Ballot measure launched to ban trophy hunting of America’s lions

By on October 12, 2017 with 46 Comments

Two summers ago, a color photograph of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer and his hunting guide kneeling over Cecil, an African lion they’d slain, found its way onto social media platforms and ricocheted across the planet. In response, 45 of the world’s biggest airlines – including all major U.S. carriers – said they’d no longer ship lion trophies in the cargo holds of their planes.

These companies knew that the public found the practice of trophy hunting of African lions and leopards and other rare wildlife repugnant.

With the launch of an Arizona ballot measure yesterday to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats, voters in the Grand Canyon State will have an opportunity to stop the same sort of pointless, cruel killing practices on a big patch of land on this side of the globe.

Specifically, The HSUS and a coalition of about 60 organizations have filed a ballot initiative to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats in Arizona. The measure would also ban trapping of bobcats, currently killed by the thousands every year in this state for their fur. In addition, the ballot measure would codify a no-trophy-hunting policy on jaguars, ocelots, and lynx, in case these rare cats establish healthy populations in Arizona and trophy hunters see them as future targets.

The question that millions of people asked in the wake of the killing of Cecil is the same one that people should ask in Arizona: Why would a person of wealth and privilege shoot a lion he isn’t even going to eat? An animal whose hunting behavior keeps prey populations in check and whose presence is a reminder that there are still wild places in our world where all kinds of beautiful animals, including native carnivores, should be allowed to flourish.

This will be the sixth ballot measure in the west to stop the unsporting trophy hunting of mountain lions, and voters have sided with establishing or maintaining protections for lions in every single one of them. It is also the seventh statewide ballot measure on animal protection issues in Arizona since 1994, and voters have sided with the animal protection position in six of six cases.

There are perhaps few things as senseless as the trophy hunting of mountain lions; no one eats these animals, and that makes killing them easy to classify as trophy hunting in its purest form.

What makes it even worse is that the primary method of hunting the lions is with packs of dogs and radio telemetry equipment, in what amounts to a high-tech search-and-destroy mission. A trophy hunter releases a pack of hounds, fitted with radio transmitters on their collars, and then tracks the chase with a handheld directional antenna. Once the dogs pick up a scent and careen after the lion, the quarry flees, but sometimes turns to fight – resulting in a situation that pits animals in violent combat. If the cat doesn’t kill the dogs, or the dogs don’t overtake and kill the cat (including young kittens), the cat will scamper up a tree.

The hunter will then follow the radio signal to the base of the tree or cliff face, and shoot the lion at close range.

It’s about as sporting as shooting an animal in a cage at the zoo.

Trophy hunting clubs like Arizona-based Safari Club International have, in recent years, promoted the killing of mountain lions by offering awards, certificates, and killing contests to reward and encourage trophy hunters. SCI’s award categories like “North American 29,” “Cats of the World,” and “Trophy Animals of North America” include mountain lions.

Mountain lions pose an immeasurably small risk to humans and do their best to avoid us. Lions have attacked just a handful of people in the United States in the last 30 years, even as we’ve invaded their traditional habitats with developments, agriculture, and recreational activities.

On the other hand, trophy hunters have killed more than 78,000 mountain lions during that same period – an average of 2,500 a year in 10 western states, according to a report we released earlier this year in cooperation with the Summerlee Foundation: State of the Mountain Lion: A Call to End Trophy Hunting of America’s Lion.

These native carnivores provide all sorts of benefits to their ecosystems. Mountain lions keep deer and elk herds healthier, taking weak, sick, and diseased animals. They leave carrion for black bears, grizzly bears, and other scavengers. They are highly sentient and familial. A mother will care for her kittens for up to 24 months, and if she is killed, the kittens could die from starvation, predation, or exposure.

In cases where lions cause an actual problem or pose a perceived or actual threat, the ballot measure allows selective killing of those individuals. The measure, on the other hand, is designed to stop trophy hunters from chasing down and killing unoffending lions – lions who aren’t bothering anyone, and like any creature, are just trying to live and get through another day.

