar in a tree in my backyard in college. Police were called but we never saw him again. Kind of wierd that he was 3 miles into town with hundreds of square miles of perfect habitat behind him. If you have a 200 lb cougar in a tree in your backyard feel free to go out and throw rocks at him, thats how the dumb ones in our race are culled… 🙂
Josh, once again you’ve lost the argument and need to resort to personal attacks.
You must be kidding. The cat is still going to be in the tree, and either pissed off or scared, with no options – that means unpredictable, possibly aggressive, behavior. I am with josh suthrland on this. Again, you must be kidding!
And please don’t try to impress us with spending a little time in Glacier or Jellystone. I’ll see your bet on “experience,” and raise you Denali and Lake Clark, along with the lower Kenai Peninsula, and Yukon Territory- there are real grizzlies there, along with black bear that make ours down here seem like poodles.
Mike I have not lost the argument, its just called common sense. The bad part is, its not so common anymore.
I think if you asked just about anyone if they should go throwing rocks or banging pans at a 200 lb mtn lion they would probably say the same thing as me. Of course I would be worried about my own safety versus the safety of the cat, since my family kinda needs me alive and healthy… ya know..?
Sorry Gline, I was out and just returned.
To anyone who kills animals for the pleasure of it and no matter to what belief system you subscribe, there is one inescapable truth, ~ What goes around comes around. You get back what you give out. For all the lives you have snuffed out for no other reason than “for the fun of it”, that life will be asked back from you. The laws of nature were established long before your blood lust led you to the selfish actions which result in trauma to Earth’s wild inhabitants and ecosystems. One of those laws, “Do unto others. . .” aplies to nature as well. Do you really think you can disregard creation in such an abusive manner, squander it’s resources and not be held accountable by the Creator? Enjoy it now, you will pay later. Remember, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
You are one heck of an armchair quarterback. If you did live in cougar country, you’d be armed with knowledge instead of opinion. The cat was exhibiting stalking behavior. Where there are children involved, is this acceptable to you? The cougar had been predating domestic cats in the neighborhood. Should they have waited until an attack on the children took place? Your “40 or 50 tent nights a year” (don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back) doesn’t give you the experience of people who live and work in the areas you like to visit. You are entitled to your opinion but remember, that’s the only thing it is – opinion.
Your posts are becoming the equivalent of radio static.
Cordell – Read the article. The cat was “lounging in a tree”. That doesn’t sound very threatening.
Like Isaid before, there are plenty of people who in rural areas don’t care about the outdoors, choosing instead to watch TV and have other interests. There are plenty of people living in urban areas who do care, and who do study nature. Where you live has nothing to do with it. The guy working at the Costco in Billings may not necessarily know more about mountional lions than a day trader in Manhattan simply because he lives in mountain lion country. It’s all up to the individual, and how much of an effort they make to understand an ecosystem.
++You must be kidding. The cat is still going to be in the tree, and either pissed off or scared, with no options – that means unpredictable, possibly aggressive, behavior. I am with josh suthrland on this. Again, you must be kidding!++
I hate to bring the facts into such an emotional argument, but when was the last time a mountain lion scratched or bit someone in Montana?
I read the article. Did you read my post? Did you miss my questions? I’ll try a few more.
In your “studied” opinion, what do you believe the cougar was doing ” lounging in a tree about 40 feet from his front door”?
I hate to bring facts into such an emotional argument -“Weigand said the lion’s stomach contained house cats, which means it probably had been preying in the area for some time”
According to your nature study, would this indicate to you that the cat was habituated?
“but when was the last time a mountain lion scratched or bit someone in Montana?” When was the last time you had a cougar 40 ft from you front door with children around? Do you know anything about cougar behavior?
You keep raising the issue of experience and learning about nature -good topics for sure, and a necessary basis for offering informed opinions. Apparently you have your own blog, and post as if you are an authority of sorts. Can you tell us a little bit more about your formal acacemic training, and informal studies, as well as more details about your specific experience, and how and where you acquired it?
And, do be truthful. If you are not, it will catch up with you in the afterlife.
Here is a recent AP story that kind of puts things in perspective regarding cougars in the West. No, deaths are not common. Serious injury from attacks on domestic animals and humans are becoming moreso. Near attacks are, for the most part, unreported.
A young cougar, the ones that usually get into trouble, was found in a nature park in downtown Seattle (population 600,000) about two months ago. The cougar had been eating cats during its short stay in Discovery Park. The cougar had come to the park along a heavily vegetated railroad track that runs adjacent to the park.
