Attempt to restore hound hunting of cougar in Oregon fails

Oregon legislature fails to resurrect hunting practice banned by Oregon voters in 1994-

Cougar hunting bill dies in Senate committee. Ashland Daily Tidings.

Cougar hunting interests say they will try again in 2012.






  1. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    Democrats control the Senate in Oregon, so I felt confident that the will of the people in Oregon would outweigh the 5% of pathetic sport hunters that want to hunt cougars with dogs. Tonight in NY a Democrat won the special election in a very Red district which hopefully will signal the beginning of the end of the great Republican overreach of 2011 and the beginning of a more sane political movement back to the center. Ryan republican budget is a real winner!

    1. jon Avatar

      They tried to get hound hunting passed in Washington as well and they failed. So, this is good news. The people of Oregon voted no to using hounds to tree cougars so they can be killed, so this is a victory for us wildlife advocates. I’m sure the hound hunters will try again. It’s a neverending battle William.

      1. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        Whatever the sport hunters use for an excuse to justify this, it just isn’t good wildlife policy.

      2. jon Avatar

        William, George Wuerthner who is a hunter himself wrote a good and informative article on cougar hunting.

        He thinks sport hunting of cougars increases predation on livestock and may even increase the likelihood of a cougar attacking a person.

      3. CQ Avatar

        Your summation of Wuerthner’s contention makes sense to me, Jon. Some of you have read my previous mention here of KINSHIP WITH ALL LIFE by J. Allen Boone. Tonight I opened the book to a page that I think best describes the cougar’s feelings of revenge. Even though Boone is talking about a rattlesnake, the principle is the same.

        “What really happens when the average white man and a rattlesnake suddenly and unexpectedly meet? Having been taught to regard all snakes as loathsome and deadly enemies with no rights whatsoever on earth, the man wants to kill every snake he sees. Something intensely emotional, savage and violent begins churning within him, filling him with repugnance, horror and alarm. At the same time all sorts of malevolent factors latent in his nature flare up and thoroughly poison his state of mind. This invisible weapon, this deadly thought-thing, he focuses upon the rattlesnake with lethal intent.

        “Highly sensitive to this mental attack and keenly aware of its source, the rattlesnake by rapid thought action poisons its own state of mind and turns it toward the white man with equally malicious intent. Up to this point, the conflict between man and snake is mental and emotional. It is a kind of thought-vendetta, a condition of mutual ill-feeling in which each strikes at the other with destructive attitudes and intentions.

        “If the white man happens to have a material weapon and is able successfully to use it, he kills the snake’s physical body. If, however, the snake manages to avoid the blow and gets within range, it buries its well-poisoned fangs in some part of the white man’s body, and the man keeps the rendezvous with death. While the snake may victoriously jab its fangs into the white man’s body, what it really strikes at is the unsocial and deadly thinking that animates the body.

        “Watching a real American Indian walk into the vicinity of this same rattlesnake, you would witness something entirely different. For one thing you would be unable to detect the least sign of fear or hostility in either one. As they came fairly close, you would see them pause, calmly contemplate each other for a few minutes in the friendliest fashion, then move on their respective ways again, each attending strictly to his own business and extending the same privilege to the other. During that pause between them they were in understanding communication with each other, like a big and small ship at sea exchanging friendly messages.”

        This is the basis of my earlier comments: only love and respect felt by man toward all animals will eliminate killing-thoughts and thus killing-actions — by all species!

      4. Phil Avatar

        jon: The sad thing is is that people like this will continue their pursuit to get what they want no matter what the cost. You are right in that they will try and try until they are successful when there are more important issues running about in this country that impact many people and not just a handful. I know we live in a free society, but I wish the judges would throw out these cases as soon as the papers reach their desks. Let the judges deal with significant cases and not self-centered ones.

