Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mountain lion,live and let live,CA

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by gunsmith, Jun 28, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/06/27/INGTO7A93B1.DTL
    Imagine, for a moment, that you are a mountain lion living in the foothills above Mountain View or Palo Alto. Let's say a couple of years ago, you were born along with one or two siblings. Now you are young adults. All you want to do is get away from mom and the rest of the family.

    Unfortunately for you, either other mountain lions or, more likely, a ranch or estate owner, has taken all of the view lots and creekside properties in the mountains behind you. So where do you go? Down. Down to the suburbs, cities and towns between Interstate 280 and the bay.

    You soon find your life imperiled. Not only by police officers with no training in wild animal control, but by the very same things that endanger all of the humans down here. Drunk drivers and distracted drivers. Muggings, random gunfire, gang shootouts. Pit bulls.

    As the mountain lion, you have to negotiate this extremely hostile environment created by the mammals that walk on two legs. Yet, those mammals consider you the threat.

    The truth is that every year exponentially more people are killed or injured by one of the hazards of modern life mentioned above than have ever been harmed by a mountain lion. The Department of Fish and Game has verified a total of 12 mountain lion attacks on humans since 1890 -- and just half of these proved fatal.

    Every time there is a spate of mountain lion encounters, embittered trophy hunters like to blame 1990's Proposition 117. That initiative, which voters passed into law, placed a permanent ban on sport hunting of mountain lions.

    Now, mountain lions suddenly are everywhere -- from Morgan Hill to the East Bay. It seems possible that any day now, someone will come home to find one lounging on the couch, eating an It's-It and watching the Animal Channel.

    No one wants to be mauled or have their soft organs dined on by a mountain lion. But encounters with cougars are hardly a surprise when about half of California is considered mountain lion habitat. In all likelihood, the tawny predators are simply looking to get away from their own tribe.

    Many people do want to live in or near an ecosystem that is healthy enough to support and maintain a broad range of creatures, not only deer and raccoons. They want the wilds to be just that -- wild. There's something reassuring about knowing that our environment can sustain something besides chemically grown lawns, SUVs and shopping malls.

    In California, humans managed to kill off all of the wolves and grizzly bears in the early 20th century. To see what remains of bighorn sheep populations, you need to hike into remote parts of the Sierra or the Anza- Borrego Desert. Elk are confined in remnant populations on a few state and federal lands. Resurrecting the California condor has cost millions of dollars. There are lots of black bears, but they are mostly confined to wooded mountain habitat.

    The mountain lion is the last large animal in California that exists in healthy numbers and that inspires wonder, awe and, yes, a little fear. It simply needs to be understood and respected for what is -- a powerful, often hungry, predator.

    It also matters that the mountain lion is a major member of the food chain. In recent years, explosions of deer populations in the East have caused an increase in car accidents and deer-borne diseases. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over 20,000 deer were involved in car-related accidents in New Jersey in 2001 or the 51,000 such accidents in Georgia.

    One reason deer populations keep growing is that the eastern cougar, along with the timber wolf, was trapped and shot out of existence 100 years ago, except for an inbred remnant population dying out in the swamps of Florida. There is nothing left to control deer except hunters and car bumpers.

    If we rid ourselves of the state's last major wild predator, we would be left with a burgeoning deer population likely to spread Lyme disease via ticks and mayhem via our roadways. As it is now, a deer in the road is much more likely to cause an auto accident than a mountain lion is to attack a hiker.

    The answer, some hunters might say, is to go at both deer and mountain lions with both barrels blazing. Yet, renewed mountain lion hunting well might eventually wipe the felines out, as it did the gray wolf in almost all of North America.

    There is a simpler, less bloodthirsty solution. As with distracted and drunk drivers, as with dangerous pit bulls, what will keep people safe is education and responsibility.

    What begins with the smacking of feline lips over a horse or two on the outskirts of town can quickly evolve into the big cats attempting to pick off their domesticated cousins from the back porch of a house just off El Camino Real. The fat tabby that roams the neighborhood should be kept inside. That goes for many pet dogs as well, especially around dawn and dusk, the times mountain lions are most likely to be searching for food.

    Certainly, we aren't going to keep children inside, nor should we. This is why law enforcement officers in cities and suburbs bordering mountain lion habitat must have tranquilizing equipment on hand and must kill mountain lions that truly endanger people, just as the law requires.

