Crossing the Line — Bobcat Hunting

http://kokomoperspective.com/politics/indiana/crossing-the-line-bobcat-hunting/article_99a51b29-8734-54cd-8499-fa9455854f28.html

  • Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, 317-637-9078
A bobcat at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City.Provided

Crossing the line separating Indiana and Illinois sometimes means dealing with different laws and customs. Readers are asked to share ideas for this weekly feature. This week: Bobcat hunting.

+1  

Bobcats in Indiana
Indiana DNR

Any self-aware bobcats who relocated to Indiana after Illinois established a bobcat hunting season two years ago soon might find it in their best interest to move again.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has proposed creating a short-term bobcat hunting season that would allow licensed Hoosiers to hunt or trap one bobcat a year until a to-be-determined statewide quota is reached.

According to the DNR, bobcats primarily live in southern Indiana and are not a nuisance or causing damage. Rather, the hunting season is intended to manage the bobcat population and permit the harvesting of their fur.

Illinois hunters and trappers claimed 318 bobcats during the 2017-18 season that ended Feb. 15. They also salvaged 40 road kill bobcats, according to state records.

That’s up from the 141 bobcats that hunters and trappers took in 2016-17, the first year Illinois offered a bobcat season since the crepuscular carnivores were removed in 1999 from the state’s threatened species list.

This article originally ran on nwitimes.com.

Advertisements

Man pleads “not guilty” in unlawful trapping case

    http://www.moabsunnews.com/news/article_106ddd58-390b-11e8-b82c-73c40bd9e593.html

    Wildlife officials allege that suspect involved in new violation

    Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2018 1:53 pm | Updated: 1:57 pm, Thu Apr 5, 2018.

    The alleged owner of the trap that killed a local teenager’s dog near Hunter Canyon this past February has been charged in connection with the incident, and is scheduled to appear at a bench trial on Tuesday, April 11.

    Timothy Shawn Gardner of Moab has pleaded “not guilty” to six misdemeanor charges of “unlawful methods of trapping.” He could not be reached for comment.

    Moab high school student Ali Hirt was hiking with her two dogs and some friends on Feb. 10 when her Australian shepherd/pit bull mix, Stoic, was caught in the trap in Kane Creek and died within minutes. The incident was reported in the Feb. 22-28, 2018, edition of the Moab Sun News.

    Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) officials set up surveillance cameras in the area and allegedly identified the owner of the trap as Gardner.

    Gardner has a license to trap, and was allegedly operating during open trapping season in an area where trapping is legal. But DWR officials said the trap in question was not labeled with the required registration number and was not modified to protect non-targeted wildlife in accordance with state regulations.

    “Each trapping device must have a permanent and legible trap registration number,” Utah DWR Lt. Ben Wolford said. “This is the same number found on a trap registration license. A person is only assigned one number, and it must be on the device. None of the traps had this number attached.”

    The state requires that traps of the type Gardner allegedly used, set within 100 yards of tributaries to the Colorado River in the Moab area, must be modified to protect river otters. The modification involves relocating a trigger mechanism so that otters, which have a slimmer profile than beavers, can navigate the trap without activating the trigger. Otters are listed as a sensitive species in Utah, and efforts have been made over several decades to increase their population distribution in the state and to protect them from accidental trapping, aside from “nuisance” individuals.

    However, the modification to protect otters would not necessarily have saved Stoic, Wolford said.

    “We don’t know where the dog actually was hit with that trigger mechanism,” he said. “He may or may not have hit it, if it was modified.”

    If Gardner is convicted, he will likely face fines. Wolford said the amount could be anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on what the prosecuting and defending attorneys agree upon.

    Since the incident near Hunter Canyon, Gardner has allegedly been found to be involved in another trapping violation, in another location.

    A local property owner, whose name is not being publicly released, found an unauthorized box trap on his land and contacted DWR officials. This trap is a style used for live capture of a variety of animals, including bobcats, skunks and raccoons.

    Gardner allegedly approached the scene while a DWR officer was investigating.

    “He (Gardner) came up the road,” Wolford said, “And my officer made contact with him and found out it was his trap.”

    This incident is still under separate investigation, and so far, no official charges have been filed. Wolford expects that charges will be filed shortly, and may include trespassing and failure to properly label the trap with the license registration number.