  2. DoryFun Avatar


    The rattlesnake story reminded me of my own experience one time on a river trip with a bunch of kids. Most of the day I had to remind them to be aware that they were in snake country, when on land. They probably thought I was paranoid of snakes, when in reality I was more paranoid of oblivious kids getting bit by a snake.
    Later we stopped for a hike and I was in the lead, mindful of snakes but looking at flowers and other things. All of a sudden I heard a rattler givng a strong warning, and it was very close, so I immedicately froze. As I search for the critter, I suddenly discovered it was under my foot. Three inches of head on one side, and the rest of the tail on the other side of my bare legged, sandaled foot.

    Wow, I never new I could jump so high and so fast, when I saw my predicament. theorhetically that snake should have been able to bite me a good one, but it didn’t. The only thing I could think of was that the snake paid me back, because I never kill rattlesnakes. Even if they come into a camp, I catch it and remove it.
    Last chukar season my weimaraner went on point and I was right behind her. By happenstance I glanced down and saw a rattlesnake under her legs. I immediately pushed my dog forward and jumped aside myself. Again, we both lucked out on that one.
    So I do subscribe to the kinship with all critters thing.

    1. IDhiker Avatar


      “So I do subscribe to the kinship with all critters thing.”

      Well, I don’t know about that, but I’ll have to say that I’ve never injured or killed any of the many rattlesnakes I’ve run into along the Salmon and Selway Rivers, including several that my wife and I have moved out of our camps. Last fall, my brother and I put one with fifteen rattles into a box to move it from our kitchen at Soldier Bar in the Frank Church.

      The thing is, I’ve stepped right next to several rattlesnakes over the years, and none even attempted to bite me. I have never had one strike while moving it either. That’s not to say I’m not careful.

  3. DoryFun Avatar

    Wow, 15 rattles. That is awesome. How long? Girth? Just curious. Fortunately for us here in Idaho most of what we encounter are the western rattlesnake and they have a much better tempermant than many of their cousins.

    I once woke up on a river trip with a smaller rattlesnake one foot away from my head. It was a cold morning, the snake was lethargically coiled up , and I slithered away most obligingly.

  4. DoryFun Avatar

    Oh, and one time I had a rattlesnake (on the same river) try to swim into my boat as I was trying to negotiate a class III rapid. It was trying to seek refuge in my boat, yoyoying back and forth in the wave train, from 10 feet to one foot from coming over the gunwhales of my doryboat. Now, that was an excting run, but I prefer rapids without snakes.

  5. Nancy Avatar

    The only snakes I ever came across in my travels that had a really negative attitude towards anything bigger than them, were water moccasins. (Common in Texas and parts of the south) Watched more than one of them go out of their way to let me know “I was to damn close to THEIR comfort zone”

  6. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    In response to CQ’s statement,

    “Having been taught to regard all snakes as loathsome and deadly enemies with no rights whatsoever on earth, the man wants to kill every snake he sees.

    Reminds of a time in the early 80’s returning from the Tetons, when I was camped in rural Nebraska and I went for a morning run. I was on a gravel road and I caught a young Bull snake. As I was holding the snake, an older gentleman driving along the road stopped, and told me to kill it. When I asked why, he said it was the devil. Perhaps he was steeped in religious tradition, or perhaps he was in the early stages of dementia, I don’t know. But one would think that a Bull snake is one of the farmers best friends, and there were nothing but farms as far as the eye could see.

    Now, I generalize, and perhaps ruffle a few feathers, but for the point of discussion, was it a fear based in the Judeo-Christian religion. The serpent never fairs very well since the supposed days of Adam and Eve. Nor, for that matter does any predatory animal. Predators have been “persecuted” with a religious zeal, in particular when their prey disappeared and they came into conflict with man’s livestock. Wolves have been persecuted, and never understood for the ecological niche they fill.

    Look how coyotes have been persecuted. Think about all the fur bearing predators that have been trapped and poisoned out of existence, as the ungulate population rose, due to lack of predators and farms providing free meals. We have created a giant game farm in this country, but does it come with a price?

