The Curious Case of the Cougar and the Commissioner

Story Here:

I am not a hunter, and I’m not even much of a fan of the 2nd amendment (respect that it exists, but wouldn’t mind if it didn’t), and I would never trophy hunt a mountain lion. But I don’t see that this guy did anything wrong, other than not realizing it might be stupid idea to showboat this particular hunting experience.

Different states are going to have different hunting laws, and for good reason. And, according to wikipedia

CA is estimated to have 4,000 - 6,000 cougars (or mountain lions, as they are more commonly called). I have encountered one exactly once and was awe struck. But it was considerably smaller than the cougar in question-- check out the photo in the link to see how massive this one was.

Thoughts? I’d like to think that sportsman and conservationists can coexist, even in the same individual, but it looks like this guy’s days are numbered. He was appointed under a Republican administration, and we now have Democratic one in power, with the legislator dominated by Democrats, so maybe this is just par for the course. But the article doesn’t list any black marks this Commissioner has against him, other than he is often the swing vote on the 5-person panel.

I think it is a rule of modern politics that if you’re a dumb-ass in the view of the majority party, your days are numbered.

And being a wild life commissioner who hunts a species protected in your state (even if legal in the state where you actually hunted) is pretty solidly into dumb-ass territory.

It just doesn’t look good, no matter how you slice it. He didn’t break any law or do anything unethical, but it’s kind of hard to trust the guy to protect endangered species when he’s out killing them. And proudly, at that.

They’re not endangered. They’re categorized by the World Conservation Union as “Least Concern”, which is the same category as pigeons and gray squirrels, and which was stated right in the OP.

Oops. My bad.

Legally-nothing wrong.
Ethically-nothing wrong.
Public Relations-wise-major cockup.

Ah, the SD will never close up shop for lack of ignorance to fight.

I’m not a hunter. And if I were, I would never be able to kill a big cat. They’re just too awesome. But this guy did zero wrong. some people like to hunt. Not me, but I don’t think badly of them for doing it. The legislators causing flap about this is complete assholes. Period. He should fight this 100%. How in the world does doing something legal in another state place in doubt his ability to enforce the laws of California. From the linked article, this is dumb on mega-steroids:

I’d go on the offensive here and make everyone of the assholes who signed this own their assholeness and profound stupidity.

To monstro’s credit, he acknowledged his error after it was pointed out. That’s refreshingly rare on the internet, where the usual response is to call the person pointing out the error a fag.

Somebody shot Demi Moore?

Did they mount her afterwards?

I dunno. Even (intelligent) RWs had to bite their lips to keep from calling Reagan a dumbass. It didn’t even slow him down. Sometimes qualities other than brains are just what they’re looking for.

I would tend to chalk this up to the general ignorance of why Fish and Game Commissions exist in the first place.

They don’t exist to make treehuggers happy that some species still lives on somewhere in the foods. They exist to regulate the use of fish and game resources – or more clearly, to promote smart hunting and fishing, not to cuddle everything with pretty wee paws or cute li’l gills. And those who like the environment should be damn glad that there are hunters and fishermen to pay for all those permits to generate cash to stock streams, manage wildlife, and do lots of stuff that otherwise we’d have to raise taxes to do.

As I read the story, it almost seems that the California Democrats are shocked that a hunter could serve on this commission. Talk about clueless! And I also see that the commissioners are not full-time state employees, either. This guy did absolutely nothing wrong, and he shouldn’t resign.

I also have to say that it is stupid that mountain lions cannot be hunted in California due to a ballot proposition. Sounds like yet another reason why the whole ballot initiative system in California is broken. There are ten times more mountain lions today in California than when the first hunting moratorium was passed: having a permanent ban is just plain bad policy because although circumstances may change, the law will not. That’s exactly why fish and game commissions are needed in the first place, to make rational decisions on how to balance the interests of sportsmen and the ecology.

The law won’t change until pets and kids start going missing from exurban backyards.

Well, my ignorance was fought today, too. I thought cougars and mountain lions were two different things. I’ve heard the same people use both terms, and you’d think they’d pick one since it’s only one type of animal.

Also, monstro’s a she.

Maybe you were thinking of cougars and pumas?

Which are also the same thing. Or was I whooshed?

Hunting licenses, tags, duck stamps, and the federal excise tax on hunting and fishing gear have done more for wildlife conservationthan all the tree hugging hippies combined.

I apologize. I meant to say mountain lions and catamounts.

They are the same, in some ways of thinking. We have strong conservationists in my neck of the woods who own large tracts of land for the express purpose of hunting. Hunting is called nature preservation. If you didn’t kill the excess deer, they’d all starve, so culling the herd preserves it, ensures continuity, and provides food for humans as well.

It’s difficult for me to get my brain around it, as the only thing I shoot with is a camera, but that’s the theory.