    Hirt said she is disappointed to hear that Gardner will plead “not guilty” to the misdemeanor offenses stemming from the Feb. 10 incident.

    “Those were definitely his traps, and he definitely knew what he was doing when he put them so close to the trail,” she said. “I’d have a lot more respect for him if he’d pleaded guilty and owned up for the terrible thing that he did.”

    Even if Gardner’s traps had been set according to current regulations, loose dogs in popular hiking areas could still be at risk from wildlife traps. Hirt acknowledged this.

    “(It’s) something that I feel like should be addressed,” she said. “I think that they should have a restriction on how close you can set those traps in popular areas, especially right near a trailhead like that.”

    Hirt, whose grandfather is a trapper, has initiated discussions of the issue on Facebook.

    “I would like to see something done,” she said. “It could have been so avoidable, which is terrible.”

    When Stoic was killed, he left behind his brother, Neko.

    “He was really sad and lonely in the house,” Hirt said of the surviving dog. “So we went and got a rescue pup. His name is Pumbaa, and he’s been really good. They get along really well.”

    Hirt said she is glad that Neko has a companion again, though the family is still sad about the loss of their dog.

    Wolford has said that the DWR encourages trappers to avoid areas popular with other recreationists, but there is no enforcement. Trappers are free to operate on public lands.

    Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Bryant has said that the agency tries to inform the public about wildlife traps, and encourages dog owners to leash their pets. But BLM officials cannot realistically place signs in every area where traps may be set, and there are no existing restrictions on trap placement in high-use areas.

    Moab resident Frank Darcey is an organizer for the currently dormant Moab Sportsman’s Club. The club is not specifically associated with trapping, but Darcey is familiar with trapping techniques and some local trappers.

    Darcey referred to the death of Hirt’s dog as “a terribly unfortunate accident.” However, he also feels that owners should leash their dogs in areas where there is a risk of traps.

    “Nobody in the Sportsman’s Club wants to see anybody’s pet harmed, or in this case, killed,” Darcey said. “It’s also incumbent upon the pet owners to control their pets.”

    “All trappers should be aware of the regulations,” Darcey added. “If you’re going to be trapping, you need to abide by all of the rules and regulations.”

    Wildlife Services: The Worst of the Worst

    Article posted by C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting

    CLICK HERE for more from CASH COURIER NEWSLETTER, Winter/Spring 2018

    By Jim Robertson

    bobcat heads
    Photo taken by an outraged employee of another government agency. Jim Robertson received permission to use this photograph by Brooks Fahey of Predator Defense. Please visit: 
    www.predatordefense.org/USDA.htm

    Never in human history has a more self-serving, damaging and persistent lie been perpetuated than the patently false notion that non-human animals lack consciousness. I mean, who came up with the idea, anyway? Some human, no doubt! Thankfully for the animals’ sake, we’ve come far beyond that kind of thinking these days.

    Yet, the United States Department of Agriculture’s shadowy take-lethal-action-against-natural-predators-any-time-they-might-even-cast-a-sideways-glance-at-a-farm-animal division, the inaptly named “Wildlife Services,” a government agency that tries to claim science as its moral guide, conveniently ignores modern peer-reviewed studies such as the findings of 16 scientists in the 2014 Convention for Consciousness, which states:

    “Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.

    And the Delegation for Scientific Expertise takes it a step further, including fish, invertebrates—and those institutionally exploited species whose rights and well-being the agenda-driven humans would rather not have to acknowledge—to the thinking, feeling fold:

    “Livestock species, such as poultry, pigs, and sheep, exhibit cognitive behaviors that seem to imply levels and contents of consciousness that until recently were considered exclusive to humans and to some primates. That is even more the case for fish and invertebrates that until recently were not even considered as sentient.”

    But like Cartesian vivisectionists of dark ages past, USDA’s Wildlife Services must secretly wish that animals were unconscious so they could carry out their cruelties without protest from struggling victims (or their advocates).