    Minnesota deer ticks. It is estimated that 30% of MN deer ticks harbor Lyme disease. Wisconsin in a similar boat, and pleading guilty of assumption, I would imagine Michigan pretty much in step. Deer populations have skyrocketed. Enough wolves now exist in parts of MN and Wis to put a dent in deer populations, but Lyme disease is on the rise. I know people will “pop” a fox whenever they see one, no matter what the season. Get rid of those varmints, that might eat some of those mice who carry the larval stages of the deer tick . Get rid of those vermin that kill our deer.

    It’s not the wolves, bears, coyotes and foxes we need to fear. It’s the little things that will get those of us that like to go into the woods, if we take the predators out of the system.

    1. DoryFun Avatar


      I think you have the right idea. Yes, it is always about us. the world revolves around man, and religion is at the base of most everything, when you boil it all down. Good and evil. food or weed. If you aren’t for us, you must be against us thinking.

  7. Phil Avatar

    This is good news. To me, if you want to hunt, then do so where there is equilibrium advantages on both sides.

    CQ: “Having been taught to regard all snakes as loathsome and deadly enemies with no rights whatsoever on earth, the man wants to kill every snake he sees.” It is basically what is imbedded in the culture from adolescent ages. How similar is this to the wolf situation in the NRM region for some of the individuals there, or even with regards to pitbulls?

  8. PointsWest Avatar

    I don’t understand what is wrong with treeing cougars with dogs…as long as cougars are not overhunted and there is a healthy population. It is OK for wolves to hunt cougars, isn’t it? If it is OK for wolves, why not the subspecies dogs…canis familiaris. If it is OK for canis familiaris to hunt cougars, why can’t homo erectus hunt them? I don’t get it. I don’t understand. Why should homo erectus have inferior rights to canis lupus and/or canis familiaris in regards to hunting?

    Someone please explain, without too much emotion, the philosopy behind these inferior rights for my species?

    1. Moose Avatar

      Your answer is in your faulty logic string.

      1. PointsWest Avatar

        So it is not OK for canis lupus or ursus arctos horribilis or any species to hunt and/or tree cougars?

    2. JB Avatar


      I’m probably the wrong person to answer this question, as I don’t really have a position, but I think the logic goes something like this:

      Wolves, cougars, bears = incapable of moral reasoning;
      Human beings = capable of moral reasoning;
      Chasing and treeing cougars = high stress for cougars;
      Pursuit of cougars [can] = death of dog [man’s best friend];
      The cost of keeping dogs to chase cougars > the economic benefit gained from their capture (nobody “needs” a cougar).

      Let the madness ensure!

      1. PointsWest Avatar

        I am not so sure that wolves and grizzlies have “no” moral reasoning. It may be very undeveloped when compared to that of most humans but they have some I would argue. Cubs, when playing, will generally not injure or kill their siblings, for example. Both wolves and grizzlies are territorial and that could be construed as some very basic form of moral reasoning.

        Not all members of the homo sapiens species have high moral reasoning. Young children do not. Some adults (ie Jeffry Dahmer or Charles Manson) have low moral reasoning. There are documented cases of feral children raised by wolves and the only the moral reasoning they possessed was that of wolves. Futher, the ability of moral reasoning should lead to superior rights to wolves and grizzlies, not inferior rights. The human species should be allowed to make decisions based on his moral reasoning rather than have his rights taken away.

        I do not believe that stressing or treeing a cougar is in and of itself is nessesarrily immoral. If we want take a step to reducing stress to the species as a whole, we should ban automobiles along with all hiking and camping in the wilderness. (no wait…that might infringe up MY rights and I have good moral reasoning)

        The risk to dogs is very low and dogs love to hunt. We could greatly reduce the risk of death for dogs by banning automobiles too.

    3. DoryFun Avatar

      Points West,

      I don’t think bears and wolves go out of their way to hunt cats. So I have a hard time trying to appreciate that logic.On the other hand, if people are allowed to hunt cougars, I don’t have a problem with them using dogs. While I do not think it is sporting or ethical myself, I look at it like this. If a courgar is going to get killed by a hunter, it matters not to the cougar how it gets killed, the end result is the same. At least in a tree, a hunter has a chance to size up the cat (male, female, chance of having kittens, etc) before deciding to shoot or not. (often not possible when shooting across a canyon or a great distance when hunting without dogs). A lot of folks just like working their dogs and taking photo’s of cats, not making a kill. Also, it reminds the cougar to remain wild and avoid man. Keeping the wild in wild.

