If you were hunting mountain lions, would you consider taking this shot?
Mountain lion hunting is a challenge in and of itself. It takes endurance and a lot of time to track down and hunt a tom cat. Not to mention it requires a good pair of boots.
The felines are dangerous, but are oftentimes bayed by a hoard of hounds. In this instance that's exactly what happened.
However, the cat wasn't in a tree, rather, it hid itself among some boulders from the dogs. What transpires next is questionable.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Maybe this happens a lot. I'll plead ignorance. It makes sense to think cats hide in rocks. But to see a hunter shoot at a cat surrounded by rocks? So what happens if a bullet deflects, or if the crevice isn't as deep as it appears? These mountain lion hunters didn't seem to care.
I'm not knocking lion hunting, and in fact, I support it. It just seems to me like maybe the hunter should have passed on this shot.
Predator hunting, including lion hunting, is important for conservation. These big cats are capable of taking down multiple mule deer, bighorn sheep, and even elk each year. Though these big-game species are not going to go extinct because of mountain lion and cougars, season dates are set by state agencies so these mountain lion populations don't get out of control.
It's possible that if mountain lions aren't kept in check, they (combined with bears, wolves, disease, and poachers) can make a devastating impact on large-game species. These management plans and season dates are set with the future of these animals in mind not their demise.
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