Enough Deception – Does Oregon Have A Cougar Problem? YES!

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April 23, 2014 – by Dominic Aiello, President

Enough Deception – Does Oregon Have A Cougar Problem? YES!

Cougar Attacks

Backyard in Northern California

On April 1st, an event took place that a mother and her two children wish were an April fools joke. However, it was anything but.

California game officers kill cougar after it stalks 5-year-old boy

The mountain lion jumped onto the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park trail as Smith walked with her children, Lucy, 7, and Jackson, 5.

Little Lucy saw the cougar first and mistook the predator as a ‘kitty,’ shouting the word while jumping up and down, according to KTLA-TV.

The one-year-old cougar growled, hissed and threatened to pounce on Jackson even as another hiker, Joe Fleischaker, happened upon the showdown with the 60-pound male cat.

“I really thought that we were going to die,” Smith told KTLA-TV.

“The lion showed no fear whatsoever,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan.

A cougar mauled a mountain biker to death in 2004 and attacked another cyclist in the same park.

Mountain lion killed after stalking family on O.C. hiking trail

Authorities said the cougar was hiding in the brush near a grade school when they arrived and then marched directly toward them, seemingly unafraid.

Why are cougars living near a grade school? Especially after a fatal attack?

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are Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon wild anti-huntingCause: California wildlife management has been removed from the professionals (biologist) and put in the hands of environmental groups that prey on uneducated emotions of voters! In 1990 California voters passed Proposition 117, a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) bill, which bans all hunting of cougars in California.

Effect: Since then cougar populations have grown and expanded, without fear of humans, and without any other natural predators.

Verification: According to historical records from the California Dept. of Fish and Game between 1900 and 1990 (when cougar hunting was banned) only 4 fatal attacks occurred and 3 non-fatal attacks. Since 1990 10 non-fatal attacks and 3 fatal attacks have occurred. This equates to an approximate 85% increase in overall attacks in less than 25% of the time!

Sadly, this isn’t limited to California. Extreme animal rights groups and anti-sportsmen groups are continually attacking the hunting of cougars. Following the passage of the 1990 ban in California the HSUS moved its attacks north to Oregon (measure 18, 1994) and Washington (1996), successfully eliminating the use of hounds to hunt cougars. Hounds are widely accepted as the only viable hunting method.

Even animal rights groups acknowledged this:

You can’t get around the point that the only people who really stand a prayer in hell of catching a cougar are people with hounds. – Oregon Cougar Action Team 5/13/13

Before we go any further, let us take a look at one of the extremist groups that prefers emotional wildlife management over nationally accepted, science-based management.

Cougar hunting in oregon

Courtesy of http://thepetpsychic.com/tag/jayne-miller/

Jayne Miller is quoted as saying “I wonder if Oregon’s cougars know how much I love them and how I am trying to save and protect them from hunting.”

While I admire her passion for wildlife, her preferred methods not only negatively impact overall conservation efforts, they also seem a bit…well, off. Without hunters, there is no funding for wildlife management – but I guess that’s a conversation for another day. Let’s continue looking at the founder of the “Oregon Cougar Action Team.”

How many cougars are killed in oregon

Courtesy of http://thepetpsychic.com/tag/jayne-miller/

She continues in a separate post on the same website, “My passion is to stop the killing of cougar and wolves. To give them safe homes and places just to be what god made them to be. To enjoy seeing the god light and energy round them and what they give back to the ecosystems that keep us living well. They are good energy and we need to remove the darkness from out hearts that kills them and instead learn to live fear free of them and to believe in their great purpose. I sincerely hope that my idea, License To Protect, will achieve this.”

Does this sound like the voice of reason? Does this sound like the view of the majority of the Oregonians? Highly unlikely!  

It’s sad that leading Oregon Democrats give her opinion more weight than yours. What do I mean? Well, in 2013 the Oregon Outdoor Council’s cougar bill (HB2624A) would have allowed individual counties to vote on the issue again. It received super majority bipartisan support in the House, but despite this the Senate leaders refused to allow it to go for a vote. When it received a hearing in the Senate committee, the OVERWHELMING majority of citizens in attendance supported the bill. In fact, the Oregonian even endorsed the bill.

