That the moritorium on Mountainlions in California is over this year & they are going to sell 170 tags, My question is , Will this allow us that compete in the Western States Championships in Redding California in March ever year to bring Mounted Cougars in for the show ?
Of coarce I dont expect that we can next month but next year is what I would be refering to.
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That eBay will finally have to let us sell mountain lions on there. All those "xxxxxxxxlarge bobcats with plain bellies" and "large cats" will just have to go. Ha ha ha, after all the years of ban.
Article Last Updated: 02/11/2005 07:56:24 AM
New assembly bill tackles mountion lion hunting
Legislation would legalize limited kills
By Jennifer M. Fitzenberger, SACRAMENTO BEE
SACRAMENTO — Ranchers in the hills along the Central Valley keep close watch over their sheep, cattle and dogs, fearful that a mountain lion will swoop in for the kill.
Since the early 1970s — the last time mountain lion hunting was legal in California — the state has issued an increased number of permits to kill lions that have attacked livestock and pets.
Documented attacks on people have been more frequent, too, with 10 in the past 15 years, compared with just five between 1890 and 1990.
And now, Assemblyman Bill Maze, R-Visalia, has introduced legislation that would legalize limited mountain lion hunting.
"We need to do something to have some sort of basic control over what's happening," said Maze, a farmer who has 40 acres of fruit trees in Tulare County. "Folks we know have had pet animals taken from right off their leashes."
Under AB 24, the state would allocate two hunting permits to each county annually through a lottery.
Each person selected would have one year to kill a mountain lion, attach half of the permit to the dead animal's ear and send the other half to the state Department of Fish and Game.
More than half of California is prime mountain lion habitat. Californians today legally can kill lions that damage property if they obtain a depredation permit from the state. Officials also can kill lions that become public safety threats.
Killing a lion illegally is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. State officials said they have had few problems with poachers.
Maze said legalized hunting would help control California's mountain lion population, which the state estimates at 4,000 to 6,000. But he realizes he will have a tough time pushing his bill through the Legislature.
To pass, the bill must get the approval of four-fifths of lawmakers under Proposition 117, a ballot measure in 1990 that toughened laws prohibiting the hunting of mountain lions for sport.
Voters spoke again in 1996 by rejecting Proposition 197, which would have repealed the special protection status of the lion and given the Department of Fish and Game money to research a management plan.
"The likelihood of it passing is not very good, but you've got to start somewhere," Maze said of his bill. "We're beginning to raise the awareness of how critical this is."
Lynn Sadler, president and chief executive officer of the Mountain Lion Foundation, said Californians are not interested in the "trophy hunting" of mountain lions.
Maze's bill "has nothing to do with management," she said. "It is the random killing of animals."
Hunting mountain lions could make the problem worse, Sadler said. If a mature male mountain lion is killed, a younger lion takes over the older lion's territory. The younger lion might not have developed the skills needed to kill deer, its primary food source, so it could turn instead to livestock.
Sadler said there is no indication that the mountain lion population is growing. Sightings and contact with humans have increased, she said, because more people are moving into lion country.
"Will we learn to live with them or will we drive them into extinction?" she said. "If our choice is to hold on to them, then we're going to have to be smarter than the lion. I'd like to think we're the ones with superior intelligence and can figure out how to deal with them."
Sadler isn't taking Maze's bill lightly. She hopes to persuade him to drop his legislation and focus on other ways to keep a buffer between humans and lions, such as installing special lighting, using guard dogs and avoiding known lion areas.
Supporters of the bill say those techniques aren't enough because lions are becoming more brazen. In June, a mountain lion attacked and severely injured a Santa Monica woman while she hiked in Tulare County. Last January, a bicyclist was killed and another was severely injured during separate attacks in an Orange County wilderness park.
But Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game, said it is rare for lions to attack people because they're usually afraid of humans. Of the 15 attacks on humans in California since 1890, six were fatal.
Maze said it's also an economic issue because mountain lions frequently prey on livestock.
In 2000, mountain lions and bobcats killed about 11,000 cows and calves in the United States, costing ranchers more than $4.3 million, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study on predator loss. In California that year, lions and bobcats killed about 900 cows and 2,400 calves.
"It's not just the impact to their individual livelihoods, but also the impact to the wildlife on their individual ranches," said Susan LaGrande, vice president of government relations for the California Cattlemen's Association, which supports AB 24.
"This is a discussion that we need to have. This is one way of putting the issue on the table."
The whole state is lion country, so Sadler could evacuate the state, or place those guard dogs, which the lions already eat, or find those anti-lion lights. She did hit one point right though, "if we are to keep lions, we have to be smarter than the lion and figure out how to deal with them." Hell, I think Assemblymen Maze just DID!