Stuff you need to know, 8.24.23

“Wildlife advocates say Game and Fish allows for overhunting bears and cougars”
by Hannah Grover, NM Political Report
August 21, 2023

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, which is currently conducting its quadrennial review of the state’s bear and couger hunting rules, has drawn criticism from wildlife advocates who see no evidence for why the annual harvest quotas for these apex predators should be so high, especially given that only 2 percent of the 7 percent of New Mexicans who have hunting licenses hold permits to hunt bear and cougars.

Click on the above link to read this free-access article.

Comments on Cougar Management in New Mexico
by Dan Warren, Winston, New Mexico
Submitted to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the New Mexico Game Commission
August 17, 2023

The Game and Fish department is now soliciting public comment on its cougar and bear hunting rules by email (DGF-Bear-Cougar-Rules@state.nm.us); by mail (New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Bear and Cougar Rule Development, 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507; or in person at public meetings, such as the New Mexico Game Commission session scheduled for tomorrow in Raton.

In particular, Game and Fish is seeking input on permit levels, harvest limits, adjustments to the boundaries of the 18 cougar hunting zones in the state and season start dates.

Dan Warren, who lives on rural land near Winston that is vital habitat for cougars and other wildlife, has submitted written commentary that can be accessed and read below. Instead of making piecemeal changes, Warren recommended to Game and Fish and the Game Commission that that a comprehensive cougar management plan be developed. Scientific research and ethical principles, as well as public feedback, should be its underpinnings.

In the document, Warren shares his own research on such pertinent and illuminating topics as cougar population estimates through the decades, the economics of cougar hunting, animal cruelty associated with cougar hunting (lion-hunting dogs suffer too, as do the kittens of female cougars that become trophies after giving birth) and the unintended environmental consequences of reducing the numbers of this apex predator in the state.

In short, Warren has written a brief history of cougar hunting and management in New Mexico, filled with fascinating facts and archival illustrations (such as the one reproduced here) that make for educational reading even for the lay person.

Dead mountain lion and child
Former New Mexico Game Department Director Homer Pickens was an enthusiastic cougar hunter. Michael B. Sloan, the present director of Game and Fish, opened the 2023-24 hunting season with a proclamation upholding hunting as a “time-honored tradition in New Mexico that has brought our friends and families together to enjoy the great outdoors for generations . . . and the chance to put a healthy, delicious meal on the table. . . .”

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Diana Tittle
Diana Tittle

Diana Tittle, a member of the board of Sierra County Public-Interest Journalism Project, was the editor of the Sierra County Sun, the Citizen's precursor. A former resident of Truth or Consequences who now lives part-time in northern New Mexico, she spent her 42-year professional career in Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and editor, book author and publisher and publishing consultant. She is the recipient of a Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature.

Posts: 307

One comment

  1. lion meat is delicious. javelina meat can by law b e left in the field too. it is delicious (but like cougar) the meat needs to be treated with respect.
    a huge factor in cougar–and consequently deer–populations is that the dept kills many cougar to protect valuable bighorn numbers
    ted turner seems to love the lion and the over flow from the two ranches demishes the der pop–no doubt

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