    This is how we should deal with the very rare mountain lion that becomes too neighborly.

    John Fall is an East Bay writer.
     
  2. capt_happypants

    capt_happypants Member In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    304
    Let me know when this guy become Mountain Kitty Kat Chow.

    Darwin, take him away!
     
  3. Das Pferd

    Das Pferd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    So whats your point? Hes right. We dont need to kill every mountain lion there is just because it threatens your cat or dog.
     
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    18,942
    What really needs to be done is to train the mountain lions to co-habitate with one another (other mountain lions) like their African counterparts. Let them live in groups (prides) and let the prides hunt and dine together in a strong showing of community. Yes, I'm proposing we send social workers into the foothills to retrain these animals to socialize better with one another.

    This will allow the mountain lion to require less land and so there will be fewer encounters between people and mountain lions.

    Short of that, we should take that wussy writer and send him out with a tranquilizer gun. After he pops a cat and gets mauled to death for his trouble, we can removed the sedated animal to the wilderness and set it free.:D
     
  5. sendec

    sendec member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    913
    Frankly, I think I'd prefer cougars to people. I'm not sure I see a problem. We breed like bunnies. A few of us get eaten, it's that circle of life thing.

    Ya want a "safe" wilderness, visit Disney's Animal Kingdom.
     
  6. Das Pferd

    Das Pferd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    "Predator" paranoia is just as ignorant and misled as anti gun paranoia. Supported by absolutely nothing and promoted by those who are uneducated about the subject.
     
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I guess that makes it okay to keep the serfs disarmed.
     
  8. natedog

    natedog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,634
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California
    Those that carry, backpacking, day to day, or other, certainly do respect the animals....which is why they carry. They respect that they are a predatory animal, and take steps to minimize their risk. One of those steps is carrying.
     
  9. rayra

    rayra member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Messages:
    654
    Location:
    L.A., **********
    LOVE the timing on that nonsense article. Hilarious. Coming several weeks AFTER the attack in the area discussed. And the SAME DAY that article / spew is published, there was another cougar-human incident in the Sequoia Nat'l Forest just north of the huge McNally fire area (of two yrs ago). The woman lost an eye and the other is damaged. her hiking companions heard her cries and drove the animal off with a knife and rocks. Rangers later tracked it by the blood trail and killed it.

    The article is lame compared to the fresh incident - http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040627.wlion20627/BNStory/International/


    lastly, I legally Open Carry with a handgun when hiking in the Angeles Nat'l Forest north of L.A.. There was a cougar sighting at horse stables on the norhtern fringe of my particular suburb a couple years ago, they are rattlesnakes are in the area. And my hiking / dog-walking area is several miles up-country from civilization. Going armed is the only smart thing to do.
     
  10. rayra

    rayra member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Messages:
    654
    Location:
    L.A., **********
    One other comment about the statistical games being played in that first article - 'only 15 attacks in 110yrs'. Gee that doesn't sound so bad. Nevermind that there have now been three major incidents in the last 6 months alone. Sort of blows away the excusatory stat, doesn't it?
     
  11. MBane666

    MBane666 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    244
    Oh gosh, you wanna go jogging or biking up here in Lion Country, Colorado, you need to haul your butt out of Condition White and pay a little attention—lions are not ghosts! I've changed running or biking paths because I couldn't rationalize trucking through country that had everything but a Golden Arches for Pussycats sign. When I've suggested to other people that they might want to rethink their recreational pathways, I've gotten Happy Boulder Lectures on the sanctity of all animals...cool...Darwinism in action.

    That said, I always carry in the backcountry--a gun where it's legal, and *something* (ASP, big honkin' knife, hiking staff, bear spray, etc.) where it's not. And heck, I know a lot of people--including *at least* one movie director--who'd make great kittie kibble!

    Michael B
     
  12. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Tx, United States of America
    I have no problem with someone shooting an animal in self defense, just as I have no problem with someone shooting a human in self defense.

    That being said I hate it when an animal, like a mountain lion, kills or attacks someone and gets away then people go out and hunt it down and kill it for revenge.

    If the animal is no longer in the area and threatening people then let it go.

    This would also help out with gun rights. As long as there are dangerous animals out there then all people living in those areas will be more likely to be packing, instead of just the lynch mob that goes after the cat.
     
