Meanwhile, way out in the land of fruits and nuts, California put a “save the poor mountain lion” initiative on our state ballot and we passed a state Constitutional amendment prohibiting the hunting of mountain lions in California. Since that time the lion population in California has exploded and we now have thousands of lions all over the state. In fact there have been about two-dozen documented lion attacks on humans in the past 25 years, including three fatalities. I have seen deer carcasses and cattle that have been mauled by lions here in California. Mountain lions are very efficient predators and the attacks on humans will continue, because we’re too stupid to hunt them anymore. Oh, well, I just hope it’s not someone you love who is the next lion kill in California.
I know that I can’t change the whacko government we have here in California, but I do have a modest proposal that might help the situation. We have an active group of talented hound fanciers in California known as the California Houndsmen for Conservation. They are the only kind of hunters who can pursue their quarry, tree them and choose not to kill them. I believe that the CHC members would be willing to catch excess mountain lions unharmed and ship them to any eastern states who would like to re-populate their woods with mountain lions. Of course it would take cutting through a bunch of government red tape and there are undoubtedly innumerable hurdles to overcome, but what the heck have we got to loose?
I think I’ll send a copy of this column to my local State Senator Tom Berryhill, and my Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, and see if they’re willing to contact the California Department of Fish and Game to explore this issue. We could reduce our lion over-population and help some of our eastern states re-populate theirs. I’d even be willing to work with the various parties to help make it happen. What do you say boys? Are you willing to try?
Until next week, tight lines.
• Don Moyer is president and CEO of a consulting firm and has more than 20 years’ experience working with the outdoor recreation community, including anglers, hunters, backpackers, environmental groups and the public. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.