The park was closed to people for three days, while wildlife officials set live traps. Fortunately, in that instance, the cougar was caught and relocated to a remote area. You can bet there were discussions with WDFW whether it would be allowed to remain alive. Totally different scenario than the family in Hays, MT.
More cougar encounters are occurring, because the populations of both humans and cougars are increasing, and unfortunately people are encroaching on habitat, and hounds are no longer legal for hunting cougars in WA.
When I lived in a small town in Vermont, our property taxes tripled in 10 years, to over 14 grand on 3.4 acres of property…small by New England standards. 75% of that was school, which was funded as if it is was Choate, or some other private boarding school despite it being a public institution. Each year, people would complain, but the school crowd would haul the guilt campaign. ” A vote against the budget is a vote against our children”..and voila, high taxes. My point? People get the taxes they directly or indirectly approve. I also know Oregon is traditionally one of the slowest states to recover from recessions historically….So, spend time at Crater Lake and Three Sisters..( I would say Bend but that has become a Colorado like ski town from what I hear.)..Could be worse places to live…like NYC!! LOL.
As for living with cougars, Boulder has been doing it for decades. Most cases of conflict usually come down to human behavior and ignorance…leaving the dogs or the cat out at night, establishing you as a feeding site; leaving bird feeders out that attract skunks and squirrels; leaving garbage cans out, though that is more of a bear lure. Increased building in the canyons outside Boulder has served to fragment prey habitat, forcing the cats to move in closer to urban boundaries. We had some killings here, but not nearly as many as they could be if there wasn’t strong local support for the cats and co-existence. The state has a collaring program to track cats who are supposedly habituated, and a mandated non lethal hazing program.It works well, and we have a healthy cat population here. The few folks who want them all killed, the ones who want their beautiful 7 figure homes in the hills and canyons, but want it to be devoid of risk, are usually told to be quiet, and if they are really unwilling to live in such a beautiful area with the attendant risks, move back to town. Me? I would gladly move out further and take the risk…if Power Ball luck ever finds me. Non profit work pay scales suck, but you don’t do the work for the money.
As an aside, I have never seen a cat.The only large predator I haven’t encountered…black bears, not a grizz..yet..LOL… I am sure they have seen me…LOL…and my wife and a group of folks from DOW on a trip to Aravipa Canyon on horseback were stalked for awhile by a gorgeous cougar/puma on a ridge line before the cat disappeared.
Yikes!! Maybe I should rethink my day or get another occupation cuz soon as I finish my coffee, I’m headed into lion country for the day.
Good luck to me!!
You are a lucky man, JerryB…After all these years of being an environmental attorney (second career-first was city management, as close to a NO WIN job as one can get..LOL), I really think I should have been a wildlife field biologist. Oh well, too late in life for that doctorate, but it would have been better I think to be closer on a daily basis to the things and areas I love….
I do not think it is productive to constantly disrespect someone who is not lucky enough as those of us who live in the west; i.e., Mike. You should be happy that Mike is interested in learning about and taking part in the wilderness. Again, all of you expert outdoorsmen are the only ones who know anything about nature, animals and the wilderness. To put someone down just because they live in a city shows ignorance and intolerance.
“The state has a collaring program to track cats who are supposedly habituated, and a mandated non lethal hazing program.It works well, and we have a healthy cat population here.”
I’d forgotten about this. Have they actually documented decreases in the frequency of cats approaching humans/residential areas once hazed?
I tried to point out the other day that hazing–as opposed to simply killing large carnivores– could actually reduce the risk of attack in the long run. In the case of cougars, my understanding is that it is usually the young males that get “pushed” out of prime habitat by older cats. I would rather live close to a cat that has been taught to avoid humans via hazing than to live among a new crop of young cats each year that need to be found and shot.
there is a parallel between killing hundreds of prairie dogs because they are “pests” and killing cougars, wolves, bison because they too, are “pests” (to us).
You know for all the crap NYC and Chicago dwellers receive, there are legitimate forests not too far away from those areas, at least in NY as far as I know. I grew up in Westchester, NY right next to 1000 acres of forest. For a little drive, you can hit the Adirondaks, which ain’t too shabby as far as beautiful forest goes. It would be a different experience from our Wilderness for sure, but the easterners do have some technically wild forest to go to. There has even been talk of introducing wolves to the Adirondaks.
I dont think Mike has any thoughts to learning from us as you put it. If you read his posts you will realize he views almost everyone in the west as incompetent rednecks incapable of doing anything but kill bears and wolves. Hardly the grounds to create an organized conversation.
++In your “studied” opinion, what do you believe the cougar was doing ” lounging in a tree about 40 feet from his front door”?
