Friday, October 30, 2009

Cougar hunting: Oregon's Measure 18 threatened again!

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Oregon's Measure 18 Threatened Again!
Cougar Corner
Tim Dunbar

No longer satisfied with sitting back and letting the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the state legislature gut Measure 18's minimal cougar protection measures, pro-lion hunting proponents in Oregon are now circulating petitions to repeal the 1994 citizen-placed initiative.Citing too many cougars in the state, "people fearing for the safety of their children," * and a bad opening day hunt for mule deer as justification for their actions, this small, special interest group wants to re-allow the use of hounds while hunting cougars for sport. What these "sportsmen" really want is to turn back the clock so they can achieve their trophy kills with the minimum amount of sweat and effort. The standard practice for hound-hunting - which Measure 18 restricted - is to loose a pack of radio collared hounds on a scent and then wait comfortably back at the cabin until the cougar has been treed. At that point the hunter can walk calmly up to the base of the tree and shoot the cougar from point-blank range.Instead of letting fear tactics and fraudulent claims dictate the reversal of an important lion protection initiative, maybe Oregonians should be thinking about restoring Measure 18 to its full measure so it can fulfill its intended purpose - saving cougars.Better yet - pass a new initiative to ban the trophy of cougars all together!

* Despite "public safety" rhetoric, there has been no recorded incident of a cougar attack against humans in Oregon.

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