Special Washington cougar hunt backfires

Story in the Seattle Times. Is cougar hunting breeding chaos? By Sandi Doughton. Seattle Times science reporter.

Hunting large carnivores does not have easy, predictable effects; and a recent law passed and signed in Washington state due to increasing cougar attacks on livestock and pets in NE Washington appears to have had the opposite effect and was based on false assumptions (increasing cougar population). The result of the emergency hunt has been even more attacks (young, inexperienced, and not-too-bright cougars), and a big drop in the cougar population in the Selkirk Mountains.

Actually Washington has had a cougar hunt. It was a particular method of hunting that was banned years ago by the citizens. The method of hunting probably has as much of effect as the mere fact of hunting.

I should add that governor Gov. Christine Gregoire (Democrat) just signed a bill to expand the unsuccessful program. She is not wise about these issues. She is also behind letting livestock operators into state wildlife areas in NE Washington to graze (often for free!!!). These areas are mostly formerly private land purchased by taxpayer and ratepayer money. Western Watersheds Project has sued over the program.

I have posted a number of stories in the past about her “graze-the-wildlife-areas-for-free” program.