The cougar should be properly managed all over America.
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Thread: The cougar should be properly managed all over America.

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    Senior Member john_preston's Avatar
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    Exclamation The cougar should be properly managed all over America.

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    The Cougar Fund suggests that state game agencies adopt a strategy for managing cougars that protects females and kittens.

    If hunters are not selective and able to properly identify the sex of a cat, there is high potential to orphan kittens. These kittens often end up starving to death or dying from exposure. Those that do survive often get into trouble. Not having proper prey identification skills and lacking the necessary hunting skills, these young cats may end up preying on easy targets such as livestock or pets.

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    Science & Conservation


    "The cougar is a keystone species on which one can design landscape-level conservation strategies…as well as an umbrella species, because conservation strategies benefiting cougars also benefit an array of other life forms living in intact ecosystems.” (Logan and Sweanor 2001).

    Threats to Cougars


    Habitat loss and overkill, most scientists agree, are the primary threats to the survival of cougar populations. As human populations grow ever larger and spread across the landscape, the amount of habitat available for cougars and other wildlife is shrinking and becoming increasingly fragmented. This loss and fragmentation of cougar habitat is leading to smaller and increasingly isolated cougar populations that are therefore at a higher risk of extinction. At the same time, the number of cougars killed for sport and coming into conflict with domestic animals and humans is rising. Excessive levels of persecution, or “overkill,” increases the risk that cougar populations, especially small ones, will become extinct. Aside from concerns about extinction, conservation biologists also point out that reducing cougar populations below a certain level may disrupt their important ecological role and lead to declines in the health of the natural landscape and biodiversity.

    In some regions the threats of habitat loss and persecution are intertwined, such as in the increasingly urbanized landscapes of the western United States. Increasing development in cougar habitat is both reducing the amount of habitat available for cougars and increasing the likelihood of cougars coming into contact with domestic animals and humans, situations that often result in the death of the cougar involved and calls for the further reduction of cougar populations. Development can also force cougars to relocate to areas where they must compete with other cougars for home ranges. Deaths due to automobile-strikes are also becoming more common as cougars try to negotiate a landscape increasingly fragmented by roads. Outside of National Parks and other protected areas, cougars are finding fewer and fewer places to take refuge. Thus even though history has proven cougars to be an adaptable species, it is crucial that we recognize there are limits to their capacity to survive in the face of these mounting pressures and take action to ensure their long-term survival.


    Although viable cougar populations continue to exist throughout much of the western United States, decades of suppression through predator control and sport hunting are likely keeping them at levels at which they no longer play their crucial ecological roles.

    Other evidence that suggests important ecological role of cougars and the consequences of their disappearance comes from research in the western U.S. by Ecologists William Ripple and Bob Beschta. Ripple and Beschta hypothesize that significant landscape changes in Zion National Park, Utah, occurred after cougars abandoned the canyon in the early 1900s due to a marked increase in human visitation. They propose that the disappearance of cougars allowed the local mule deer population to grow unchecked, increasing browsing pressure on vegetation, and reducing the regeneration of cottonwood trees. The loss of cottonwood and other vegetation led to increased bank erosion along the river and a decline in wildlife and plant abundance on the land and in the river. In a similar study of Yosemite National Park, Ripple and Beschta’s research suggests that the apparent abandonment of Yosemite Valley by cougars in the early 1900s due to human activity released mule deer populations which, unchecked, suppressed the regeneration of black oak trees and led to changes in the habitat. These findings add to a body of evidence indicating that the disappearance or eradication of cougars can result in catastrophic ecological changes.

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    Texas

    There is currently an open season on cougars in Texas. Texas Parks & Wildlife do not have population estimates and rely on sighting, whether verified or unverified. The state claims that the population of cougars in Texas is steadily increasing, despite the loss of habitat and fragmentation that is occurring throughout the state.

    Long-term effective population size for cougars in Texas was estimated to be 5,607 animals using ecological niche modeling to estimate distribution.




