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gb
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 11:18 am 
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Ski wrote:
Tragic deal for sure.  frown.gif

Allison Morrow, reporting for KING5 news wrote:

At issue for conservationists is cougar behavior, and how cougars react when too many adults are killed at one time. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists spent a decade studying cougars to learn more about cat dynamics. Led by WDFW biologist Gary Koehler, the team learned that cougars regulate their own population size, as one male cougar protects a home range of 150 square miles. If too many adults are killed, however, the research showed that juveniles are thrown into social chos, increasing conflict between cougars, humans and livestock.

"A decade or more of scientific studies show that killing too many cougars leads to social chaos. Loss of a resident cougar opens up a territory. Two or three younger cats will typically move in. They'll compete for the territory until only one remains. During this period, the chance for interactions with people, pets, and livestock increases," said Bob McCoy, who's on the Board of Directors for the Mountain Lion Foundation.

Cougar kills man, injures another near North Bend - Tacoma News Tribune May 19, 2018 ( nwhikers discussion thread here )

I am becoming more convinced with each of these incidents that the conclusions of the WDFW study and McCoy's statements are correct.
Perhaps it's time to consider a total moratorium on cougar hunting.

Olympic National Park hosts a relatively healthy population of cougar, and I do not recall off the top of my head any instances of humans being attacked by cougar up there. I could well be mistaken.

There was one incident I recall of a biker on the Graywolf River being chased and I believe attacked. The injuries were not serious. This may have been 20 years ago.

But it again is the prey response from riding a bicycle which seems to be the vast majority of recent attacks.
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Ski
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 11:38 am 
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At least 20 people in North America were killed by cougars between 1890 and 2011, including seven in California. More than two-thirds of the Canadian fatalities occurred on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Fatal cougar attacks are extremely rare and occur much less frequently than fatal snake bites, fatal lightning strikes, or fatal bee stings. Children are particularly vulnerable. The majority of the child victims listed here were not accompanied by adults.


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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 12:58 pm 
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pcg wrote:
no one will ever know the exact circumstances.

However, this from her sister...

""She had a sharp object she used, " Alison Bober said. "She had mace, she had a stick so the evidence is clear she fought hard."
https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/missing/she-fought-hard-oregon-hiker-killed-by-cougar-fought-for-her-life-sister-says/283-592297477
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AlpineRose
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 2:14 pm 
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Title has been changed to reference the cougar.   At the time of the original post, that information was not yet known.
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Bernardo
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Ski, my question was whether the large amount of cougar attacks on Vancouver Island are consistent with the overhunting theory or the underhunting theory, ie overpopulation?
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Bernardo wrote:
Ski, my question was whether the large amount of cougar attacks on Vancouver Island are consistent with the overhunting theory or the underhunting theory, ie overpopulation?

That's an excellent question for which I do not have an answer.

The cougar population in Oregon was estimated to be about 200 animals in the early 1960s, and is now estimated to be over 6000. (Oregon's land mass is 98,381 square miles.)( .06 cougars per square mile )

As RumiDude pointed out above, the cougar population of Washington State is significantly less - about one-third that of Oregon - estimated to be about 2000 animals. (Washington's land mass is 71,362 square miles.)( .028 cougars per square mile )

The cougar population of Vancouver Island is estimated to be about 3500 animals. (Vancouver Island's land mass is 12,079 square miles)( .289 cougars per square mile )

Oregon outlawed the use of dogs for hunting cougar in 1994.
Washington outlawed the use of dogs for hunting cougar (and other animals) with the passage of Initiative 665 in 1996.
The Provincial Government of British Columbia allows use of hounds for hunting cougar.

There does exist the possibility that Vancouver Island, hosting arguably the highest concentration of cougars in the world, might have more cougar/human incidents simply because there are more cougars in a much smaller area.

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PostSat Sep 22, 2018 10:38 am 
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Latest on this episode:  Wildlife officials call off cougar hunt

Because the victim's body was out in the weather for a number of days and got well rained on, they were unable to recover sufficient cougar DNA to tie her death to a specific cougar.

One cougar (non-lactating female) was shot after being observed on trail cameras returning to the location the body was found.  No other cougars have been spotted on an extensive network of cameras set up in the area.

While they can't say 100%, the probability is very high that this was the guilty cougar.  The USFS will reopen the trails in the vicinity.

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williswall
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PostSat Sep 22, 2018 1:31 pm 
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I recall two attacks in the Olympics since I've lived here, the before mentioned incident with a bike rider, who amazingly wrestled the cougar and got him in a choke hold. I recall the cat was too muscled to pass out and the person got exhausted....they separated and looked at each other, then the cougar ran away.

The second was a young boy of around 5 who was snatched by an immature female on a sand bar while the dad was fishing. He kept the boy close fully cognizant of the dangers but the cat came out and grabbed the boy who was within 5 feet of the dad. The dad whacked the cougar with a stick until it dropped the boy, who had lacerations but was otherwise OK.

These accounts are from memory so I have no references......

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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:47 am 
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The place we free camped along the Bumping River this weekend had a little home made sign that said "Cougar Bait Campground-4 seen since 2017"
Not sure how factual this is, if someone wants to keep other people away or...
This is pretty close to Cougar Flat Campground and I noticed on the map that Cougar Valley is right up the road.
Anyway, I was sufficiently freaked out to not go very far from the van when I got up to pee in the night.

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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 10:07 am 
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Cougars don't eat pee - you're confusing them with mountain goats.  clown.gif

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RumiDude
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PostWed Nov 07, 2018 11:11 pm 
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As a follow-up to discussion about cougar numbers in Oregon being so much higher than Washington, it seems like the ODFW counts cougars differently, including non adults.

Anyway, more food for thought and how things can seemingly be so different in Oregon than in Washington.

Rumi

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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 11:45 am 
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Thursday February 6, 2020 10:37 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Public comment period open for proposed cougar management guidelines, digital open house, Feb. 13


OLYMPIA The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on proposed recommendations to the cougar management guidelines that set the framework for recreational harvest.

From Feb. 6 through Feb. 26, WDFW will accept public comments to help finalize hunting rules and regulations proposed for the upcoming year. The proposals are available on the department's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/season-setting.

WDFW will propose four options related to the cougar harvest guidelines. The public can watch a video explaining the four options here: youtu.be/8G_naHin_ys. Information on how the department currently manages cougars is also available in this video: youtube.com/watch?v=slfoanRAK9s&t=2s.

Options include maintaining the current harvest guideline, but using a median instead of mean to calculate density. Some options include changing the way WDFW counts animals toward the guideline. Other options look at increasing the guideline in areas with historically higher harvest and conflict.

The department will host a digital open house about the proposed cougar changes, on Feb. 13 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Eric Gardner, Wildlife Program Director and Anis Aoude, Game Division Manager will explain the options in more detail and host a live question and answer session. View the open house at player.invintus.com/?clientID=2836755451&eventID=2020021000.

"If you're interested in how cougars are hunted in Washington and would like to provide input on the 2020-2021 hunting season, please take time to watch our videos or attend our digital open house," said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. "We need your input to provide our Commission with the best information about the public's desires for cougar harvest management."

The Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will accept public comments on the proposed recommendations at its March 13-14 meeting in Kennewick. Final action by the Commission is scheduled at a public meeting April 10-11 in Olympia.

WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

-WDFW-

This WDFW Press Release is also posted HERE in the Stewardship Forum

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PostThu Feb 06, 2020 12:00 pm 
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WDFW Cougar Enounter Tips:
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