Archive for category Mule Deer Predators

Mountain lion hanging around School Yard

Posted by on Monday, 23 May, 2011

In the New Mexico town of Ruidoso. in May 2011, a mountain lion refused to be frightened away from a school yard. The New Mexico Game and Fish decided to kill the lion instead of taking chances. It is bad PR when the cats kill and eat school children. Everyone knows they are not supposed to do that. They only eat mule deer and not enough of those to do any permanent harm.

Charging Mountain Lion was just Passing Through

Posted by on Monday, 23 May, 2011

Recently, two young girls along with their dog, while walking in a park near Denver, Colorado, were “charged” by a mountain lion. Since no one was injured, local police have declared that the cat was just passing through, but have advised people to stay clear of the park

California lions Threatened?

Posted by on Tuesday, 17 May, 2011

Below is an article published by Ms. McDonald regarding California mountain lions. I will refute the declarations of Ms. McDonald, then you may read on and decide for yourself:

The first thing people should know about mountain lions is: they are predators and are lethal killers and one should never assume safety when in lion country. The risk of a human-lion encounter and hence of loss of life is growing.

Next, mountain lions are the primary reason that mule deer have declined and have not been able to recover.

Mountain lions are not an essential part of the ecological web. Man is able to regulate prey populations without the aid of mountain lions. Mountain lions, by design, are a stop-gap measure.

Persons should be aware that they are many times being observed by lions without knowing it. If you actually see a lion, then first, there are too many, and second, prepare to defend yourself by any means possible.

Mountain lion habitat is mule deer. No, I didn’t say that wrong. Cougar “habitat fragmentation” is mule deer fragmentation. The largest threat facing mountain lions is overcrowding. In the Western United States there are already more lions than the available deer will support, so lions are turning to alternatives such as eating elk, preying on people, and moving east to eat whitetails.

Hunting, depredation, and vehicles do not threaten lions and lions are not threatened. Mule deer are threatened. When the lion population is down to about 5 percent of current numbers then possibly there may be a reason to say they are “threatened”. I’m talking about 1960’s numbers. And, as anyone can see, those numbers did not place cougars in jeopardy.

Mountain lions are quite at home in many populated areas of California, where they are known to prey on peoples’ pets. Although they would likely prefer the remote “wilds” , that is if there were sufficient prey, they don’t necessarily leave just because of human encroachment.

Until very recently, the population trend for mountain lions has been on the increase. The reason lion population increase has slowed  in the West, is that further increase is prohibited by their territorial nature. So, if it is critical that we change course, and it is actually, then we need to begin drastically reducing mountain lion numbers.

According to the Director of the California Department of Fish and Game, California has more mountain lions than any Western State. And, why is that? Because, by proposition, California lions have been protected. No hunting allowed. Furthermore, if you work for animal damage control, you must catch the lion in the act and have no other alternative but to kill it. In essence, there are more lions being born in California than are being killed.

Regarding inter- and in-breeding: Since a male lion maintains a territory that overlaps only a few females, unless the male moves his territory, inbreeding is assured. So what? Male lions have been known to move hundreds of miles without regard to what they encounter on the journey. This is presumably in search of food, not in search of different females.


The Felidae Conservation Fund was founded by Zara McDonald to educate the public about wild cats, and how to conserve them. She was inspired to start the organization after two different encounters with mountain lions while running long distances on park trails in northern California. What follows is an interview with her about mountain lion behavior and protection.

What is the first thing people should know about mountain lions?
The first thing people should know about mountain lions is that they’re an essential part of the ecological web. As the keystone species, they play a key role in keeping the ecosystem balanced and healthy. When they are removed from a habitat, the health of the ecosystem declines as the biodiversity falls out of balance. The next first thing people should know about mountain lions is that humans are not on their menu, and the risk of being attacked by a mountain lion is very very low. For example, you’re 150 times more likely to be killed in a car collision with a deer.

If you see a mountain lion in the wild, what should you do? What should you not do?
You should never approach a mountain lion or make it feel threatened, or get between a mother and her cubs. At the same time, you should not run away or crouch down. Stand your ground, and allow the lion an escape route. It will most likely disappear before you can be sure that you even saw a mountain lion, making you doubt your own eyes.

What threats are they facing?
The biggest threat mountain lions face is habitat fragmentation which leads to loss of contiguous habitat and connectivity corridors that connect populations for genetic diversity. In California, they also face threats from depredation permits which sanction the action of killing a cat that has killed pets or other livestock. In the remaining states where lions live, hunting is a major threat. And in all states, the risk of being killed by a car while crossing a road is a major threat. All wild felids around the world are seriously threatened by human encroachment and loss of key habitat.