This ballot measure is about our humanity. It’s about ending unsporting methods, killing for no good reason, or killing as a head-hunting exercise. It’s about letting animals have small slices of land where they don’t have to worry about the threat of premeditated human violence.

Join us in this fight to protect America’s own iconic lion and other wild cats of the west. Their future depends on our decision to act on their behalf.

Categories
Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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46 Comments

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  1. Jon Keehner says:

    I am a carnivore ecologist with a doctorate and have recently published two papers on the effects of male harvest of mountain lions in respected peer-reviewed journals. I have to say that the opinions and information presented here are DEAD WRONG. Managing wildlife through the “initiative process” fails to take into account the complex nature of science based management as a whole. COugar populations are expanding and their range is increasing throughout most of North and South America. Mt. Lions are one of the greatest conservation stories in the world of big cats. Thius sounds like nothing more than the HSUS interfering in wildlife management practices that continue to maintain the science based management principles of 1) maintaining stable populations of carnivores, 2) balancing predator/prey relationships and mitigating human/cougar conflict and 3) maintaining willingness of people to conserve carnivore populations. Efforts by the HSUS will destoy the science based management that exemplifies North American Conservation success. As a mountain lion ecologist and scientist I WHOLEHEARTEDLY DISAGREE with the position of HSUS on this issue and respectfully request citizens and voters get the facts before voting or signing any petitions.
    Respectfully,
    Jonathan R. Keehner, PhD.

    For your reference:

    Keehner, J.R., Wielgus, R.B. & A.M. Keehner (2015) Effects of male targeted harvest regimes on prey switching by female mountain lions: implications for apparent competition on declining secondary prey. Biological Conservation. 192:101-108.

    Keehner, J.R., Wielgus, R.B., Maletzke, B.E. & M.A. Swanson (2015) Effects of male targeted harvest regime on sexual segregation in mountain lion. Biological Conservation. 192:42-47.

    • Haley Stewart says:

      Thank you for your comments, John. I am the wildlife protection manager for The HSUS. Trophy hunting is the greatest source of mortality for mountain lions across their U.S. range. Additionally, research shows that the practice can be quite harmful to their social structures, disrupting their relationships among one another. A recently published study on mountain lions in the Teton region show that mountain lions are quite social animals and live in “communities.” Disrupting these communities can cause negative effects and increase conflicts by causing social chaos within their populations. Trophy hunting can easily destabilize mountain lion populations, causing increased conflicts with humans, pets and livestock. Check out this New York Times piece on that study: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/science/pumas-solitary-social.html

      • Ray Tschudy says:

        Trophy hunting of any game animal including Mountain Lions is already illegal in Arizona.
        All edible parts of the animals must be used.
        You continually use the term “trophy hunting” to mislead people into believing that people are hunting them just for the hide and head.
        Your manufactured political group “Arizonans for Wildlife” which did not even exist until you created it for this drive, consistently uses deceptive misinformation.
        The group claims that this measure is necessary to stop “trophy” hunting of Jaguar, Ocelot, Lynx, Mountain Lion and Bobcat.
        Jaguar and Ocelot are already fully protected as they are on the endangered species list and have been for decades and NO hunting or trapping of them is allowed.
        Lynx do not even exist in Arizona.
        Mountain Lions are classified as game animals and as such, NO TROPHY HUNTING of them is allowed under Arizona regulations.
        You resort to emotional arguments and deliberate misinformation as you have no scientific evidence concerning Mountain Lion populations in Arizona supporting the need to provide more protection than they currently have.
        Our wildlife deserve scientific management by professionals as they have under the Arizona Dept of Game and Fish.

      • Ray Tschudy says:

        I read the study you cited in its entirety and the authors made no such conclusions. In fact they specifically noted at the end that more study was necessary to see if this social behavior held true across different populations.
        “However, pumas also exhibit great dietary breadth and variable densities across their range in North America and South America; further comparisons are needed to determine whether what we discovered in our study system is applicable across puma populations of different densities or with different prey assemblages (for example, small prey versus large prey and migratory prey versus stationary prey).”
        The fact that exhibit tolerance in feeding situations does NOT indicate a complex social structure as you claimed.

