Pathetic: “Mountain lions have no protection in Iowa, and while the Iowa DNR does not encourage people killing a lion they come across, it is not against the law….Like black bears, cougars are not listed in Iowa law as designated wildlife species because they were considered extinct when the state’s current fish and game legislation was first crafted.”
People in Iowa are really bad about shooting mountain lions and black bears. They know that the fact that they are not listed makes it legal to shoot them. It really is sad that people think they need to shoot something because it is legal and there.
We have a lion cedar marking tree on our farm here in Iowa. It has been active for three years now and has peelings higher than I can reach. I do not know the amount of territory this lion needs but I’d bet it is a lot less than the arid West. Hopefully it can stay hidden for a few more years in the heavy timber of the river bottom right below us.
But alas, its days are numbered. We had another lion shot just 200 yds north of our fences on this govt. land 7 years ago. If I had been around (was in Yell.) I would have driven down and confronted the guys in the 50 some pickups waiting for the shot to end its life.
A couple local hunters had it blocked in at a road culvert. It took less than half an hour for all those folks to congregate.
I would have told them, “Why kill it? You are all here because of the excitement of finally seeing a lion, something not seen since your great grandfathers were born here. When you end its life you will probably never see another live one again. So why kill something that means the end of something you so enjoy seeing alive?”
ProWolf – I know you guys think you have it bad in the west, but I can tell you people out here are just as hostile, if not more so towards wild animals. They never see them and their first reaction is to kill them – like curious child throwing rocks at some ducks. That is why when I hear stories of cougar sightings and bear sightings in Illinois/Iowa, I hope they turn around immediately. I can tell you generally that Wisocnsin and Minnesota seem to be MUCH BETTER at accepting wildlife than Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
We live in SC Iowa, near Army Corps’ Lake Rathbun. We are on headwaters 100 year flood plain boundaries, thus the govts. land here remains like it was pre Lake.
The land along the two forks of the Chariton River leading to this lake came really close to becoming a national Park in the 30’s because so much of it had never been broken to a plow.
Our land is next to the largest virgin flood plain swamp white oak forest in the state and has three state record trees, including the bur oak, the state tree of Iowa, within a quarter mile of my place. It took me only half an hour to locate and then make the preliminary measurements for eventual official verification of these trees. (I did it to successfully stop the DNR from flooding these entire bottoms out for a duck marsh. The hook and bullet wildlife bureau chief upon being told at a closed planning meeting for his pet project, looked around at the other officials present and said, “we can take care of those trees”…(in other words herbicide them out).
This land also has beautiful oxbows one can canoe for miles (big bass I can tell you that) and home to otters, bob cat (they have their kittens in our wood piles), flying squirrels, pileated wood peckers…and of course our present mt. lion.
You are correct, pro wolf, Iowa doesn’t have much in way of public lands, but some of what it does have I battle tooth and nail for. So far the exploiters are losing.
Bob Jackson: I live in the westside Cascade Mountains of Oregon. As I am now retired, I spend much of my free time hiking in these mountains, and the best part, rarely seeing another human. I find more cougar sign than black bears but I see more black bears in the flesh than cougars that demonstrates that the cougar is truely the “ghost that walks”. In the snow I have had cougar foot prints in my tracks. I have come to believe that the cougar senses are superior to bothe the deer and bear. In the last 10 years I have seen 2 large male cougars while observing 3 dozen black bears in the wild. Why anyone enjoys killing these creatures is beyond me. These wild predators save us from a predictable, programed homoiogous human dominated world that is otherwise devoid of wonder and adventure!
Bob, that is good for you to fight for that land. My relatives from Iowa are always spellbound when they come to Wyoming or Montana and tell me how lucky I am to have public land. My only gripe about Wyoming is the pheasant hunting doesn’t hold a candle to Iowa’s. 😦
Mike, Wisconsin and Minnesota are probably more accepting of different carnivores than Iowa because wolves and black bears have always been in Minnesota and have been in Wisconsin for a long time.
Percy, I agree, that is disgusting behavior. I worked with someone who took a beautiful picture of a mountain lion and bragged that she shot it right after. She said she hunted mountain lions because they eat so many (I forget the actual number she gave) deer a year.
North Dakota isn’t much better. They have a hunt with quotas and have no clue how many lions live in their state. Many females, which could help repopulating the plains, are killed. Predators need federal protection. That is unneeded (the hunts)…
Truly a sad ending for the cat. The issue is with the Iowa DNR Wildlife Department. And, this is an issue Defenders, HSUS and a bunch of others could champion with probably little opposition or expenditure.
Chicago Mike, you could even push this issue on your blog.
What a JACKASS! It slays me how many idiots there are in this world! Great sport! Kill an animal that eats deer which are so over populated, right?! Makes sense! As far as the DNR, i think they could care less about our wildlife and ecosystem.
First off, the generalization of all Iowa hunters as mindless barbarians is a little unfair. I carry a .45 caliber pistol with me when i coon hunt at night, mainly for escaped confinement hogs, but also for puma. I can tell you right now that I won’t kill a puma just for seeing it, but if it stalks me or any of my dogs, I would kill it in a heartbeat. You can sit there and whine and moan about all the killings, but until you’ve had the hair on the back of your neck stand up, have your dog bark, only to turn around and see a puma crouched behind a tree looking straight at you, you can’t fairly judge any of us, or generalize all of us based on a few.
I am not privy to the details of the way the cougar was killed but I disagree with all of you that think that it needs protection. That’s a dangerous animal and as soon as you protect it and it figures it out, your kids and yourself will no longer be safe to take an evening nature stroll. Why do you think people are afraid of them in the first place? Why do you think they tried to exterminate them? Let a cougar grab one of your children by the neck and drag them screaming into the woods while you stand helpless and you’ll change your tune. I am the ultimate environmentalist but if the cat made a mistake and revealed himself to a hunter, than it was his/her time to go. That’s part of nature. You want to help nature? Let’s focus on habitat and stop killing our planet. Human beings are the worst occupants of this wonderful earth and we are destroying it daily – not from hunting – that would be a natural occurence. But with our strip malls, and urban sprawl, and disgusting pollution of the water, and waste of our natural resources. Let’s build another ski resort in the rockies, or another 100,000 houses along the front range and suck all the water out of the mountains. If you want to get serious about helping nature, focus on the real problem – its not some redneck killing a cat. Save our habitat and there will be a million cats – hopefully with a very healthy respect of human beings.
Absolutely couldn’t agree more. I am 100% certain I saw my first cougar out of my tree stand yesterday (which leads me to doing research for it today), and I am VERY adamant in my opinion that Cougars have no place in Iowa’s habitat. I enjoy feeling safe while walking in the dark in our timbers, and with that animal, I do not feel 100% safe. I know if I were to walk under a tree that a cougar was rested in, and if it had the desire, I would be no match to it’s jaws around my neck. Forget people’s ignorance. Think logically and not heartily. Iowa’s in great natural balance, so let’s please keep it that way without the introduction of havoc.
Ghost and treehugger . . many of the people who you address on this blog have had as much or more experience than you with close cougar encounters. Speaking for myself I am very tired of the folks who think it is their job to educate the rest of us about the dangerous predators who will kill our pets and children. . that is such an old tactic it is worn too thin.