“Man shoots mountian lion taking cat nap in front yard”
gline – there are some nice forests around this area, but you need to drive at least five hours. Almost everything is farmland inbetween that! you have the Shawnee NF in southern Illinois, the Chequamegon-Nicolet in Wisconsin, and the Ottawa NF just over the border in the U.P. I grew up in the northwoods which is were I learned about the outdoors. the only downside is the wilderness acreage is just about nil compared to say the Northern Rockies. To get into big acreage, one has to head up to the Superior National Forest in Minnesota.
The hazing program does work a majority of the time, but the humans MUST change their luring habits as well for it to succeed. Food is a pretty strong motivator of behavior, and if continued to be put out…whether it be in the form of Fluffy, Terry the Terrier, or food or garbage, then the animals become a problem and need to be shot because of human behaviors. We also have a bear issue here, and the City tried to get people to buy bear proof garbage containers if they lived in one of the areas frequented in the spring or fall. People screamed and yelled about the cost, so it wasn’t done, and we still have bears lured into residential areas, and being shot needlessly. It is interesting that every outdoor garbage container in a town like Crested Butte..much smaller and not as rich as Boulder..is a bear proof container because they don’t want to be killing bears.
Muse – I’ve been an outdoor enthusiast for long time, and probably became a much better informed one in the 90’s thanks to reading a bunch of Ralph Maughans postings on Usenet. I grew up hunting and fishing the northwoods of the midwest. I have no formal training in wildlife issues, but formal training in computer science and IT. I own a business that sells HD tours of national parks. I also do stock photography, and have sold images to outdoor magazines of western wildlife.
I spend anywhere from 30-60 tent nights a year in the wildest part of the rockies trying to photograph and observe predators. Then there is also the trips to various national parks/national forests/wilderness areas/state parks to acquire HD content.
Like I said, it doesn’t matter where you live, but what that individual wants to put into learning the outdoors. Sure, I would prefer to live 40 minutes from the Gallatin National Forest (who wouldn’t?) but I am able to do more than most people.
“Man shoots mountian lion taking cat nap in front yard” – that’s a good eye-catching headline. The article is essentially the same as the last.
“I spend anywhere from 30-60 tent nights a year in the wildest part of the rockies” – I guess that’s what gives you the insight into suburban cougar behavior.
I’m not saying what the guy did was right or wrong, but assuming he is ignorant and a bumpkin that’s not aware of his surroundings is quite a stretch.
Cordell I don’t think this was suburban cougar behaviour. The guys closest neighbor was half a mile away. The cougar could have been hazed away. The story connotes that he shot it while it was napping.
I’ll ask you again. What do you think a cougar was doing napping in a tree 40 feet from the guys front door? Would this indicate to you that it is habituated?
“The cougar could have been hazed away.” – Did you acquire this knowledge for your 30-60 tent nights a year in the wildest part of the rockies?
“I don’t think this was suburban cougar behaviour.” OK, probably not suburban cougar behavior, what kind of cougar behavior was it?
sorry…should be from not for
Cordell – not many people are faced with napping cougars in their yard. Are you? I doubt it matters where you are from. The guy had a plethora of non-lethal options to haze the cat. There is bear spray, firing warning shots, driving near the tree and using your vehicle horn, etc etc.
Let’s be honest Cordell and call a spade a spade – this guy just wanted to shoot something, even if it was just napping in a tree.
If the cougar was habituated, then it needed to be dealt with by animal control or people who are used to dealing with cougars of local authority. This guy just shot it while it was sleeping. Pretty lame.
Do you camp at all, Cordell?
Mike if you cant understand the fact that there were probably thousands of differents areas that cat could of chosen to take a nap, the fact that he chose a tree in front of a house says alot. Now with your statement about spending lots of time wathing predators you would realize normally they are very elusive, so this type of behavior is OBVIOUSLY not normal. But we should wait for an incident before we respond.
“But we should wait for an incident before we respond.”
Josh: I think we all agree that a cougar 40 feet from your house constitutes an “incident”. The question is: How should you respond? Personally, I think this scenario represents an opportunity to condition the cougar (via hazing techniques) to fear humans. The presence of a cougar that fears and avoids humans while continuing to hold territory, would be better than killing the cougar only to see it replaced by a new animal next season.
The location of this cougar was out in the middle of nowhere – 5 miles outside Hays, MT on the prairie, miles and miles from any signficant, and more importantly, sophisticated animal control. That was the point of the article cougar expanding range. There simply is no “animal control authority” as you might think of it in Chicago.