      • Jon Keehner says:

        Hi Haley– I respect Dr. Elbroch’s work very much. However the facts still do not change: 1) sustainably managed and science based hunting DOES NOT destabilize mountain lion populations. Inherent in the very definition of the word– “sustainably” precludes any possibility of being overhunted or destabilized. That is what EVERY wildlife management entity in the states that have mt. lion populations strive for and achieve. There has not been a mt. lion population hunted to “extinction” since the 1930’s (Kaibab Plateau). 2) I am very aware of “Social chaos” theory in carnivore management– my co-author (and mentor) Dr. Rob Wielgus was instrumental in raising the awareness to the social and behavioral aspects of hunting mt. lions. I cannot speak for Rob (obviously) but the research I co-authored with him clearly showed social behavioral changes– but the effects on the lions were inconsequential– the strongest effect was on the mule deer population in the area (please read the study) but few if any studies have documented any effects that are more “negative” than the simple fact that humans share this planet with mt. lions and mt.lions simply alter behaviors as a response to it. 3) Maintaining political and social acceptance for carnivore conservation relies on the ability of wildlife managers to maintain the ability to manage population density, range and distribution of mt. lions. not just for hunters– but for hikers, photographers– anyone who has an interest in these animals. It’s not just about using “emotion” to arbitrarily claim that “hunting is bad”– no– it is the reason we have public land, thriving wildlife populations and outdoor recreation opportunities that most Americans enjoy. I certainly do not think hunting is for everybody– and I respect those who would choose to NEVER kill a living creature (although we all kill and destroy living creatures every single day simply be existing here on this planet– but that is a philosophical argument not appropriate for this discussion at this time). but to claim that hunting is “bad” or “a negative influence” on carnivore conservation and their populations is simply intellectually dishonest. I love the freedoms we enjoy in the USA and respect the HSUS right to voice their beliefs in managing wildlife “without hunting”– but at least be honest and truthful about what that means to carnivore conservation. Anything less than that from HSUS should cause people to exam the true motives of HSUS for trying to ban mt. lion hunting in Arizona.
        Thank you again for the discussion.
        Jon Keehner, PhD

    • Pat says:

      Science based management isn’t what the planet needs. Nature based management is what the earth is crying out for. Stop the mindless killing.

    • Kevin Bixby says:

      I thought cougars maintained their own stable populations through territoriality. In any case, wildlife management by initiative wouldn’t be needed if the AZ Game Commission (and most state wildlife commissions) did its job to protect wildlife as a public trust, for all the people, not just hunters, anglers, trappers and livestock interests. The idea that science is all you need to make management decisions ignores the role of values. Science can tell you, e.g., how many cougars you can take out of the population without causing a decline, but it can’t tell you whether you should allow cougar hunting at all. That’s a value decision the voting public of Arizona will hopefully get to make next year if this initiative gets on the ballot. If the Game Commission truly represented the public, an initiative wouldn’t be needed.

    • Michael Folks says:

      Jon, you sound really passionate about this issue. Any chance you show the same passion to stop the killing with bad science as currently being done in CO by the state agency? Also seems odd in your position you do not even acknowledge the cruelty and disgusting practice of hunting mtn lions with dogs. Why don’t you get passionate on some of these issues too. Given your stated credentials, your response is disappointingly right up there with state agency employees/biologists serving hunters and ranchers.

    • Skye says:

      And here folks, we surely have a member of the NRA and someone so obviously mentally pathetic that he thinks only humans know how and can regulate nature properly. For God’s Sake, how did nature and the wildlife ever get along with you monsters? That PhD (if truth) is totally wasted on the likes of you, Neanderthal.

    • Glenn Graham says:

      “Efforts by the HSUS will destroy the science-based management that exemplifies North American Conservation success”. You mean success like driving wolves and grizzly bears to near extinction? Your “North American conservation success” is based on killing predators so there are more deer to hunt. Who pays your salary I wonder?