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    Das

    No respected member of THR has ever advocated "killing all predators".
    The editorial is incredibly lame drivel.

    All we are saying is give self defense a chance!

    The editorial lies about the attacks. Overall attacks on the continent of North America is higher then the ones the author quoted (wrongly) about USA his stats are for CA only but he implies otherwise.
    If you take a common sense scientific look at Mtn Lion attacks you would notice an alarming increase in both fatal and non fatal attacks on people in North America since the begining of the 1990's (10 fatal attacks and 40 non fatal attacks)
    http://www.gf.state.az.us/w_c/mtn_lion_attacks.shtml
    2 young women in california have had half their faces ripped off their skull this year-not fatal so it's not big news.
    When examining problems concerning dangerous animals in N.America you should look at Canada and Mexico as well as the USA to do otherwise is foolish because cougars and bear aren't restricted by borders.

    The purpose of the editorial was strictly anti hunter and anti gun propaganda.

    The writer of the editorial has hunter paranoia,we do not suffer from the delusion that nature is not "Red in tooth and claw".

    Attitudes like the one projected by the writer cause more suffering for wildlife then they prevent.
    We are inviting Cougars into our neighborhoods. By preventing hunting of deer and encouraging them to forage in our yards we have invited Cougars to amble about looking for food. By preventing Californians from hunting Cougars we have dramatically increased their number while at the same time teaching them not to fear humans. If the cougars that have had to be put down this past year (4 or 5 in the SF Bay area) were afraid of people they wouldn't have had to be shot because they wouldn't have been walking around elementary schools etc.
    Cougars in NV,AZ, and other western states that have hunting seasons for big cats have less human attacks then CA,Cougars there are smarter then CA Cougars-they avoid the most dangerous predator of all -mankind.

    God gave the lions teeth and claws,he gave mankind (with the exception of some CA politicians) brains.
     
  14. Cool Hand Luke 22:36

    Cool Hand Luke 22:36 member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Messages:
    2,291
    Location:
    Arlington, VA

    Sounds like a Timothy "bear scat" Treadwell quote. :D
     
  15. sendec

    sendec member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    913
    I have'nt heard anyone on this board say that hikers should not have the means to defend themselves, I certainly carry when out in the woods (and am far more concerned about 2 legged varmints than 4 legged ones). You have to treat the animals with the respect they deserve.

    It is the responses to attacks that get me because they seem to run to extremes from one side to the other. I think the situation is a lot more complex than we give it credit for. I concur fully that the figures quoted are suspect and that incidents are increasing. But that's the price we pay for going where the cats are, and I'm fine with that. I'll keep the pets indoors and be ready to defend myself in the woods, or not go there at all. Like wise, problem cats need to be dealt with firmly, public response not withstanding.
     
  16. ryoushi

    ryoushi Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    California
    Well if you ever see a cougar in the wild consider yourself lucky, they are magnificent creatures. I think the article was in response to the cougar that was shot by a sherriffs deputy in Palo Alto, CA. The whole thing was caught on videotape and from what I remember that cat hadn't attacked anybody yet but was shot on sight. I think the situation could have been handled better.

    Of course when we are hiking we are heeled. My wife and I have happened upon a mountain lion twice in the Sequoia National Forest and it gets your heart to pounding in both cases the cat was sprawed out like a big tabby sunning itself and when we came along it got up and walked off. Both times the cats looked well fed and in perfect shape. Both times we watched our backs the rest of the day.

    It's funny the people that call for a hunting season on cats use the attacks to justify hunting them. But here in PRK the areas where the attacks occur most of the time are too developed to allow hunting. And don't think the mountain lion is not hunted. Cattle ranchers who graze their beef on the cheap on public land shoot the cougars when they think they can get away with it.
     
  17. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,412
    I've never seen a cat in the wild, only tracks. They are beautiful animals and I can see where people could respect that. But the fact is that we are the only control on their population. Limited hunting is the only way to do that. We create inviting suburban buffets for cats, bears, coyotes and ferals. When anyone tries to do anything about it, the cry goes out:

    "You can't kill them for doing what they do and plus they're sooo cute."

    If it's ok for cougars to kill humans then turnabout in fair play.