The Blaine County population is just 7,000, which means they probably have a sheriff department of what 3-4 deputies, and I expect the MT game & fish personnel are also pretty sparse.
Under these practical circumstances alone this is likely not an instance of “harass the big kitty and he will fear humans and go away.” Very little chance of that, and even more complicated by the fact the cat was in the tree.
If you have access to Google Earth you might just punch in the location to see how far out in the sticks this really is.
I lived in Boulder for four years, and can relate to the problems you describe with the locals who want it both ways. Cougars near town with all those deer at NCAR and Chatauqua Park, and hanging out in peoples back yards. Another pervasive probem was families of raccoons. Some idiots leave out dog food and marshmellows, then wonder why Fluffy disappeared. They are under-rated in their ability to injure or kill pets, and take after humans as well.
++Mike if you cant understand the fact that there were probably thousands of differents areas that cat could of chosen to take a nap, the fact that he chose a tree in front of a house says alot. ++
Well, the guy is a half mile from the nearest neighbor and lives on the prairie. Maybe that was the best tree for the cougar to nap in? I agree it’s a situation you have to handle with extreme care. But this yahoo just walked out and killed the thing while it was sleeping.
I’ll ask this again – when is the last time a cougar bit or scratched a person in Montana?
I can tell you there has only been one fatality by a cougar in Montana in recorded history(and a very sad one at that). Yes, you have to be incredibly careful in cougar country with kids around. But that doesn’t mean there should be a shoot on sight policy. That’s ridiculous, and that’s what this guy did.
Gee wiz, the guy lives in the country and he shot a cat. If the man had kids, pets or chickens or whatever he did the right thing. If he would of run it off it may have come back for one of his pets or even worse one of his kids. there’s lots of mountain lions out there and one that naps in your front yard is to comfortable.
I looked at the location of Hays, Montana and decided that there were probably not too many trees in which to nap. I agree that it would have been better to condition the 200 (?) pound female cougar to fear humans rather than terminate her. Was she eating Frank Weigand’s cats, the neighbors cats or possibr feral cats, in which case she would have been preforming a service?
I wonder what her real weight was. A 2-3 year old female couger of 200 pounds is exceptional.
I appreciate your comments.
I know where Hays is. There is actually some rugged country in the area. The Bearpaw mountains are pretty neat.
I understand that population is sparse their and response time is long, but he still could have called the local police, who then would have responded with the appropriate team. There is no “shoot on site” policy for Montana cougars, yet that’s what this guy did.
Barn – Thx. All I ask is that people think before pulling the trigger. Doing the right thing almost always requires more effort. Pulling a trigger is easy.
A 2-3 year old female i would say might be 120 pounds. There aren’t to many 200 pounders running around. It would more than likely be close if not longer than 8 ft with the tail and would look enormous if it was really 200. It would also make the record books.
Had a couple baby alpacas killed by a cat two weeks ago near me. Ranch manager was asked by F&G if he wanted the cat trapped or killed as it had killed livestock on private property and his response was no, “If one gets trapped or killed another one will just take its place”.
Now a couple years ago when a friend of mine let his prize bird dog out in the middle of the night to do his business and shortly thereafter heard a wimper only to turn and look out the window to see him in the jaws of a cougar, he just happened to have his shotgun handy and shot him in the ass as he attempted to leap over his six foot back fence. Dead dog, dead cat.
Mike I am begining to feel that you would only accept shooting an animal in the most dire of circumstances, would the cat have to fly out of the tree and come after him to warrant shooting him? Then you would say he should of used bear spray… I highly doubt any dumb redneck MT resident could do anything to please you… 🙂
Josh – shooting is acceptable when someone is under attack. This wasn’t the case.
There might not be an “Official” shoot on sight policy in Montana, but a few years ago in the area that I lived, we were over populated with several juvenile cats, and were Unofficially told by the local warden to shoot any cat we saw, due to the high amount of cats and the new groups of people moving in with small children.
What this article fails to mention is what happened before he shot it, how many encounters, basically all they said, was domestic cats were found in its stomach content, but really does not give much more background on what lead to the shooting…
“Josh – shooting is acceptable when someone is under attack. This wasn’t the case.”
Really? When a potentially dangerous animal is in physically close proximity to pets and humans, the risk of injury is increased dramatically. Sort of thinking thru this as a pet owner/father/uncle might, the safety risk was probably a factor in the decision to dispatch this cat. Vet bill or replacement for an animal, injury to daughter or neice are potentially expensive. I think it was likely a very good risk management decision, from my arm chair view point.