    • Marianne says:

      John Keehner: I’m not a scientist or will I pretend to know about the scientific background of population control, etc. What I do know is this: the good old boys (and girls) who use steel traps that wind up mutilating an animals’ body, and / or use obscenely painful and cruel methods of killing wildlife are the ones in need population control. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. If you are so concerned about animals, then why not trap and spay / neuter?? If you think population control is necessary, then why not do it HUMANELY? NO suffering allowed!

      • Missy says:

        You do realize that the steel traps you are speaking of are actuLly illegal to use in Arizona?

      • Tom says:

        Marriane, steel jaw traps have been outlawed in AZ on public land since the 90s. The reference to their use is inaccurate.

      • Ray says:

        Leg hold traps are already banned on all public lands in AZ.
        Arizona is 82% public land and the majority of the private land is encompassed by urban metro areas where trapping is not allowed.

    • Leila Lappin says:

      Let me guess you are also an avid hunter. If you are then anything you say is subjective. Claims of people like you are to convince the public that your bloody habit of serial killing is a good thing. Your type is so demented and twisted that you really think you are doing a good thing.
      But your breast beating and your so called scientific claims to support an argument for killing animals in a world where billions of humans are multiplying like roaches, and every other species of animals is going extinct is horse shit! So please shut up! If you have a need to kill because you crave blood be upfront about it.

  2. Maria Mönch says:

    We need to preserved ,and take care all our animals all our of them!!

    domestic and non, Is our duty!!
    They need love and protection

  3. Nathan Lopez says:

    Since when are mountain lions a target of the wealthy upper class?? I know more blue collar lion hunters than I do white collat hunters. Also, where is your data comming from. Most people that I know consume mountain lion meat after it’s harvested. “High tech search and destroy”???? Those telemetry collars are used to safely bring home our canine companions. Seems like you dont care about our hounds the way we do.Looks like you’re just painting a picture for those who do not undertstand the sport but people will be shown the truth and people will be educated.

    • Leila Lappin says:

      True words coming out of the mouth of animal serial killer, a.k.a. hunter! Anyone who refers to stalking and killing an animal in cold blood as ‘sport’ is no authority on truth. As for your argument, mountain people kill and eat lions and therefore the claim that rich trophy hunters are not paying to kill lions, two things is wrong with your argument.

      1- Just because all the lions you know killed were killed by villagers, it doesn’t mean rich trophy hunters are not paying to kill them.

      2- Any human population that consider any extreme killing of animals justified because they want to eat the flesh of the dead animal can easily switch to killing humans for consumption if animals were not easily available on the menu. In other words, asshole, eating flesh should not be the main concern of an evolved human population. It is not okay to kill anything and everything just because you want to eat it. If you advocate that then tell me what is the difference between a human and flesh eating bacteria, except that the human is supposed to be a far superior animal, a gift from God!!!

      Go pimp your stupid, phony baloney argument to the subhuman villagers you hang out with. We are far too smart for you!

  4. Newt says:

    If this is true, it could be done in a humane way…….not with dogs, traps. Be man, track animal by yourself, no parties or groups. Use Bow and arrow or a good clean shot. No suffering!
    Humans are the ones that need population control, not wildlife!

    • Aaron says:

      You ever seen one in the wild? I’ve been followed by one and never seen it. “Be a man” lol. You haven’t the foggiest clue as to what you are talking about.

    • Mike says:

      You nailed it, “if it is true”. HSUS has mis-represented many facts.

      Steel jaw traps are illegal, most hunters use rifles are archery. There is no Trophy hunt for lions, and Jaguars and Ocelot are already illegal to hunt.

      And yes human population control needs to happen, maybe HSUS could champion that cause.

      • Leila Lappin says:

        So archery is supposed to a whole lot kinder. How about if someone pierced your gut with an arrow and let you loose and see how much you enjoy dying from a wound over long hours, freak?

    • Wendy Jenks says:

      How does an arrow not cause suffering? Care to demonstrate on yourself? C’mon, now, it won’t hurt–you said so yourself.