How secure is their future?
Mountain lions are a threatened species. While they are not in imminent danger of extinction, there have been many local extinctions, and the territory they inhabit has been steadily shrinking over the past 150 years. If the current trends continue, they will ultimately face extinction like so many other wild cats. It is critical that we change this course now, while there is still time.

How much space do they need?
Mountain lions have vast home ranges. The home range for a female is on average 50 square miles, and can be as much as 100 square miles. For a male the range is typically 80-100 square miles and can be as much as 200 square miles. In one research study a male puma that was being GPS monitored traveled over 1000 km over a few weeks.

How large do their populations have to be so there is not inbreeding, and related genetic diseases?
The main cause of inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity for mountain lions is habitat fragmentation. The mountain lion is a low density species. Therefore populations need to be spread out across large amounts of contiguous habitat to be healthy. Males will typically not share territory with other males, and will fight to the death in a territory dispute. Within a male’s home range there can be 2-3 females. Based on the size of their home ranges, this means that at full density there are only about 4-5 adult mountain lions per 100 square miles. This makes the mountain lion a ‘bellwether’ species, exhibiting the harmful effects of habitat fragmentation long before other species do.

Does the media portray them accurately, or in a sensationalistic way?
In some cases the media accurately portrays mountain lions and the challenges they face in a human-dominated landscape. In other cases, there is a more sensationalist approach that emphasizes fear and perceived danger. Felidae is working hard to send a balanced and accurate message out, and has had a great deal of success generating positive and informative stories in the media.

What is their main source of food?
Mountain lions are ‘generalist predators’ meaning they will eat anything from mouse to a moose. However in North America around 80 percent of a mountain lion’s diet consists of deer, and in South America there are animals similar to deer which also form the bulk of the mountain lion’s diet.

How often do they reproduce?
An adult female mountain lion is pregnant or raising young for 70 percent of her life. The gestation period after conception is about 90-92 days, and the young will stay with the mother for 18-24 months. A female will typically get pregnant within a year, and often significantly less, from the time her previous litter disperses. That puts the total reproduction cycle at around 2.5 to 3 years.

How can members of the public help make sure mountain lions survive?
The main thing that members of the public can do is to get informed and get involved, and to spread the word and help support conservation efforts. Felidae’s website, is a great place to start. It provides a lot of information about upcoming lectures, and opportunities to volunteer, make a donation, attend an event, sign up for our mailing list, and connect to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Also check out to watch this exciting project build momentum, Learn about the Bay Area Puma Project
and join us at an upcoming lecture in San Francisco at the Randall Museum on March 10th.

Go after THEM Coyotes

Posted by on Monday, 4 April, 2011

The Fawn/Doe ratio for Nevada Mule Deer is still under 0.50/1:00 and yet this is the best it has been in quite some time. Therefore, you are strongly urged to kill as many Nevada coyotes as you possibly can. Residents and non-residents may hunt Nevada coyotes without a license.

Wolves in Utah – Friend or Foe

Posted by on Wednesday, 19 January, 2011

Excerpts from the Utah DWR:


Are there wolves in Utah?

Although there have been confirmed wolf sightings — and some instances of wolf-related livestock depredation — there are no known established packs in Utah.

Are wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act?

Yes. As of Aug. 5, 2010, wolves in the western United States, including all of Utah, are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Can I kill a wolf that’s attacking my livestock?

No. Wolves are now listed as an endangered species and are fully protected under the Endangered Species Act. If wolves begin harassing or harming your livestock, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Will I be reimbursed if a wolf kills my livestock?

As long as wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the state of Utah will not reimburse you for livestock killed by wolves. However, livestock owners may be eligible for compensation from a private organization. For details, see the Wolf Compensation Trust set up by Defenders of Wildlife.

Does Utah have a long-term plan for dealing with wolves?

In 2003, the Utah Legislature directed the DWR to prepare a wolf management plan. The DWR convened a diverse team with members from many interest groups. This effort had two main goals:

  • To encourage the USFWS to delist wolves and give management authority to the state
  • To outline how the state of Utah would manage wolves

In 2005, after an exhaustive public process, the Utah Wildlife Board and Utah Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Board approved the Utah Wolf Management Plan.

What will happen if a wolf enters Utah?

In 2010, the Utah Legislature passed legislation (see S.B. 36, Wolf Management) directing the DWR to request that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service immediately remove any wolves discovered in Utah. In compliance with the new law, the DWR sends a removal request to the USFWS each time a wolf is discovered in Utah.

What is the DWR’s position on wolves?

The DWR’s position has always been that wolves should be removed from the protection of the Endangered Species Act and be managed by the state of Utah. DWR leadership, the governor’s office and Utah’s congressional delegation have repeatedly requested that the federal government transfer management to the state. The DWR will continue urging the USFWS to delist wolves statewide. After that occurs, the DWR can implement its plan and manage wolves responsibly whenever — and wherever — they enter Utah. However, while wolves are endangered, the DWR does not have the authority to manage them, regardless of their impact on livestock or wildlife.