      1. PointsWest Avatar

        If a bear or a wolf is the slightest bit hungry, they will go out of their way to hunt, kill, and eat a cougar. Bears are known to be very aggressive towards cougars even if they have never seen one before. We also know dogs are very agressive towards cats and this agression is inate. You rarely find a dog that is not agressive towards cats.

        Actually, very few humans (probably less than 1%) go out of their way to hunt and tree cougars.

        I agree with most of your other points.

  9. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    Is this again a trophy hunting issue or do you eat cougar?
    It´s a pitty that the general “Have you come across….” thread is not very structured cause there was a link to an article a few month ago that sheds a different light on cougar hunting with dogs (and ATVs).

    1. Nancy Avatar

      As with wolves, me thinks its a trophy hunting issue Peter.

    2. Nancy Avatar

      He’s a site with a few people “full” of their ability to kill cougars

      1. jon Avatar

        That is just pathetic and disgusting at the same time and they’re smiling.

      2. Ryan Avatar

        I’ve eaten Cat, its pretty damn good.

      3. Ryan Avatar


        Both of those cats were eaten, I know one of the hunters in that pic.. Once again, you should probably stick to things you have actual expirience with and not just info you read on the internet. If you were to give instructions on google searches your opinon would be very valid and useful. Your opinion on life in the west, a place you have never visited on animals you have never seen in the wild, while you get the picture….

      4. jon Avatar

        Sure they did Ryan.

      5. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        I’m amused when these illiterate rejects quote the bible, as if what they do is some sort of divine providence

      6. jon Avatar

        Those 2 cougars in this pic William look very small.

        shame they their lives were taken from them when they were at a small size. Look at those big bad white guys so proud of themselves that they shot and killed these small sizes cougars.

      7. PointsWest Avatar

        Those hunters obviously enjoyed hunting those cougars and are happy about there success. Why do they have to eat them? What is wrong with wanting a trophey? …as long as the cougar population as a whole is healthy and the hunters use their human “moral reasoning” while hunting, I do not see the problem.

        The death of these two organism only made life easier for other organisms in that ecosystem. These cougars were probably killing several smaller mammals a week and were taking food for other preditors including other cougars. You know, probably something like 20% of the cougar population dies each year on average mostly from starvation.

        For all you know, the region where this photo was taken was overpopulated with cougars and the two dead cats in the photo would have starved to a prolonged and agonizing death the following winter.

      8. Ryan Avatar


        When did you become so all knowing? Probably from all of your visits to Oregon and the west..

      9. Savebears Avatar

        I have also eaten cougar meat, it is pretty good, if properly prepared.

  10. Nancy Avatar

    I agree Jon. Take away the high powered rifle and what do you have? Guys that would probably run screaming down the trail like little girls………..

    1. jon Avatar

      As I said, what’s truly disturbing is you look at these pictures and the guys are smiling as if they won the lottery. I guess this is considered normal behavior in some places.

      1. PointsWest Avatar

        It ***IS*** normal behavior in some places and was normal behavior over the entire globe at one time. It’s the freaks who live in the artificial environment of the city who eat slaughtered meat and pre-packaged food and who never have to kill to survive who have twisted and totally artificial views who have twisted and totally artificial morals.

    2. jon Avatar

      All I can say is I’m glad this bill died and the other one too. same goes for the bills in Washington. You look at them pics and how can one not get disgusted? Have a wonderful day Nancy!

      1. Nancy Avatar

        You too Jon 🙂

      2. PointsWest Avatar

        Yes John as American cities grow the urbanites are going to push their artificial views and morals upon the rest of us. You, then, should not complain when the Mexican population reaches a point when bills are introduced to make Cinco De Mayo an American holiday and spanish as the official American language.