      So how about NO hunting, and NO suffering? Predators are self-regulating; they don’t need human management. They certainly didn’t until man figured out how to profit from making false claims that they’re decimating deer herds or attacking our children at bus stops.

      This is NOT conservation, it’s NOT humane, and it’s NOT necessary.

      • Leila Lappin says:

        Wendy, you are exactly correct, but we have to remember hunters are not fully evolved humans. They are a mistake of evolution. It is impossible to read their comments, in their own internal website, and not think that this population of so called humans, are missing critical genes that make humans human. It is truly bizarre and disturbing to read how they talk about animals. They describe the animals they kill in precisely the same way that serial killers describe their victims. But these freaks are even colder and more brutal than serial killers. These freaks, don’t even refer animals as living beings. They refer to animals as trophy. They refer to killing animals as ‘taking’ them and refer to cutting them up and stuffing their victims’ body as ‘bagging’. I was reading an article about one of these freaks saying how excited he got when he saw a population of white deer. He ran to his house got his big shut gun and got himself one of those trophies! It is really frightening to think that we have individuals with this caliber of cruelty among us and they are free to peddle their kills with pride!

    • Ray Tschudy says:

      If the objection is to using dogs to hunt Mountain Lions why do they intend to ban ALL hunting of Mountain Lions?
      HSUS helped push a similar measure thru in Calif. Now the Lion populations has increased to the point that more Lions are killed every year under depravation permits and govt hunters than were taken by hunters before the ban.
      Don’t be fooled by their rhetoric, the Mountain Lion populations will still have to be managed.
      Do you want to pay govt hunters to kill the excess Lions of have hunter pay to hunt them and have the money go to conservation?

      • Leila Lappin says:

        Hey Ray, You know that human population has reached 7.6 billion, right? How many mountain lions make an over population for you?

  5. Kyle says:

    This is all a thinly veiled attack at hunting in general. These lions will still get shot, the tax payers will have to foot the bill when the state has to hire hunters to reduce the population rather than get the income from hunting licenses. Look at what is happening in California. It’s a fact that hunters contribute more to conservation than any other group. AZ game and fish does a great job, leave game management to the professionals and keep your emotions out of it. These aren’t Disney characters.

    • Leila Lappin says:

      Awe such sorrow, awe, such atrocity, what attacking the bloody hobby of killing! What is this world is coming to? You mean to tell me that 7.6 billions people cannot have their fun killing every last animal in every wild corner of the planet?

      Awe what calamity! But wait, why can’t we have hunters hunt each other? That would be much more exciting and fair. Let’s give the hunters their weapon of choice and have them go at each other. Let the games begin and killer parasites kill each other.

  6. Karen Horant says:

    I’m pro life for these beautiful creatures,we the people destroy everything beautifull.we are the worst kind of animals.killing gods beautifull creatures for money,greed horns or fur .This discusses me.

  7. Karen Horant says:

    Stop this practice,it’s so cruel

  8. Jacob says:

    As a fellow houndsman I know how crucial our way of life is. I run coons and coyotes with mine, but the story is the same regardless of the quarry. Hound hunting not only controls the lion population, but it helps to stabilize all their prey’s population and keeps their ecosystem in check. If you do away with lion hunting then they have no predators and their population will become too high. That in turn will create problems for not only the animals they prey on but also humans and pets. Hound hunting is the most ethical method of hunting there is, and I know that we care more about the animals we pursue than the people that don’t immerse themselves in their habitat. I hope this doesn’t get passed because it’s effects will do nothing but hurt them in the long run.

    • Leila Lappin says:

      Hey Jacob, aren’t you full of yourself?! Put the break on, before you assume that you are doing the rest of a favor by indulging in your blood lust, may be you should ask a few people outside of your brain-dead subhuman circle of killers.

      YOUR BLOOD LUST doesn’t impress the rest of us. So stop your bullshit you are nothing but cold blooded killer missing a few critical human genes. subhuman douche bag!