“House Bill 2624, hardly a proxy for yee-haw hunting by lazy guys with dogs, could change the score sheet while allowing Fish and Wildlife to exert the right controls.” – Oregonian 4/15/13

However, Senate President Peter Courtney refused to allow the bill to be heard on the floor of the Senate.

 Since the measure 18 passed the cougar population has exploded.

Current Oregon Cougar Population

With the population growth comes young & old cougars searching for new food sources and territories. This has lead to human, pet, livestock, and cougar safety issues. Cougars have been appearing in larger populated areas frequently.

 A Sample of Recent Cougar Incidents That Made Headlines:

April 18th, 2014 – A mountain lion and its cub spotted in Maurie Jacobs Park
March 8th – 10th, 2014 – Eugene area urban farm loses 3 chickens and 2 goats to 3 different cougars
February, 27, 2014 – 11 year old girl shoots cougar that is stalking her and her brother
January 14, 2014 – Cougar killed after it took up residence on neighborhood front porch
March 26, 2013 – Cougar sighted near OHSU Children’s Hospital in Portland
March 25, 2013 – 2 Cougars were killed by police in a neighborhood in Prineville
October 5, 2013 – Horse dies from cougar attack

November 11, 2012 – Cougar enters Dexter, Oregon home through dog door

This is only a very small sampling of the issues that arise. Many do not make headlines. See and updated list here (7/22/14), Cougars (Mountain Lions) in Metro Portland? Yes, and Here’s Why!

John Schetzsle lost most of his livestock in early March just outside Eugene city limits. Two cougars ended up being killed and a third was never located. Local media was quick to sweep this issue under the rug, claiming this is not a “crisis”. The Oregon Outdoor Council, vast majority of sportsmen, ODFW, and most rural residents disagree.

“Why are the environmentalists so quiet when the state administratively removes a cougar believed to be a threat to humane safety in their upscale urban settings, but yet raise an emotional media blitz/fuss when cougars are removed due to rural livestock predation or rural school children safety? Urban cougar recolonization is another example of an exceedingly abundant predatory species that is very irresponsibly and unrealistically managed.” – Stan Steele, Chairman of the Board, OOC

It’s time for the Oregon Senate to stand with the majority of Oregon residents impacted by this gross mismanagement of an apex predator and return the proper tools to the professionals, ODFW.

Opponents:

– Bob Ferris of Cascadia Wildlands: claims if you’re for management of wolves then you’re a racist!

“Do I go too far in linking bigotry against wolves with the same attitudes against individuals and sectors of the human population? I don’t think so.”   – Bob Ferris 1/14/13

– Jayne Miller of The Cougar Action Team: Claims cougars “are good energy

– Scott Beckstead of the HSUS: Claims Oregon voters have spoken and the issue should be dead. Well, it seems he only uses this argument when it suits him. His argument is debunked here

– Oregon Wild is a venomous supporter of wolves and claims the cougars “need our help

– Predator Defense is a staunch supporter of ONLY predators. They have filed lawsuits to block coyote hunting in Oregon

These groups, and others, continue to prey on the emotions of uniformed urban residents and cherry pick data that would lead readers to the conclusion that the overall cougar population is in more danger today than ever. They claim “more cougars are killed today than ever!” While taken on it’s own it is true, but hunters only harvest approximately 300 cougars annually or less than 5% of the total population. Despite this the cougar population continues to expand.

What Can You Do?

Outside of the human vs cougar conflicts / cougar vs livestock conflicts, Oregon’s ungulate herds have nearly collapsed! We’ve lost over 30% of our total deer population (blacktail deer and mule deer) since the late 70’s/early 80’s! Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have conducted several cougar studies and the overwhelming conclusion is that predation is the major factor preventing our deer and elk from recovering.

Due to the continued issues facing Oregon from a lack of proper predator management, the Oregon Outdoor Council is proud to announce it’s 2014 predator symposium titled, “How Predators and Current Predator Management Are Impacting Your Hunting Opportunity!” We have invited every Oregon state legislator and have lined up several wildlife experts from around the west. If you would like more information, you can click here.

Dominic Aiello Oregon outdoor Council

Dominic Aiello, President