Nebraska lawmaker wants to ban mountain lion hunting

January 10, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's longest-serving state lawmaker is proposing a ban on mountain lion hunting.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha introduced a measure Wednesday to force an end to the state Game and Parks Commission's yearly hunting season. Cougars are seen most often in the Pine Ridge region of northwest Nebraska.

Chambers says he's outraged by a recent auction of a mountain-lion hunting permit by the Nebraska Big Game Society, and a decision to let the hunting season proceed after a female in Sioux County was accidentally killed in a trap. Chambers says the animals pose serious no real threat to humans or livestock.

Mountain lion are native to Nebraska, but vanished in the late 1800s after settlers started poisoning and hunting them. Officials estimate that 22 live in the Pine Ridge area.