When an animal goes into attack mode, reaction times are measured in tenths of second. How much time does it take for a person to reason that an animal is going to attack, or is in the act of attacking, get the shotgun/rifle from behind the door, chamber a round and get to the point an aimed shot can be taken? It is likely the damage has already been done.
Since you are familiar with the area, then you know Hays is on the Fort Belknap Iindian Reservation, and this matter apparently was investigated by the Tribal fish and wildlife agency, according the article. I am going to guess they are not equipped with the non-lethal resources you think were necessary to deal with this cat (even if they could have gotten there in time to intervene). In my experience, Indian livestock and pet owners are just as protective of their animals as non-Indians, so the tribal wildlife agency response may have been a lethal one too. It could also be that the family were enrolled Gros Vent or Assiniboine members.
Let me answer your questions (as opposed to posting headlines or ignoring them completely).
1. not many people are faced with napping cougars in their yard. Are you? ANSWER – No, not where I live, in town but that could easily change if I lived on the edge or outskirts of my town, Loveland, CO. I track cougar regularly in the hills west of town.
2. Do you camp at all, Cordell? – Yes, quite a bit actually. (though I’m not sure of my “tent night” number). Unfortunately not as much in the last year as my work schedule has been demanding. Usually my camping is associated with animal tracking – cougar, wolves, black and grizzly bear and anything else that turns up in Yellowstone, Frank Church, Selway/Bitteroots, Jedediah Smith, San Juans, Brown’s Park, Algonquin, Palo Duro Canyon just to name a few.
3. And No, I don’t hunt at the moment but don’t rule it out in the future. I know you didn’t ask but I’m sure it’s on your mind.
“Let’s be honest Cordell and call a spade a spade – this guy just wanted to shoot something, even if it was just napping in a tree.” – Really? How do you come to this conclusion.
++When an animal goes into attack mode, reaction times are measured in tenths of second. How much time does it take for a person to reason that an animal is going to attack, or is in the act of attacking, get the shotgun/rifle from behind the door, chamber a round and get to the point an aimed shot can be taken? It is likely the damage has already been done. ++
The damage has already been done by a sleeping mountain lion in a tree? This doesn’t make any sense. And the guy didn’t even kill it on the first shot. He injured it, then shot it again. In fact, one could argue that injuring the cougar was far more dangerous to his family than when it was sleeping in a tree.
Since you are familiar with the area, then you know Hays is on the Fort Belknap Iindian Reservation, and this matter apparently was investigated by the Tribal fish and wildlife agency, according the article.++
I’ve been in the area. I wouldn’t say I am familiar with it.
what about living with risk? keep shooting cougars, bears and wolves, the west will lose it’s allure.
In my post of Nov. 12 7:42pm I posed a question/hypothetical to you about “risk” involving your goats. Would you care to offer a comment?
Hey maybe if the west lost it’s allure, then we wouldn’t have so many problems!
“Hey maybe if the west lost it’s allure, then we wouldn’t have so many problems!”
Unfotunately we’d all still be yahoos who shoot first and ask questions later. 🙂
Should have added to above – According to “Wilderness Sportsmen” from Chicago.
No wilderness muse, don’t care to comment as it will turn into another livestock vs wild animal argument. Same argument, different day.
I suppose allure wasn’t the right word – perhaps naturalness or wildness. Seems shooting the wild things is the allure to many of you.
And where are you Cordell?
My purpose for asking the question of you was to see if your view of wildlife versus pets (forget livestock for the moment) would change if you personally had something for which you are responsible at risk. My friend, who lives outside Thayne, WY (that is SE of Jackson about 50 miles) lost two of his Nubian pack goats to the cougar that got into what he thought was a cat proof enclosure (10 foot mesh fenced enclosure with small barn, that was at one edge, where the cat climbed to the roof and into the pen). He felt guilty about it. He knew the risks, but felt badly that he did not do better to protect his goats. These were family pets, not something for sale to make a profit. They were pretty expensive too.
I don’t think he blamed the cat for doing what it needed to do to survive, but as between the cat or his goats, I do know he wished he could have been more proactive. These goats were family companions, and his wife is still upset about it. The event was three years ago.
Now back to the cat in the tree outside Hays. Sleeping cat for now, but when it wakes up it will. of necessity, come down the tree in the guy’s backyard, right? Query where the cat will go once on the ground, and what its next meal will be, or whether it would put the guy’s family at risk that day or some other. People are motivated to take action for reasons other than just to “shoot at wild things.”
We do not really know what motivated this guy, but his action to dispatch the cat was not unreasonable under the circumstances, in my view.
WM: I am half thru your first sentence and you had already changed your original question (forget livestock for a moment?)
