Sunday, February 15, 2015

SDGFP buys cougar food, kills cougars

Update, 1943 MST: 26 cougars slaughtered in state-sponsored derby.

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Okay, this is a head-scratcher: South Dakota's wildlife-killing agency just bought some cougar food and released them onto federal land.

The Grizzly Gulch Fire opened nearly 13,000 acres of overgrown and beetle-killed ponderosa pine but invasive weeds and cheatgrass moved in because cars and hunters have killed off the elk, white-tailed and mule deer. Now, the US Forest Service has allowed a state agency known for ecocide to introduce a species prone to disease.
GF&P released 26 head of bighorns trapped and transferred from the Hinton, Alberta, Canada area, somewhere east of Jasper National Park, then hauled them down for release at a high-country place near Deadwood left open by the burn in 2002. Sheep like open country more than dense forest. The project was helped along by the $82,000 raised last year by the auction of one of three bighorn hunting tags authorized by the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission. To say nothing of mountain lions, which of course they would have known up in Canada. They’ll know them here, too. And depending on who you talk to, lions could be a major or relatively minor threat to the well being and growth of the new herd. [Kevin Woster, KELO]
So, Game, Fish and Plunder has learned nothing from Arizona?
In 2013, Arizona Game and Fish began its on-going program to reintroduce bighorn sheep to the Santa Catalina Mountains. At the time, 31 of them were relocated to the area from Yuma. More than half of that herd were killed by mountain lions a few months later - causing the department to eliminate three of them for preying on the sheep. They've been largely criticized for that move, and for the reintroduction as a whole by groups like Friends of Wild Animals. The release gives some background, saying lion killings in the Catalinas were up to a couple of dozen by 2012, then when the bighorns were introduced, this leveled off, and last year the deaths dropped to 12 by hunters, 1 by bighorn program and 1 by a rancher as of December 2014. [Tucson Weekly]
Hunting cougars with dogs has been blessed by South Dakota but not within the Black Hills district.
In 2005 the harvest quota was 25 lions or five breeding-age females. The sub quota was reached in 24 days, faster than anyone anticipated. Today there is a 75-lion quota and a sub quota of 50 female lions. So far this season, 17 lions have been killed including nine female lions. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Is Forest Service Supervisor Craig Bobzien on the dole from the hunting industry like he is from the timber industry? He is continuing the fake pine beetle war for the Niemans, too by telling residents that large diameter trees should be cut for free to stop the bug.

Red state failure on parade.

3 comments:

Tim said...

Oh come on Larry, mountain lions have got to eat too. Personally, I think they need to scrap the lion season and leave them alone, but the money greedy GF&P won't let that happen. Ever seen one up close? Beautiful animals.

larry kurtz said...

Tim, i lived in the Hills thirty years before seeing a cougar then saw three in one year: two cubs in the Spring and probably their mother the previous winter about four miles apart. The adult ran in the snow in front of my pickup long enough for me to reach for the camera in my glove box and realize there was no film in it.

My friend, Herb watched six for an hour in his front yard near Devils Tower a few years ago: he didn't have a camera.

Kevin Woster said he has never seen one in the wild.

larry kurtz said...

I should add that the cougars i saw were in the Two Bit drainage and part of the Grizzly Gulch burn.