      3. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg


        Cinco De Mayo is already a bigger holiday in the US than it is in Mexico thanks to effective marketing campaigns by producers of alcoholic beverages. It’s a “gringo” holiday.

  11. Nancy Avatar

    +It ***IS*** normal behavior in some places and was normal behavior over the entire globe at one time. It’s the freaks who live in the artificial environment of the city who eat slaughtered meat and pre-packaged food and who never have to kill to survive who have twisted and totally artificial views who have twisted and totally artificial morals+

    PW – There’s nothing twisted or artificial about respecting wildlife (predators included) Lots of species numbered in the millions before mankind started artificially twisting and destroying wilderness areas to satisfy selfish needs.

  12. Nancy Avatar

    PointsWest Says:
    May 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM
    +Those hunters obviously enjoyed hunting those cougars and are happy about there success. Why do they have to eat them? What is wrong with wanting a trophey? …as long as the cougar population as a whole is healthy and the hunters use their human “moral reasoning” while hunting, I do not see the problem+

    PW – perhaps because its been a long work week and I’m just alittle punchy and tired but that comment (with a few word substitutions) could of been right out of the mouth of Jeffrey Dahmer, speaking to a few of his “friends” at a dinner club gathering 🙂

  13. DoryFun Avatar

    Count me in, I too have eaten cat and its about my favorite. Both bobcat and cougar. Did shoot one bobcat when I was once working on a bighorn sheep study, and it was reallygood. I skinned and tanned its hide for my shoulders, and sometimes still wear it on the river. Nothing feels better than skin on skin. I have only had to sew it up a couple times, so it has lasted me a very long time.
    The cougar meat was a gift from someone else and I would never turn down such opportunity, too tasty.

    I haven’t taken the time to scout out (google) Points West thing about bears and wolves being such big hunters on cats, and was only guessing myself. Never see much sign of such carnage iin my neck of the woods. But, things like that can be easy to miss. Know anything about such relationships?

  14. PointsWest Avatar

    …but the BIG killer of wildlife has been habitat loss; not hunting. Hunting should only be done if it is within a healthy and sustainable population…but I digress.

  15. PointsWest Avatar

    …I don’t think so Nancy.

    1. PointsWest Avatar

      There is a very, very, very big difference between killing animals and murdering humans beings.

    2. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue


      Not to split hairs on your comment, but killing an animal has the same ramifications as killing a human, that life is gone forever. And yes, I’m guilty of killing animals, as mice, different insects, arachnids, and fish (for food, but most lately in my life catch and release). The older I get and the closer to my own end, I have developed a different attitude toward death, and the moral load one has if they take life.

      Where one draws the moral line is of their own choosing. The 9/10 year old girl who killed the record brown bear and a few years back, man, I just wondered why?

      Yeah, Yeah I eat meat and am removed from the killing process. This may change soon in my life as I will soon have ample opportunity to harvest my own.

  16. Savebears Avatar

    I don’t hunt with a high powered rifle, I use a couple of sticks and a string, namely a longbow with wood arrows and feather fletching…I have never run screaming down the trail..

    1. Nancy Avatar

      SB – pretty sure you knew what I was refering to and it didn’t include you!

    2. Savebears Avatar


      I knew exactly what you meant, I just figured, I would have some fun!


    3. Nancy Avatar

      🙂 Snow on the ground here the last couple of mornings. Sure would like to see spring one of these months.

    4. Elk275 Avatar

      ++I don’t hunt with a high powered rifle, I use a couple of sticks and a string, namely a longbow with wood arrows and feather fletching…I have never run screaming down the trail..++

      Saves Bears, do you wear a loin cloth, too.

    5. Savebears Avatar

      I agree Nancy, it has been a very trying winter, and it is raining so hard here right now, that I think I have someone on the roof with a bucket pouring it over the edge, either that or the creek has re-routed right over my house!

      The snow line on the mountains continues to go down, instead of up!

    6. Savebears Avatar


      Nope, normally a pair of blue jeans and a red and black flannel shirt, sometimes a wool one!