The DWR recognizes that unmanaged wolf populations may pose a serious threat to Utah’s wildlife. In nearby states — including Idaho, Montana and Wyoming — wildlife officials attribute declines in their elk herds to the unchecked growth of wolf packs. The DWR wants to prevent a similar situation from occurring in Utah. The DWR has a plan and personnel that can effectively manage wolves statewide.

Utah continues to go Downhill

Posted by on Thursday, 9 December, 2010

The Utah DWR has been wanting for years to force deer hunters to hunt in smaller units. In 2012 that is slated to become a reality. And, because mule deer numbers continue to decline, the number of hunt permits will be cut by about 13,000 tags or about 15 %.

The Utah DWR cannot comprehend that predators are responsible for declining mule deer numbers so it is the hunters that must suck it up. The state will be divided into 29 units, and buck to doe ratios must be 18/100 (DWR count) or permits numbers will fall further.

By now, most hunters have forgotten the promises made by the DWR when they cut tags to 90,000 and divided the state into five regions. The DWR promised that there would be more bigger bucks and a better hunting experience and that the deer numbers would increase. But the herd just keeps going down hill and they cannot figure out why.

The DWR is now making similar promises for the new plan. Permits prices are to increase to make up for the revenue shortfall, so once again, hunters take it in the shorts. Mule deer are moving into subdivisions to escape the predators.

Very few hunters showed up at the public meetings to oppose the plan

Mountain lions are moving East

Posted by on Monday, 6 December, 2010

The western mountain lions are running out of mule deer so they are moving east to eat whitetails. Western Missouri just had a confirmed mountain lion sighting along with a photo. Hair was taken from the site for DNA testing.

Utah Black Bear attacks Young Girl

Posted by on Saturday, 30 October, 2010

In the summer of 1992, a young girl of nine years was attacked by a Utah black bear while she was sleeping in the camper on her grandparent’s truck. The girl’s name was Krystal Gadd and the attack occurred near Strawberry Reservoir. Krystal was mauled and scalped by the bear – and quite likely would not have survived had her grandfather not assaulted the bruin with a large flashlight. The bear was attempting to haul Krystal away while still inside her sleeping bag, but the sleeping bag got hung up on a barbed wire fence. Grandpa Gadd attributed his success at warding off the bear to an unseen spiritual presence.

Cougar drags deer from stash

Posted by on Friday, 29 October, 2010

Dog Saves Boy from Cougar

Posted by on Friday, 15 October, 2010

Jan 05 , 2010

One lucky boy in Canada can say without a doubt that he has his own personal guardian angel — not of the spiritual kind, but of the furry.

On Saturday an 18-month old golden retriever saved her owner from being attacked by a cougar while in the backyard of their home in Boston Bar, British Columbia, about 130 miles north of Vancouver.

The dog — named Angel — leaped into action and threw herself between her owner, 11-year-old Austin Forman, and the cougar that was charging at him.

Sherri Forman, Austin’s mother, said her son was outside with Angel around 5:30 p.m. gathering firewood from their backyard. She explained that Angel normally runs around and plays when she is outside, but on this afternoon she was behaving differently.

“He had come in at one point to tell me how cute Angel was being because she was sticking pretty close to him in the yard, which was unusual for her,” Forman told CNN.

In hindsight she realizes that Angel was protecting her son from an unseen danger.

When the cougar charged, Angel ran to protect the boy.

“She intercepted the cougar,” Forman said. “Austin came into the house very upset, and I had to get him to calm down so I could understand what he was saying. Finally he said ‘there’s a cougar eating Angel.'”

Angel and the cougar fought under the family’s deck, while Austin’s mother called 911 for help. A constable was in the area and able to make it to their home and kill the cougar quickly.

Forman said when her nephew pulled the cougar’s body off Angel, who at first appeared fatally injured, the dog sucked in a “big breath of air and then got up.” Ever the protector, Angel “walked to Austin, sniffed him to make sure he was alright, then sat down.” Despite receiving a few deep bites and scratches Angel’s prognosis is good.

“She had some pretty nasty injuries across the front of her head and neck” said veterinarian Jack Anvik who is treating Angel at the Sardis Animal Hospital. “If there had been enough time for the two of them together the cougar would have probably killed the dog,” he told CNN.

According to his mother, Austin is so thankful for Angel’s bravery that he “went to town with his grandpa and bought a huge steak for her.”
“I feel very good now that we know she’s alive and the fact that she saved me and survived is amazing,” Austin told CNN.

And Angel appears to be in good spirits while she recovers at the Animal Hospital.

“She’s a golden retriever,” Anvik said. “They’re always happy.”