    When Wildlife “Services” speaks of animal suffering, it’s with the callous disassociation—indeed, the downright disregard and doublespeak—of the friendly neighborhood psychopath. And like a psychopath, the only reason they “care” about anything or anyone is when they think it affects them somehow. To the agency, wild animals are just resources and the “services” they perform are for the sake of industry—certainly not for the animals themselves:

    “Pain and physical restraint can cause stress in animals and the inability of animals to effectively deal with those stressors can lead to distress. Suffering occurs when action is not taken to alleviate conditions that cause pain or distress in animals. Defining pain as a component in humaneness appears to be a greater challenge than that of suffering.”

    In the words of Wildlife Watch’s own Anne Muller: “particularly galling is their analysis of ‘suffering’ and ‘pain,’ discussed as though they have a shred of concern for the individual animal or would know the meaning of the words ‘pain and suffering’ in animals at the most superficial level.”

    murdered wolf
    Photo by Wildlife Services

    One group devoted to ending the terrible reign of Wildlife Services is Predator Defense. The following overview and kill data is from their website: “Wildlife Services is a strategically misnamed federal program within the USDA that wastes millions of dollars each year killing wild animals with traps, snares, poisons, gas, and aerial gunning at the request of corporate agriculture and the hunting lobby. According to their official reports, they have slaughtered over 34 million animals in the last decade. Even worse, we’ve had whistleblowers tell us repeatedly that Wildlife Services’ real kill numbers are significantly higher, just not reported.

    In 2016 alone they claim to have killed 2.7 million animals, including the following vital native predators:

    76,859 coyotes
    997 bobcats
    410 bears
    415 wolves
    332 mountain lions”

    (For more on the savage escapades of Wildlife Services, watch the film, Exposed, by Predator Defense: www.predatordefense.org/exposed/index.htm)

    The late ornithologist and evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, asked at the end of his book, What Evolution Is (one of 25 books on the subject to his name written over his 100 years of life), “How did human consciousness evolve? The answer is actually quite simple: from animal consciousness! There is no justification in the wide-spread assumption that consciousness is a unique human property… It is quite certain that human consciousness did not arise full-fledged with the human species, but as the most highly evolved end point of a long evolutionary history.”

    And as Marc Bekoff, PhD, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, wrote in his column for Psychology Today:

    “…sentient nonhuman beings care about what happens to themselves and to family members and friends, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect for who they are, not what we want them to be. …animals’ lives are valuable because they are alive — they have what is referred to as inherent value — not because of what they can do for us — what is called their instrumental value. It’s about time that we welcome them into our world and the arena of conscious beings.”

    Of course, no one in the know and without a self-serving agenda would ever think of checking with the USDA “Wildlife Services” about anything having to do with animal awareness or intelligence—after all, they are in the business of depersonalizing animals so they can justify killing them. But for a government agency that is supposed to be utilizing science, they’re clearly behind the times. You could say their grasp of reality for animals is almost stone-aged.

    Speaking of stone-aged thinkers, ironically, sport hunters, trappers and fishermen must “instinctively” know, almost as well as anyone, that animals are aware. Heck, what challenge would there be to their chosen sports if animals couldn’t think for themselves and make an effort to hide or escape? And just think what would happen to the camouflage clothing industry if animals somehow became unthinking, unfeeling robots that did not fear their pursuers.

    helicoper hunting
    Photo by Wildlife Services

    To question whether or not animals are conscious is so absurd that one might wonder if it’s the animal-sentience deniers who lack awareness instead. In a satirical intro to the chapter, “Inside the Hunter’s Mind,” of my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, I turn the argument back on the exploiters themselves: “Hunters were once thought of as automatons: robots programmed to react to stimuli but lacking the ability to think and feel. But radical new studies have tentatively shown them to be capable of grasping simple grammar and the meanings of certain symbols (especially those lit up in neon in front of their favorite tavern or mini-mart).

    If an attempt at humor seems out of place, consider this, the subject matter is so grim, gruesome or ghastly, that only a sport hunter and/or Wildlife Services agent would want to dwell there, mentally, for more than a fleeting moment or two. Now, not all hunters or trappers have jobs with the USDA Wildlife Services, but you can bet your bottom dollar that nearly all Wildlife Services agents are sport hunters and trappers in their spare time, in addition to being poisoners and aerial gunners when they’re on the clock.