  9. Kara Jensen says:

    Arizona Game and Fish have effectively managed these lions and bobcats to the point of their populations increasing. Your numbers are wrong. If you take the management of the lions and bobcats out of the hands of Game and Fish, all taxpayers will have to pay for professional hunters to use dogs to kill the ‘rogue’ lions and bobcats that start attacking people and livestock.

    In 2016, AZ game and fish sold over 10,000 lion tags. Only 213 lions were harvested. Of those licenses and tags $200,000 was raised to pay the biologists to manage these cats.

    By the way, the mountain lion is considered big game and wasting the meat of that animal is illegal. Hunters do eat the meat of the lions. Many hunters also do NOT use dogs.

    Look at the mess California is now in done to banning hunting the mountain lions. If you have too many predators you lose deer, sheep, antelope and elk herds not to mention livestock.

    Please review the North American Model of Conservation – based on science and fact. Not emotion.

  10. Skye says:

    I never thought I’d see the day when compassion and what’s right and wrong would prevail over barbaritic animalistic murdering of magnificent wildlife that do humans no harm (1 in a million). THANK YOU people of Arizona for finally putting these monsters out of business!!

  11. James H. Mundy IV says:

    Those who support the governments wildlife management and sport/trophy hunting, trapping of Bobcats are dead wrong and old school, not keeping up with ever expanding research and science, even those with old Phd’s. Change is fast paced. The humane thing for the remaining Cougars and other cats is to leave them alone in peace and we humans must adapt to allowing them that peace. They have feelings and emotions just like us. Nature controls a balance that we humans have destroyed under the guise of the old school sports when the environment could handle it. Now with human population explosion worldwide the environment cannot sustain.

  12. James H. Mundy IV says:

    Also, replace the hunting with ecoturism, a much more rewarding and sustainable alternative. See Panthera and Brazil’s success.

    • Ray says:

      Arizona’s wildlife conservation and the AZFG are ENTIRELY funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and the tax on firearms and ammunition.
      Eco-tourism would not put one cent into the conservation programs.

  13. Travis says:

    I’m not about to argue what is and what isn’t trophy hunting however in Arizona it is illegal to harvest any animal and not utilize all of it. If you were to say kill a mountain lion and leave the carcass with the meat on it in the field you will be charged with waste of a game animal. Mountain lions are hunted for meat they are very good table fare. One huge problem that is not discussed in this article is the fact that the state will be burdened with hiring independent contractors with hound dogs to track and kill mountain lions who are creating problems in urban environments. Currently if a mountain lion is killing stock or causing problems in an urban environment a hunter can harvest that animal and then utilize the hide and the meat. When the State of Arizona eliminates a problem animal the animal goes to waste it is merely put in a landfill or left lying in the field. There are currently mountain lions killed every year for killing stock or hanging around towns to close to children and houses. If the population significantly increases from lack of hunting and sound Game and Fish management practices there will be many more mountain lions killed by the state agency and many more human lion conflicts. Arizona Game and Fish does an excellent job of managing the state’s Wildlife all of its wildlife.

  14. Ross says:

    Wayne’s comment are erroneous regarding the use of mountain lion meat after the kill. This meat is one of the better wild game meats that is available. It has been my experience that the meat is in fact consumed after the animal is taken. Also his description of the hunt and kill process of using dogs is totally erroneous. It is certainly not like shooting animals in a cage. Given the errors on these two parts of his blog, I would guess there are more errors contained in the writing.

  15. David says:

    The ballot measure in Arizona is deciectfully written. For starters, there is no “trophy hunting” in Arizona as mentioned in the petition. Jaguars and Ocelots are already federally protected. The has not been a recorded sighting of Candian Lynx in Arizona so that is irrelevant. Go to the AZGFD website and research for yourself.

    Arizona has strict wanton waste laws that forbid harvesting an animal and letting the carcass go to waste. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of mountain lion hunters and bobcat hunters do harvest their animals for sustenance. They do not kill for fur and display only.