I would say your friend with the goats needed to protect them better. sorry the goats are gone – I wanted goats as a kid and have always thought them very interesting animals. Such goofy eyes! However when you life with wolves and bears you take that risk of losing a vulnerable animal.
*live not life
addendum: What is personal to me is the seemingly mass killing of wild predators. No, I don’t own them. Dont need to. It is not about something I own and put a lot of money into. It is about the wild things that need to have more respect and value. They are not pests and we should not really ALWAYS play the game of dominator as stewards.
A cougar coming out of a tree has lots of options. Just because sometimes a 12 and/or 14 year old girl (boy) plays in the yard does not mean the critter needs to be dispatched.
I have coyotes, bobcats and a few cougars about my house, and I have a dog of which I am very fond. However, I do not think it reasonable to kill the predators to protect this pet from possible predation at some time in the future.
We can not protect all critters, human or otherwise, from all others.
We can argue right and wrong all day long on this blog, but I know for a fact, in Montana, cats will be killed for being a cat and even FWP will tell you to kill them on sight…cats are not just another predator.
And although it may be true, we can not protect all critters, human or otherwise from all others, we can be proactive in trying.
How is killing the cats proactive?
There are two predators on the north american continent that will seek out humans for food, one is polar bears and the other is mt. lions..
You guys can protect them all you want, I and many others in the wildlife business, will kill them on sight and it is the only animal in the lower 48 that I will not mess with, 40 feet outside my door the same outcome would have happened..and will every single time..
I can tell you for a fact, in Montana, even though classified as a big game animal, there is no such thing as poaching a Mt. Lion, and I know that when I worked for FWP, there was never a poaching incident when it came to a Mt. Lion’s and I suspect there will never be a poaching investigation when it comes to Mt. Lions
++You guys can protect them all you want, I and many others in the wildlife business, will kill them on sight and it is the only animal in the lower 48 that I will not mess with, 40 feet outside my door the same outcome would have happened..and will every single time..++
Are you saying that MFWP has a shoot on sight policy for mountain lions?
Are you saying that you will shoot any mountain lion you ever see?
The MFWP lists the mountain lion as a big game animal which may only be taken via firearm and bow during hunting season with the required permit.
By shooting any mountian lion you see on sight, you are breaking the law, and treading on very questionable ethics not too far from poacher level.
Good thing your name isn’t Save Cougars, Save Bears!
The whole point to the story I had copied into this blog, was that the guy didn’t even call MFWP… we have had big cats in people’s house in the Rattlesnake of Missoula. MFW came and moved the animal..
++I can tell you for a fact, in Montana, even though classified as a big game animal, there is no such thing as poaching a Mt. Lion, and I know that when I worked for FWP, there was never a poaching incident when it came to a Mt. Lion’s and I suspect there will never be a poaching investigation when it comes to Mt. Lions++
There are numerous large scale poaching cases which have involved mountain lions. There’s even a mountain lion called “Montana” in a West Virginia sanctuary which was brought there because it’s mother was poached.
G- line – have you explored the Rattlesnake much? I’ve always wanted to check it out but never have the time. I’m a big fan of Missoula. Really great area.
Yes, Mike, I have- mostly in the recreation area. I haven’t been into the Wilderness as far as camping goes yet. There are lakes in the Wilderness I want to go to. have seen lots of bear poop and had heard bears .. coyote scat. Congressman Pat Williams set that aside many years ago..
I noticed that hays seems to be within the Fort Belknap Reservation? So would hunting a cat there be illegal without a quota license?
oh and lots of Cougars of course, unless you see the hound hunters. One winter I had to kick a hound in the chops because he/she was going for my dog. Glad I was wearing heavy boots.
It is nonsense Mike, I am so glad you are such an expert about what really goes on in Montana.
Guess I will have to spend some time in Chicago, so I can become such an expert in the state I lived in and own land in.
Gline, FWP couldn’t have really done anything in this instance as they have no jurisdiction where this incident happened, it was on an Indian reservation, and hence was under the jurisdiction of the Tribal authorities, which is a sovereign nation,
Mike, within 40 feet of my house, yes, I will shoot it and if you don’t like that, tough sh*t
I can guarantee you, like this incident, if you shoot a lion in your front yard, you will be found not libel, we are not talking about poaching operations, we are talking about individuals at their homes..Your talking about large scale poaching operations, I am talking about home owners..you are very good at manipulation things to fit your warped sense of life aren’t you..
Why don’t you pull up stakes and come live in the mountains for a while, and see how things develop?
