Game And Fish Commission Opposes Proposed Initiative To Ban Hunting Of Wild Cats

(U.S. National Park Service photo)

At its regular December meeting, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission passed a motion in opposition to a proposed ballot initiative that would ban the hunting of mountain lions and bobcats and restrict management of the state’s wild cats by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The proposed initiative has not yet qualified for the ballot, but the Commission regularly takes positions on federal and state legislation with potential impact on the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) and the management of Arizona wildlife. The Commission voted 4-0 “in opposition to the initiative related to wild cats, and to affirm that the department has all the tools necessary to manage our state’s wildlife.”

“I like to describe it as ballot box wildlife management versus scientific management of wildlife,” said Commissioner Kurt Davis, of Phoenix. “This is very dangerous for the ability of our wildlife professionals, our scientists, to effectively manage all the forms of wildlife in the state. It removes management tools that are used by the department and I think that’s a very dangerous path to go down.”

The proposed measure, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), also seeks to protect “lynx,” a species not found in Arizona, and two endangered species already under federal protection, jaguars and ocelots. None of these animals can be legally hunted in Arizona.

9 Comments on "Game And Fish Commission Opposes Proposed Initiative To Ban Hunting Of Wild Cats"

  1. The Oracle of Tucson | December 6, 2017 at 3:38 am | Reply

    If this passes it will be a disaster for people who reside in Mt. Lion country.
    Hobbling trained and educated wildlife managers with”feel good” legislation handcuffs is not responsible wildlife management.
    Is encourage a solid NO vote on this of it makes it to the ballot.

    The Oracle

  2. I’m seeing anti-humane society advertisements on TV – one cat group fighting another – or maybe it’s cats and dogs.. either way one says don’t give money to the humane society because the humans are taking the money for themselves.. imagine that! Now they are trying to save lions.. I suggest they put one at their house.

  3. “The proposed measure, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS),. . . ”

    ADI, you forgot to mention that Tucson’s own Steve Farley is the Sponsor of SB1182 which is the Senate bill behind this BS! And, he is running for Governor!

  4. Hoi Polloi Boy | December 6, 2017 at 7:09 am | Reply

    LA & the Bay Area passed such an initiative in Commiefornia 20-25 years ago. Ten years later we had mt lions running all over the place in the Sierras, threatening kids at school bus shelters and killing live stock at will. I’m tired of city folks telling people in rural areas how to live. The things are pests and breed like domestic cats. Let Game & Fish manage the population.

  5. There is no biological justification for banning the hunting of cats in Arizona. Harley Shaw, a well known mountain lion researcher published an interesting book many years ago; “Soul among lions”. In that book, he states that the best thing we ever did for lions in this state was to list them as a big game animal. That status, and the management implications of it, ensures these animals will always exist in Arizona. Our lion population is healthy, and goes up and down, mostly based on available prey (deer, javelina, elk, and even smaller animals including rabbits!). Please don’t believe the animal rights crowd, their hearts may be in the right place but they are terribly ignorant when it comes to best practices in wildlife management.

  6. This is Wildcat Country. Stop hunting our name’s sake and allow them to continue controlling the AZ rodent population.

  7. the oz lion cried like a baby…no courage…the straw man had no brain…..tin man had no heart.. there’s a message there””””guess what one you are ?

  8. Thank you AZDGF! The same types did the same thing in CA. Make no mistake, the ‘AntiHunter’ groups will always seek to eliminate hunting completely. They’ll just do it one species at a time if they have to. There’s no sound empirical data for their claims because they ‘feel’ its the right thing. It’s clearly seen in ‘Devilsown’ baseless and clearly uneducated comment that Lions ‘control’ the rodent population. Yes, they will supplement their diet with a smaller prey, but their primary prey item is the deer, javelina, and larger game.

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