    The population of mountain lions and bobcats in Arizona are plentiful and are listed as an animal of least concern. The 10% of cats harvested in this state are enough to keep the balance in check, which HSUS tends to disrupt. Unfortunately, the ultimate losers in this bill are the mountain lions and bobcats.

    Additionally, the measure doesn’t not offer any alternative measures of controlling the population or how funding for removal of nuisance animals will be supported, and gors as far as denying AZGFD any sort of authority in the matter. AZGFD is one of the top agencies in the nation when it comes to conservation and wildlife management.

    This ballot also does not address the impact of the increase of mountain lions will play in the decrease all of othrr prey species, namely the big horn sheep.

    The is also no verbage of how ranchers will be reimbursed, due to the increase in popularion if this bill were to pass.

    The growing amount of problems that exist in California is a prime example why this ballot is, while may seem noble, is full of smoke and mirrors and should be passed.

    The fact od the matter is that it has been proven that the HSUS wants to end hunting all together and banning hunting an an apex predator is the tip of iceberg, as increase in predators will decrease the rest of the prey species. They do not help local shelters (proven in their own tax records) through donations.

    The only intention of this bill is to ban hunting without assuming any roles or responsibilities in the mamagement in population afterwards, only leaving agencies like the AZGFD to scramble and unnecessarily use funds that could go where it is truly needed, none of which come from the HSUS.

  16. Chris Ennist says:

    A couple thoughts on this article..

    Lions kill on average one deer a week for survival. Using the annual harvest average in this article (2500/ year) by eliminating the legal harvest of these animals, we would be putting to death 130,000 deer per year. That figure does not account for the subsequent increase in lion population.
    I have friends who have harvested lions and say that the meat is some of the best they have ever had. I look forward to the opportunity to taste it in the future. The meat does not go to waste.
    I purchase and carry a lion tag every time I am in the field. I have yet to use one but I am proud in knowing that the hundreds of dollars generated from my tag alone goes to conservation efforts to benefit all Arizona wildlife.
    Who is going to fund these conservation efforts should we be disallowed to harvest game in the future?
    If one truly cares for the well-being of wildlife, then they should get involved in a group that is dedicated to using proven science to effectively manage populations to prevent mass starvation and extinction. We have a group that does just that now, they are the American hunters and their scientists are the Arizona Game And Fish department.
    If there was not a gag order placed on game and fish, they would tell you about all the work they put into keeping the native populations of wildlife living and thriving in Arizona.

  17. Leila Lappin says:

    This message is for the psychotic demented serial killers, a.k.a. hunters.

    GET LOST! YOU ARE NOT WANTED HERE.

    Your freakish love of killing is not shared by us. You are not making your killing frenzy any more respectable or even acceptable by your feeble and demented arguments that you are doing us a favor indulging in your blood lust. GET LOST! subhuman freaks! And take your phony baloney scientist who published so many papers arguing how killing animals is good for everyone. Take him with you and shut him up.

  18. Ria says:

    This is great news. We all know what actually goes on in the name of conservation. While the paid biologist claim there have a population explosion of the big cats when you look into the actual stats we all can see that is a big fat lie. Someone here said the hunters love to hunt these big cats down because they want to have all the deer and elk all to themselves which is true. Meanwhile the government lies behind the veil of lies, calling out how they are conserving wildlife by actually killing it. I am sure there are non lethal ways to generate the funds. HSUS, keep up the good work. I am literally tired of fighting with the mindless trophy hunters and it’s about time all states of USA which allows trophy hunting sees the truth and takes necessary actions to ban it.

  19. Cole says:

    This article is very misleading in the sense of lions only taking for trophy hunting. Cougars are very lean, organic meat that is eaten by many. We need a balance between hunting and nature. No true sportsman wants to hunt anything to the point of endangering the prosperity of the species.

    Banning or outlawing only makes it more likely that poachers will be the only ones taking these animals. What you don’t realize is that sportsmans are the true stewards of the land. The eyes and ears that are out there all the time. These lions will be killed one way or another, no matter how many crazy laws are placed to restrict it. It’s better to have respectable laws, that protect the ethical and ways of harvesting these animals.

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