The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking for public input on what the policy toward hunting mountain lions should be.  The two major issues they’re asking for feedback on are standards for trapping and something called “canned hunting”.

Mountain Lion Sightings in West Texas
Zach Key via Unsplash

Let’s find out about canned hunting first. Canned hunting is the capture of a mountain lion to be released at a later time for hunting purposes.  Currently, Texas does not prohibit canned hunting but the TPWD proposes that it should be banned.

And just in case you’re wondering, yes, some of these “canned hunts” involve releasing the animal into an enclosed area. Instead of tromping through miles of Texas brush, people can go bag a mountain lion one a few acres surrounded by a fence. TPWD is proposing a ban on “canned hunting”.

The next issue is trapping standards. Right now, there is no requirement that mountain lion hunters go and check their traps on a regular basis, or at all.

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The concern is that mountain lions may be left to die of starvation or exposure in traps. The TPWD proposes a regulation that would require trappers to check their traps at least every 36 hours.

My question is…why would anyone want to hunt a mountain lion? If they’re killing livestock and domestic pets, then I get that. We never had to shoot a mountain lion, but when I was a country kid my brother and I once had to lay an ambush for a pesky coyote that kept getting into Grandma’s chicken pen.

But mountain lions are relatively uncommon, furtive animals. If they’re not bothering anyone, I think they should be left alone. The idea of paying someone so you can go and shoot a mountain lion fenced in on four acres of treeless land is about the most pathetic excuse for hunting I’ve ever heard of.

Texas Parks and Wildlife will make its decisions at its public meeting on May 23rd. Texas citizens have the opportunity to provide comments at this link until May 22.

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