Mar 4, 2014, 1:05 AM EDT
Much to my surprise there is a huge number of hunters in California. Many of us are guilty of stereotyping California because we observe the very loud voices found in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hollywood, etc… But as you venture out of the city, you’ll find farming, ranching and oil production throughout. And with this you’ll find your down-to-earth good ol’ boy who has a better grasp on the circle of life –after all, he understands that his milk doesn’t come from a carton at the grocery store! I was raised in Bakersfield, California and know this stereotype all to well; heck, I too am guilty of making negative connotations, but this is the state where I first discovered my love of hunting.
Although, those loud voices have been problematic to the wildlife that abounds and ultimately devastating to controlling the wildlife numbers. In 1972, then-Gov. Reagan re-opened mountain lion hunting; 18 years later, voters passed Proposition 117, which banned sport hunting of California mountain lions. According to California’s Department of Fish & Game “mountain lions became a “specially protected species,” making mountain lion hunting illegal in California. This status and other statutes prohibit the Department of Fish and Game from recommending a hunting season for lions, and it is illegal to take, injure, possess, transport, import, or sell any mountain lion or part of a mountain lion. Mountain lions may be killed only 1) if a depredation permit is issued to take a specific lion killing livestock or pets; 2) to preserve public safety; or 3) to protect listed bighorn sheep.”
Here’s the gist of it; Proposition 117 will not allow mountain lions to be sport hunted in the state of California, nor will they allow Californian hunters to bring back a trophy mountain lion that had been legally harvested in another state/province!
Because sport hunting is not allowed, those kitties are growing in numbers. And what happens when wildlife are not properly balance? The mule deer and black tail deer populations will decrease and mountain lion will only look at humans as competition further escalating their lack of fear towards man. They’ve been nailing bikers, joggers, hikers and little FeeFee poodles! But the interesting thing is that California is still killing these cats and has been killing just as many cougars as hunters ever did. The California Department of Fish and Game has killed about 85 cougars per year since 1995 that have threatened people, and an additional 100 per year are killed by private citizens under special permits granted to those whose livestock or pets are threatened by cougars. Ultimately, the lions are still being controlled, but instead of generating income from the sale of hunting licenses, this financial-mess-of-a-state is using taxpayers money to kill these cats! Make sense to you? Welcome to the land of fruits and nuts!
What are your thoughts on taxpayer’s money going to kill problem lions?