Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Lincoln Journal Star, Monday, July 21, 2014, page A5.


Copyright (c) 2014 Lincoln Journal Star.


According to my informal tally, at least seven mountain lions have so far been killed in Nebraska during 2014, as follows: 1 & 2: Two were killed on January 1 and 2, at the start of Nebraska's first hunting season. Both were killed by treeing the animals with dogs, then shooting them execution style. One was killed by a man who bought the permit ($13,500) at auction; the other by a teenager who won a Game & Park's fund -raising lottery. 3: An adult male was accidentally killed by a vehicle on February 1, in Sioux County. 4: An adult was accidentally killed by a cable entanglement in Custer County, February 16th. 5: An adult female was killed for sport on February 26 in Sioux County, ending the second phase of legal hunting, but leaving most of the state open for the rest of the year. 6: A young male was shot on March 21 when he was seen threatening a chicken coop in Sheridan County. 7: An adult was caught in a trap set in Sioux County sometime in late June. The trap was left unattended by APHIS, and the decaying carcass was not found until early July. The APHIS people are the friendly folks from the U.S. government who are trained in the dark arts and will happily trap, snare or poison any pesky prairie dogs, cunning coyotes, or malevolent mountain lions that might be annoying you, all at taxpayers' expense.

These seven lions represent a third of the total 20-22 that Nebraska's Game & Parks Commission had judged to be present in the state at the start of the year and that they thought common enough to be hunted for "sport."

Obviously, it is time to stop the hunting of this magnificent and basically beneficial animal now.