Predator Notebook: Cougar, Bobcat, Hog, Coyote Regulations Updated in These States

Here's a roundup of some of the latest news about predator hunting, regulations and events.

Predator Notebook: Cougar, Bobcat, Hog, Coyote Regulations Updated in These States

Montana's grizzly bear commission failed to offer recommendations about any hunting season in its report offered to the governor. 

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its Sept. 11 meeting banned hunting contests for coyotes and other species with no bag limits.

The commission also made it illegal to participate in a hunting contest not permitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the WDFW. The agency is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.  

Missouri Changes Regulations for Coyotes, Hogs

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) updated regulations to the Wildlife Code of Missouri regarding coyote hunting and feral hog control at its Sept. 4 Conservation Commission meeting in Jefferson City.

The change comes in response to citizen requests to the Regulations Committee to use night vision, infrared, thermal imagery equipment, or artificial light to hunt coyotes and from landowners to allow their authorized representatives to use night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment without prior approval from a conservation agent to address damage caused by feral hogs.

The revised regulations allow landowners who own property of any size and their authorized representatives to possess, control, and use night vision, infrared, and thermal imagery equipment to kill feral hogs on the landowner’s property while in possession of any implement where wildlife could be killed or taken. Landowners and their representative would be authorized to kill or take feral hogs using these methods without prior approval from a conservation agent throughout the year.

The regulations also allow properly licensed hunters to use artificial light, night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment in conjunction with other legal hunting methods to pursue and take coyotes from Feb. 1 through March 31.

The regulations become effective Nov. 30.

MDC notes that property owners and their representatives can still use night vision, infrared, thermal imaging equipment, or artificial light to kill coyotes or other wildlife causing property damage at any time of the year with written authorization from a conservation agent.

For more information visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z5L.

Montana Grizzly Bear Advisory Council: No Hunt

Montana's 18-member Grizzly Bear Advisory Council met Aug. 19 to work toward final recommendations aboout grizzly management when the bruins are federally delisted, but it failed to offer or include recommendations for a hunt.

The council has received more than 16,000 public comments with a “diversity of views and commitment to working together on the future of grizzly bears in Montana,” according to Gov. Steve Bullock.

Read more from The Flathead Beacon.

Utah Wildlife Board Approves Changes for Cougars, Bobcats

The Utah Wildlife Board approved a few changes to the 2020–21 cougar and bobcat hunting seasons.

"Our goal is to maintain a healthy cougar population within the current distribution of the species across Utah, while also considering human and livestock safety, and declines in populations of big game species that cougars prey on," DWR Game Mammals Coordinator Darren DeBloois said. "As part of this, we factor in a proportion of older age animals, breeding females and healthy cougars in the population."

Among the changes:

— The board approved a small increase for the regular cougar hunting permits compared to last year's permit numbers. They are also proposing an additional 27 permits in hunting units that aren't implementing predator management plans. Twenty-five hunting units across the state will have predator management plans.

— It approved increasing the harvest limit from one to two cougars between July 1-June 30, 2021. It also approved a clarification to a rule for when it would be illegal to harvest a cougar with a GPS tracking collar. While the harvest of collared wildlife is discouraged, it is currently not illegal. Any future restrictions on harvesting collared cougars would be specified in the Utah Cougar Hunting Guidebook.

— It approved an amendment of not allowing dogs when hunting cougars from April 15-Nov. 2, 2021, in the La Sal, San Juan Mountains and Book Cliffs East hunting areas. People can still use dogs to pursue and hunt cougars if they have a valid permit to hunt bears in those areas during that same timeframe. Another amendment was approved to extend the limited-entry cougar hunting seasons in the Oquirrh-Stansbury, East Unit and the Wasatch Mountains, West-Strawberry Unit by 30 days.

Read more about the changes from the Utah DWR.

Bear Euthanized After Scavenging Human Remains

A black bear was euthanized by state wildlife officials in North Carolina after it was discovered scavenging on human remains in a backcountry area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Hikers made the shocking discovery Sept. 11 in the Hazel Creek backcountry area in the park. A black bear was nearby and would  not leave, according to the National Park Service. The hikers were able to leave and notify officials. Law enforcement game wardens returned immediately and several hours later observed the bear protecting and scavenging the remains.

Park officials closed a section of the Hazel Creek Trail and campsite 82. That is on the North Carolina side of the national park, about halfway between Fontana Lake and Clingmans Dome.

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