    Those in the Wildlife Services are clearly the worst of the worst. If you ever slip up and find yourself pitying some of these people whom you might hear about being lost in a plane crash or a rollover accident on a gravel back road, remember, they are the ones who aerial shoot, snare, trap, poison, etc. countless coyotes, bears, foxes, bobcats, wolves, cougars, etc., etc. Talk about unconscious, Wildlife Services must lack something else non-human animals have proven to posses: feelings like guilt, remorse or empathy for others—a conscience.


    Jim Robertson is the President of C.A.S.H. and author of Exposing The Big Game.

    CLICK HERE for more from CASH COURIER NEWSLETTER, Winter/Spring 2018

    Police nab five poachers with trapping nets, weapons

    https://www.nyoooz.com/news/bareilly/1069233/police-nab-five-poachers-with-trapping-nets-weapons/

    • By TOI
    • | Wednesday | 28th March, 2018

    The spot where they were caught is a part of Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary in Kheri district. According to station house officer (SHO) RK Bharadwaj, police chased the poachers in the late hours of Tuesday following a lead. Pilibhit: Five poachers were arrested from the forest area near Sultanpur village on Wednesday morning by a police team of Seramau North police station, Pilibhit. Two trapping nets, one spear, a poleaxe and three daggers were seized from them. An FIR has been lodged in the matter and the accused have been jailed.All the accused are residents of Haripur Kishanpur village under Seramau North police station.

    Pilibhit: Five poachers were arrested from the forest area near Sultanpur village on Wednesday morning by a police team of Seramau North police station, Pilibhit.

    Two trapping nets, one spear, a poleaxe and three daggers were seized from them.

    An FIR has been lodged in the matter and the accused have been jailed.All the accused are residents of Haripur Kishanpur village under Seramau North police station.

    The spot where they were caught is a part of Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary in Kheri district.

    According to station house officer (SHO) RK Bharadwaj, police chased the poachers in the late hours of Tuesday following a lead.

    Trapper who shot E. Oregon wolf gets probation, fine

    Trapper who shot E. Oregon wolf gets probation, fine

    Found it caught in trap

    MT trapping season finally closed for the year…

    Image may contain: outdoor
    Trap Free Montana Public Lands

    The trapping season on wolves in Montana closed Feb 28.
    88 wolves have been reported trapped for recreational and commercial purposes this season.

    Anti-predators say killing wolves saves elk.
    FWP reports the 2017 Montana elk population estimates at 176,117. Almost double the management objectives of 92,000! FWP’s response: hunting seasons have been added, lengthened, cow tags, more tags….

    And consistent with nature’s response to overpopulation, we now have chronic wasting disease in Montana.
    White tail deer are estimated at 235,316.
    And the ones reported to be most likely affected by this lethal disease:
    Mule deer at 386,075 up 20,000 since 2016. Increased 70,000 in just 5 years!

    In Montana, we have 2,650,000 cattle and 230,000 sheep.
    Basically, 2.6 cows for every one Montanan.
    Less than 1% of all livestock mortality in the northern Rockies is attributed to wolves.

    The number of wolves estimated in Montana “minimum count 477”. This is before the 245 reported killed by hunters and trappers this season. Hunting wolves closes March 15.

    We have no quota for wolves in Montana except in three areas adjacent to national parks. Promotions to SSS, i.e. shoot, shovel, shut up, kill them all, poison, gut shoot, and run them over, are publicly prolific. Even when large rewards are offered, the plague persists and poachers go uncaught.

    Wolves are a major economic lift to our state. Yellowstone National Park continues to break records with the main draw for visitors being wolves. These same wolves grown accustomed to people are targeted and easily destroyed once they leave the park crossing an imaginary line.

    TFMPL supporters and many others recent requests to change or instill quotas or close areas for killing wolves in Montana were denied and for the next 2 years will remain status quo.

    Science shows wolves operate as social family units, help keep prey species strong, and are our allies against disease such as chronic wasting disease.

    But science isn’t what this is about anyhow.

    Photo: Under fair use for educational purposes.

    Editorial: Trapping, killing contests should have no place in NM

    Welcome to the Land of Enchantment, where:• If you find a wild animal caught in a trap, you can neither free it nor put it out of its misery.

    • You can kill as many non-game animals – porcupines, prairie dogs, rabbits, ground squirrels, Himalayan tahrs, skunks, feral hogs, bobcats and coyotes – as you like without a permit, sometimes for cash and fabulous prizes.

