By Ley Garnett
PORTLAND, OR 2006-09-07 Oregon wildlife officials have begun the first stage of a new cougar management plan. They've set traps for the big cats in northeast Oregon.
Oregon wildlife division manager Ron Anglin says three regions of the state have been targeted for cougar removal.
First on the list is the Heppner area where cougars are suspected of killing a large number of livestock.
Ron Anglin: We're not using dogs at this point in time and we will pull the traps during the hunting seasons so I think that the traps may be out of the woods during the archery and rifle seasons and back in a little bit later.
Anglin says they are recruiting cougar hunters in eastern Oregon near Ontario and in Jackson County.
He says they want to thin the number of cougars in Jackson County to protect people and pets.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates about 5000 cougars roam the state. It expects to kill 66 of them in the three targeted areas.