    David
     
  18. mete

    mete Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,579
    Location:
    NY
    They should check their facts first. There are lions in the east Vermont admits to it , NJ has introduced them others have too. Some states NY,PA etc refuse to admit it though. Vermont has done dna tests on scat .Search 'easter cougar research '.
     
  19. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    ok

    mete, Easter Cougar,eh? I guess thats why easter bunnies are on the decline:neener:

    Yes the editorial was about the Palo Alto Lion.
    It had to be put down. If you view the video tape of the shooting you would see that the cat was sitting in a tree with a childs swing on it I think there were two small children living there. Also school was about to let out and tranquilizing it is not considered safe when so many people and children are in harms way as the cat becomes aggressive for a 1/2 hour before succumming to the tranquilzer.
    I am not advocating hunting big cats in suburbia,I advocate hunting the deer in suburbia. Having deer in your burb is advertising to big cats that they should "have at". Anyone (hunter) familiar with the Palo Alto area could safely remove deer,especially bow hunters. On the other side of hway 280 is vast water district land,hardly any people there lots of deer and some Cougar.
    The fact is unless we allow some hunting of Cougar they will continue to have no fear of man untill we have to put them down for attacking us.The Palo Alto PD did the right thing in this case. A big cat was wandering thru a neighborhood full of children and lounging in the yard of a house with 2 small kids. They stopped the threat.They did the right thing.
    Imagine if they had waited for a tranq gun and it malled some kids,or they tranqed it and it malled some kids. Police in the bay area are dammed if they do or dammed if they don't.
     
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    No hunters are advocating that Cougar be destroyed completely. So the article is simply wrong about that. The numbers can be controlled through increased hunting, however.

    But in the end I'm satisfied with the current situation. We just need to add about 5,000 exported Alaksa brownies to the mix and California will soon be cleaned out.
     
  21. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,018
    Location:
    People's Republic of **********
    That article is a bunch of tripe.

    If hunters had their way, they would allow mountain lion hunting again, but only to the point that there is a sustainable number of mountain lions to be hunted/harvested every year. So, it is very far from the annihilation of the species that John Fall believes it to be.

    Hunters like to hunt. Every year, every season, as often as they can. That means they want hunting to continue, every year, every season. If you hunt a species to extinction, you can't hunt anymore after that.
     
  22. sendec

    sendec member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    913
    Hunting might help, might not.

    It's the poodles, dammit. The problem seems to be that the cats are moving towards easy pickens and are winding up in areas where hunting could be problematic from a political and a practical standpoint. If the kitties would stay up in the backwoods and chew on rural deer, hunting would be an option. They are doing the same thing deer have done, move into the suburbs where there is abundant food and little risk. Thinning the suburban deer could help, but think how well that would go over. And then when the poodles and pomeranians start disappearing........

    I agree that the police did the right thing in dropping the tree-sitter. Unfortunately, these incidents are going to increase because we have accidently done such a good job of building excellent habitat for the cats.
     
  23. JOE MACK

    JOE MACK Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    PRK
    :scrutiny: What with the referendum on hunting mountain lion in the state, the population is rising past the environment's ability to sustain them in the wild away from civilization. Cats have VERY large individual territories for hunting and young cats are pushed out. Also, animals are quite the creatures of habit. Once they find easy pickings, they continue to exploit the situation. Just like the maneating leopards now panicking a part of India. People are also breeding like lemmings and need space that was once the habitat of predators. These "wannabe" country folk are a large part of the problem since they plant vegetation the ungulates like and throw meat scraps out, and leave fluffie's food out on the porch.

    If hunting is going to drive these animals to extinction, why are we hunting the heck out of the whitetail deer and populations in some areas are out of control? Unbeknownst to the ignoramous that wrote the article, controlled hunting is good for game and predator population dynamics. Overpopulation of anything (including humans) is bad news. This yutz has probably never seen a zebra lunched on live by African lions, a calf pulled newborn from its mother and eaten while mom is hamstrung, etc. Mother nature is a real bitch and these city-dwellers have no idea or can get a clue about it. :banghead:
     
  24. 5pins

    5pins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    54
    Muggings. When was the last time a mountain lion was mugged?
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    LOL. That's a good one. There was a young male moose in a downtown Anchorage park where I used to walk a few winters back. He'd always posture and swing his head at me, sometimes blocking the trail. I figured he was a street moose gone bad and tossed some change at him.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page