By the way, I am actually looking for a new house sitter, the one I have now is moving, so I would be more than willing to let you stay at my place in Montana rent free, you would have to provide your own food, but we do have DSL service so you would be able to do your work, of course you would have to help plow the road and shovel snow and such, but it would be a good way to spend some time in Montana, without a lot of expense..
Save Bears – I’ve sent off an email to a friend in MFWP about your claims of the department turning a cheek to lion poaching. It should be interesting to see what he has to say.
An ethical sportsmen does not shoot something on sight, with no reason. Are you afraid the lion will interfere with your hunting of deer?
++Why don’t you pull up stakes and come live in the mountains for a while, and see how things develop?++
I tent in the heaviest grizzly and lion country in Montana every year, 30-60 days give our take. I know what it’s like to sleep in predator rich habitat (Glacier is tops in the lower 48, BTW). I encounter wolves, grizz, etc but have yet to see a mountain lion or a wolverine, unfortunately. They are two of the toughest animals to see. I’d love to see a mountain lion at 40 yards. If it charged me that’s what I have bear spray for. I wouldn’t approach one that close, but if I did see it, it would be a thrill and a highlight of any trip.
Save Bears – that’s a gracious offer but I was just out there, camped in a tent in the heaviest predator area of Montana for a month! I tracked grizzly bears and various other predators/ungulates:
The DSL service sounds great though. Where is your house?
Good glad to hear it Mike,
My home in Montana is located about 12 miles from Glacier, so we have lions, Grizz and various other wildlife all the time, the house sitter who is leaving us, lost her dog last summer to a Lion in the front yard of the house and one of her reasons for leaving is she does not want to deal with it any longer.
I hope you get to have a highlight of your trip moment in your life, it may actually change your life! Literally
You Tracked Grizzly bears?
Now that is a violation of the Endangered Species Act, you cannot harass wildlife..if you were tracking, you were in the wrong.
By the way, I thought you said, you were going to pass on your glacier trip because the park service removed those bears? Did you come out anyway?
++My home in Montana is located about 12 miles from Glacier, so we have lions, Grizz and various other wildlife all the time, the house sitter who is leaving us, lost her dog last summer to a Lion in the front yard of the house and one of her reasons for leaving is she does not want to deal with it any longer.++
As for the grizz, it was 200 yards, and they never needed to adjust their behavior. I had a ranger with me in a couple of instances. Great guy.
Ok Sure, what ever that means..
If Ralph will let me, I will be happy to upload some pictures of where our home in Montana is located…and by the way, it will be up for sale, next summer, in case anyone is interested..
Email me some photos and I will probably post them.
So SB, if you are selling your house are picking up and retiring in Florida?
No, I actually have not lived in Montana for over a year now, and as I said in another thread, we are moving to WA and not to retire
November 14, 2009 at 10:49 PM
G- line – have you explored the Rattlesnake much? I’ve always wanted to check it out but never have the time. I’m a big fan of Missoula. Really great area.
Looks like the discussion has changed to real estate…sooooo
I am selling my house in the “Rattlesnake” for anyone interested.
jerryb Mike and I were not talking about real estate- SB was…
but good luck. I sold my house last summer.
*Ralph Maughan’s Real Estate Blog”?
Clearly your “tent nights” (so very impressive) in “predator rich habitat” (lions and bears, Oh MY!) gives you more insight into life in the west than someone who actually lives there and works in the Wildlife Bio field.
Camping does not equate living and working.
I love this little gem – “I’d love to see a mountain lion at 40 yards. If it charged me that’s what I have bear spray for.” Well, Mike, your ignorance of lion behavior is showing again. Do you understand why lions are difficult to spot? The stalk. Do you think a lion would charge you frontally as would a griz? I realize I’m pissing in the wind with my questions to you as you like to ignore them and rehash your “tent nights” blah, blah, “predator rich habitat”, blah, blah, “bear spray”, blah….
I haven’t been following this discussion at all carefully, but since you mention what you call “tent rights,” I don’t think this is a crazy idea.
Many people feel at least somewhat possessive of the places where they have hiked, rode horses, hunted, or 4-wheeled more than than once. In fact legal arguments are made regarding the public lands on this basis.
I know because I have written more than one such legal declaration based on my recreational use of an area over time, and the cases were not rejected due to lack of legal standing on my part.
++Clearly your “tent nights” (so very impressive) in “predator rich habitat” (lions and bears, Oh MY!) gives you more insight into life in the west than someone who actually lives there and works in the Wildlife Bio field.++
It;s as if you are having a conversation with some imaginary Mike, and rather than reading my comment, you are are reading what you want to read rather than what is actually written . I never said that about in the field biologists.