    7. Savebears Avatar

      I gave up hunting with my rifles several years ago, I can go hunting earlier in the year and there is a hell of a lot less people in the woods, of course I don’t have to go far to hunt, most of the time in my back yard or one of my neighbors back yard..

      But this next year, I am thinking about heading east and go for speed goats again..

    8. Elk275 Avatar

      Saves Bears are you going to hunt with a rifle or bow. I do not care for archery hunting but hunting antelope in the rut with a small buck antelope costume would be fun. Archery antelope hunters that have been hurt by the dominate buck when the hunter had is antelope costume on. Some company around Bozeman makes a foam small buck antelope head set that the archery hunter wears during the rut. Remember, June 1 is the deadline for applications and do to winter kill I would only apply in area 700.

    9. Savebears Avatar

      I don’t know if I will use the rifle or the bow, I have a friend that also makes a produce designed to disguise the hunter, it can be attached to the front of the bow, never had much confidence in those types of products though!

    10. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      Savebears —

      I’m envious. Not taking up bow hunting is one of my main regrets. When I grew up as a Wyoming resident, the rifle season was very long and the bow season short (Sept. 1-9), before the rut so hardly worth it — so I never got started. Certainly I would in the “New West”, where September rifle seasons are rare and hunting pressure greater. I still may, and if I do it will be with traditional equipment — my favorite hunting magazine is “Traditional Bowhunter” — sort of the antithesis of the elite side of hunting with a focus on craft, experience, adventure and getting food, rather than on securing trophies. I shared logistics and camped in the Brooks Range with a retired doctor from Lewistown, who is often mentioned in the magazine (usually in articles by another retired doctor who has articles in nearly every issue), and his son who are strictly traditionalists — and on another trip took a friend from here who brought only his long bow.

      There is not a great deal of impetus to take up bowhunting on this island where I do most of my hunting. There is no specific bow season and the long-term average success rate for rifle hunters is one deer per 8 hunter-days (which I have managed to substantially reduce with effort and years of experience). The hunting here is all still-hunting and some calling, covering a great deal of country in a day — high and low. Stands don’t work, because in old growth forest their food and cover are both everywhere — there are no daily movements between the two and therefore no reliable deer trails. At least the ground cover is pretty quiet, but they are still very alert. My favorite hunting is traversing the upper timber on a sunny day in late-Sept. and early Oct. after they have all moved down from the alpine. The leaves are still on the bushes which come up to about eye level on these little deer. I figure I get at best a chance at 1 in 5 that I bump then, with snorting deer seemingly an ongoing background noise at times. Most of the deer I get are probably in bow range, but very few present an ethical bow shot because of brush and movement — a scoped rifle, even at close range, helps insure missing the brush and making clean kills.

      On the other hand, the greatest inducement to take up the bow is a bow-only goat season right off the road system across the channel, 2–3 miles from here. It’s rugged country, with very little hunting effort, but there are plenty of goats back there. But then the practical side of me says Sitka blacktails are better eating anyway . . . .

    11. DoryFun Avatar

      Save Bears, Elk, SEAK,
      Well, just happened to catch this thread, so thought I would add my two cents. I also use a long bow, wood arrows, camo loin clothe, and use to hunt bare foot in Oregon, but not so much here in Idaho anymore. You would be surprised how much energy is saved hunting by loin clothe, specially when hiking uphill. Also, keeps sweat to a minum. Hunting barefoot allows one to keep eyes on animal, not the ground, thus ability to get very close. I once snuck up on a bull sleeping in his bed (spike) and pulled my bow back with tip of arrow within 2 inches of his heart, then backed away without shooting, and did not wake him up. I’m not a trophy hunter, but don’t like to shoot young animals, so was only interested in seeing how close I could get. But that made my whole hunt and will never forget it.

      I miss many opportunities with a long bow, than offered by compound, but that’s ok with me. I get to see more cool things in nature that way. Tons of things can go wrong when one must get within 20 yds of an animal when bow hunting. I live the challenge though, even if it means I have to eat salmon instead of elk.


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.

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