    Just what does this say about our state?

    New Mexico’s government-sponsored animal cruelty came to light again this week when a Placitas man released a fox from a foot-hold trap. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish told Gary Miles, the founder and owner of Placitas Animal Rescue, who responded to a runner’s call about the fox, that he could be arrested for being in possession of the fox.

    Miles said the fox “escaped” after “it healed up real nice.”

    State statute 19.32.2.11 (C) says, in part, “It shall be illegal to destroy, disturb or remove any trap, snare or trapped wildlife belonging to a licensed trapper without permission of the owner of the trap or snare.” It raises the question why, in 2018, New Mexico endorses the use of leg-hold and other traps on public land, devices that were invented in the 1800s and have been banned in more than 80 countries, and banned or severely restricted in at least eight states.

    They were banned because they are archaic, cruel and indiscriminate.

    The fox story came to light around a week after an Albuquerque gun shop sponsored a coyote-killing contest outside Bernalillo County. And while that contest was on private land, the arguments that the shooters are removing a predatory threat or gathering pelts and meat or a trophy are used to disguise the real intent: killing for killing’s sake. Many times, the carcasses are piled up and left to rot.

    Coyotes, like bobcats, are keystone species and compensatory breeders; kill too many, and they not only will make more to fill the gap, but in the interim the rodent population explodes.

    But hey, that’s just what wildlife biologists say. Why let science get in the way of blood sport?

    The New Mexico Legislature stepped up and banned cockfighting because lawmakers saw it for what it is: barbaric cruelty that has no place in our state’s proud cultures.

    They need to do the same for trapping and killing contests.

    https://www.abqjournal.com/1117016/trapping-killing-contests-should-have-no-place-in-nm.html

    Be of Good Cheer (Revisted)

    I get the feeling some people won’t be satisfied until I’ve plumbed the deepest, darkest depths of hunter/trapper depravity. I’ve had people ask me to write blog posts on issues as nauseating to cover as Wyoming’s new bounty on coyotes, and the glib manner in which some Wyomingites brag about cutting off coyotes ears in the parking lot of the “Sportsmen’s” Warehouse to claim their $20.00 bounty (following the same ugly tradition of  their forbearers who claimed cash at the fort for Indian scalps); incidents as horrible as the black bear (pictured here) who got caught in a 217855_388677001217027_1495584697_ntrap that some sick, twisted asshole set for pine marten; or report on how poachers are killing off the last of the world’s big cats; or go into how vacuous bowhunters sound when they praise one another for impaling animals for sport, or the malevolent tone used by wolf hunters or trappers when they get away with murdering beings far superior to them in every way.

    The problem is, whenever I go there I get so irate I could end up saying something like, “They should all be lined up and shot, their bodies stacked like cordwood and set ablaze to rid the world of every last speck of their psychopathic evil once and for all.”

    Well I’m not going to do that…at least not during the holiday season…

    December should be a time for being of good cheer and spreading hopeful news…(I’ll let you know if I hear any…)

    mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, in stable but critical condition following hunting accident

    Mayor John Hickey
    Mayor John Hickey – Submitted

    HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, NL — Mayor John Hickey is in stable but critical condition in hospital tonight, following a hunting accident earlier today.

    The Town of Happy Valley Goose Bay issued a press release just one hour ago, stating, “Deputy Mayor Wally Anderson confirms … Hickey was involved in a hunting accident this afternon and remains in critical, but stable condition at the Labrador Health Centre.”

    “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mayor Hickey and his family at this time,” said Anderson.

    Sources inside the Town confirmed to the Labradorian that Hickey was shot in the face while out checking traps alone. He was reportedly shot under the chin and is in critical, but stable condition in St. John’s.

    How the gun went off is unclear but Hickey managed to make his way to the road and get help.

    Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper posted on Facebook the community will now need to summon it’s inner strength to support the Mayor, his family, and the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Town Council. He also praised the medical team who took car eof Hickey.

    “Special thanks to all those involved in getting him to the hospital and for those who prepared him for the medi-vac to St John’s,” Trimper wrote. “The paramedics, nurses and doctors are amazed at the ‘strength’ of this man, after all that he has been through in this accident. Our thoughts and prayers will now be needed to help John with his recovery.”