Camping does not equate living and working.++
Not everyone who lives i nthe west cares about the environment. People have other interests, just like anywhere else.
I love this little gem – “I’d love to see a mountain lion at 40 yards. If it charged me that’s what I have bear spray for.” Well, Mike, your ignorance of lion behavior is showing again. Do you understand why lions are difficult to spot? The stalk. Do you think a lion would charge you frontally as would a griz?++
Cordell, really a wonderful use of semantics there. In order for me to see a mountain lion, wouldn’t it have to be in front of my eyes?
Nope, you are the Mike I’m trying to converse with. I read you comment, did you read mine? I was referring to your dismissive attitude toward Save Bears who, I believe, is a field biologist.
“really a wonderful use of semantics there. In order for me to see a mountain lion, wouldn’t it have to be in front of my eyes?” – Well, if you would have read my comment instead of “reading into it what you want”, and if you knew as much about lion behavior as you think you do, you’d realize what I meant – a lion’s preferred mode of attack is from ambush.
I’m still trying to figure out why Save Bears shoots any mountain lion he sees, regardless of the situation, and regardless of it not being hunting season and without the proper permit.
I said, I will shoot any mountain lion close in, if I see a mountain lion a couple of hundred yards away and it is not presenting any odd or aggressive behavior, I am not going to shoot it.
And, really when it comes down to it, your figuring out what I do, or why I do it, does not really mean a whole lot, my stance on wildlife management has been stated on this site, many times in the past, I am sorry I don’t fit your little mold of what a hunter, biologist, or even just a westerner should be.
It is what it is, and whatever judgments you come to really does not affect it, I will continue to be the same as I have been, as I am currently and I will be in the future, if you don’t like that, then so be it..
I should have caught this issue earlier. Since Hays is on the Belknap Reservation, the tribe would likely assert primacy over the state (as a sovereign nation) for wildlife matters, so unlikely MGFP would respond at all, Note the article, in fact, states that “Fort Belknap wildlife officers” measured the cat. The only exception might be if they have some sort of memorandum or understanding or coop agreement for services with the state; also tribal wildlife rules would apply for any infractions (no infraction is noted in the article). Tribal rules, in tribal court if applicable, are usually construed liberally toward a violator, and rarely is there a money fine or jail involved if any rule is violated (unless an infraction is egregious). The usual penalty- if one is assessed at all – is a reprimand and an instruction to not do it again.
You realize he just baits you with stuff that makes no sense, he knows you would not shoot any cougar on sight, you said you would shoot a cougar 40 ft from your house, he posts it as in you meant you would shoot any cougar. They problem with dudes like Mike, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience….
I really do know that, these types of debates have gone on since man became aware!
Sometimes it is fun to play the game…and I do find Mike to be an interesting character with his posted belief’s
anyway, I will check in later this evening, I am getting ready to leave for WA for the next couple of months, keep of the good fight, both sides…
Save Bears said that MFWP does not care about poaching lions, and advocates a shoot on sight policy. Save Bears also said he would shoot any mountain lion that was around his house. That does not constitute an attack IMHO.
I’m just trying to figre out exactly what the heck he is talking about, and why he came to the conclusions that he did.
If I saw a mountain lion sleeping in my tree, I would wait the thing out, not blow it away in some weird, perverse thrill kill.
I’d appreaite actual discussion on the issues rather than personal attacks. Thanks.
Actually I don’t care what your trying to figure out..
Calling it a thrill kill is way off base, and goes to show, your experience in lion country is very limited..
Your perception of what is a “Personal Attack” is very interesting to say the least…
Just wait out the cat, and not blow it away in some perverse kill??
I’m with Save Bears, if theres a cat kicking it in a tree outside my house and I have children pets etc. I dont think I’m willing to risk just waiting it out. I would probably call someone to try to help, maybe dart it-take it away etc. But these cats are 100% Meat eater, not to be messed with. And to think someone would shoot one just for some cheap thrill. Come on Be real. These cats are very dangerous and need to be taken seriously.
SB, regardless of agreements or disagreements, good luck with the job search. Unemployment issues knows no politics…
Thats the difference with living in Chicago and Living in the semi rural west. In Il it would be an oddity and looked at that way, in the west it brings up safety concerns for pets and people. Fences don’t do much to stop a Cat from killing your dog etc in your back yard.
For wolf lovers:
All wolf hunting will close at 1/2 hour after sunset tonight in Montana as the quotas are within one or two animals for the remaining open hunting areas.
I have the story up.
I guess it’s time to close this long thread.
Thank you for your comments.