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    Cougars should not be killed indiscriminately. I would avoid hunting them for sport unless they are hunted with tags issued by game agencies in the jurisdictions that do regulate their taking by man.
    The only other situations which it is justifiable to kill these lions is whenever they threaten to attack humans or domestic animals. I would avoid the shooting of females and only take males, Toms, where sport hunting these cats is regulated. I don't like the notion of hunting them for sport in Texas because they are not regulated by game authorities there.
    Last edited by john_preston; 09-21-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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    Aim true ! NGF Addict! Coalcracker's Avatar
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    Sorry if i see one im shooting it. I'll tan the hyde and ill eat the meat. I don't kill game just to kill it. We have a bigger problem lately to deal with. The fisher has been reintroduced to our area. And they are wreaking havoc on small game. I been reading up on how to hunt them.
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    Senior Member NGF Addict! Northtidesix's Avatar
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    Cougars are popping up on small farms all over the country. We have one or two here on the ranch in Missouri. There are enough white tail deer, and wild turkeys on this ranch to constitute a traffic hazard on our dirt roads. The cougars, and coyotes prefer the smaller goats, calves, and domestic fowl. We don't have an over population of cats. What we have is an over population lazy cats. Why run their ass off to catch a mule deer when a Nigerian goat is not nearly as hard to catch? I vote with Coalcracker.
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    Senior Member NGF Addict! AgedWarrior's Avatar
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    Never hunted Puma all the years I lived in Arizona and New Mexico. Got close to a few on occasion, never a need or desire then to kill them. Not many cats in Iowa, but we are moving to Texas next spring. Puma serve a good purpose in the greater scheme of things, but they are predators that can become troublesome, even if it is not all their fault when their natural territory is more and more encroached by man. That said; troublesome cats get the bullet.
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    Senior Member NGF Addict! Mike Weber's Avatar
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    They are only troublesome in areas where they are overpopulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coalcracker View Post
    Sorry if i see one im shooting it. I'll tan the hyde and ill eat the meat. I don't kill game just to kill it. We have a bigger problem lately to deal with. The fisher has been reintroduced to our area. And they are wreaking havoc on small game. I been reading up on how to hunt them.
    Speaking from experience and to my taste, big cat meat is barely palatable.
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    Senior Member MisterMills357's Avatar
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    I would shoot one on sight, I don't have any illusions who would win in a hand to claw fight, so I am going to kill it first.
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    we have a rare sighting......they are not so much scarce as they are elusive. Not aware of any of them ever being called in on a predator hunt. Bob cats, fox, coyote generally come a running.

    game cams usually will capture a pic to let you know one is passing thru.

    me? i have seen a total of one and that was an accident. probably would not bother to shoot one as i can not afford the taxidermy bill....

    the farmers and ranchers will shoot on sight as i am aware of a "sport killing" attributed to a couger.......17 sheep......not eaten. Tracks confirmed.

    regulated?......see no need to do such on mere guessing and speculation. I trust the TPWD a heck of a lot more than i trust tree huggers with warm fuzzy bunny feelings............especially tree huggers from WY that should keep their nose out of Texas business..............
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    Senior Member NGF Addict! Mike Weber's Avatar
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    Biggest problems I've seen with them were directly related to urban expansion into their habitat. Pets in urban areas become easier prey for them than their natural prey.In areas of the Northwest where cougar and bear hunting with hounds was banned and hunting restricted populations of those animals exploded. Biggest threat to wildlife is feel good ballot box wildlife management.
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    Senior Member john_preston's Avatar
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    Wildlife management is best left in the hands and minds of wildlife biologists. Game/wildlife regs are supposed to be formed based upon what science says.
    Sometimes herd culling by the guns of man is necessary for the greater good of a species but getting a case of cougar trigger-happiness is not always the sole solution.

    Hunters with ethics cheerfully applaud and follow game regs for deer, ducks, doves, pheasants, wolves, bear and pronghorn. Any cougar regs should also be applauded.

    No, Wyoming can't tell Texas what to do about its cat management or lack thereof. What the federal govt. can tell Texas to do is another horse of another color.

    For example, the American eagle is put entirely off limits to the sportsman's gun by Uncle Sam's rules.
    Last edited by john_preston; 09-21-2019 at 05:21 PM.
    America First. We are not the global welfare office.

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    little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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