    HIckey was a memebr of the House of Assembly from 2003 to 2011 and became mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay this past fall.

    Fighting to stop trophy hunting of lions in the West

    https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/11/fighting-stop-trophy-hunting-lions-west.html

    by Wayne Pacelle

    Trophy hunting organizations and state fish and wildlife agencies are in cahoots in the Southwest in executing ruthless mountain lion killing programs, typically involving radio telemetry equipment, packs of hounds, and rifles and bows they use to shoot lions they’ve driven into trees to kill at point-blank range. The trophy hunters are motivated by bragging rights and taxidermy (they are head hunters, and don’t eat the lions). And the states, in addition to catering to that small subset of hunters and enabling their unsporting methods of killing, view the lions as competitors with human hunters for deer and elk. In their economic calculus, every deer or elk lost to a lion is one less hunting license fee paid to the states, to paraphrase an observation from the esteemed outdoor writer Ted Williams.

    But The HSUS and other wildlife protection groups are fighting back, and taking a stand for lions—in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Last week, after legal maneuvers by WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Western Environmental Law Center, state and federal authorities temporarily halted a massive mountain lion “control” program in Colorado ostensibly designed to inflate mule deer populations, pending further environmental review.

    Colorado Parks and Wildlife had entered into an agreement with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to kill hundreds of mountain lions and dozens of black bears on two study sites to determine if these massive predator-control projects could revive the Centennial State’s flagging mule deer population.

    These sorts of programs are a fool’s errand. Across the Western U.S., mule deer struggle because of habitat destruction and corridor loss. In Colorado, this has been exacerbated by rampant oil and gas drilling in western Colorado with its spider web of roads and drill pads that have degraded tremendous amounts of former mule deer habitat and migration routes.

    And in New Mexico, a federal judge recently rejected the State’s second attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed by The HSUS and Animal Protection of New Mexico challenging the state’s Department of Game and Fish’s 2016 decision to open a cougar trapping season on public lands—for the first time in almost 50 years. Even though hounding is bad enough, it’s all the more outrageous to allow trapping and snaring programs for lions, since the lions suffer in the traps and the traps catch whatever creature is unlucky enough to trigger the device.

    The Commission’s 2016 Cougar Rule radically expands cougar trapping on more than nine million acres of public trust land, including key Mexican wolf habitat, as well as expanding opportunities for trapping on private land. The risk of a cougar trap injuring or killing a Mexican wolf is high due to the similarity in size and habitat preference between the species.

    Meanwhile, in Arizona, we are in full battle mode, as we conduct the signature-gathering campaign to qualify a ballot measure to halt any trophy hunting of lions in the state. The measure would also forbid trophy hunting of bobcats, jaguars, ocelots, and lynx, in a state with the richest diversity of wild cat species in the United States.

    Despite Western states’ claim of using science, their arguments amount to no more than fake news and faux science. When trophy hunters kill an adult male lion, his females and kittens are susceptible to mortality from incoming males, as many other studies from Utah, Montana, and Washington have shown. Killing one male lion results in the death of numerous other lions, particularly dependent kittens, who are cannibalized by incoming males. And if a trophy hunter kills an adult female, any kittens under 12 months of age will likely die from starvation, predation, or exposure.

    Two summers ago, Americans reacted with outrage in seeing an American trophy hunter grinning over an African lion he killed in Zimbabwe. He conducted that hunt for no other reasons than bragging rights and the trophy. The people who kill mountain lions here in the Southwest are motivated by the same purposes.

    Lions strengthen population of deer and elk. They are needed apex predators in intact ecosystems. The states have no idea how many lions they have, and their programs are a relic of antiquated attitudes towards predators.

    It’s one thing to kill animals for meat. It’s another to do it just for the heads. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it’s the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

    P.S. Using cutting-edge, remote-camera technologies, Panthera discovered that mountain lions are far more social than biologists ever realized—despite 60 years’ research. Females share their kills with other females and their kittens and even with the adult territorial male. In return, the adult males protect the females and all of his kittens from immigrating males. If left undisturbed, mountain lions have a stable social society where reciprocity between individuals is shared. A revolutionary finding.