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Author Topic: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?  (Read 5420 times)

Online yakimanoob

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Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« on: February 17, 2017, 09:08:51 PM »
Hey all, I live on the hill opposite Cleman Mtn and have been enjoying easy sheep sightings this winter at/near the feeding station off Old Naches Rd. My neighbor, a long-time friend and volunteer of the DFW in the area, mentioned going on a hike a few days ago and finding 5 dead sheep, 2 at least were obvious cougar kills. 

I'll be up front that I'm new to hunting in general, and I'm immensely impressed by the grace and beauty of cougars and thus haven't considered hunting them until now.  I'm not the kinda guy who by nature wants to hunt predators (not that I in any way judge those who do. To each their own).  My interest is more in meat hunting, so my real concern is seeing the bighorns recover to the point that getting a chance to hunt them in WA isn't a once-in-a-lifetime lottery draw.

I recognize that predation can be a positive force for the health of a herd, BUT if the cougars on Cleman Mtn are putting too much pressure on the sheep, I'd welcome the challenge of hunting them.

What do y'all think?  I'd especially love to hear from someone involved with the mgmt of that sheep herd. 

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 09:14:19 PM »
Might consider cougar for meat hunting too.

Online yakimanoob

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 09:22:49 PM »
Might consider cougar for meat hunting too.
I have to confess I hadn't thought of that, although if I got one my curiosity would get the best of me and I'd try it.  Now to google to learn more about eating cougar meat...

Online bobcat

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 09:30:36 PM »
Contact the WDFW biologist over there- Jeff Bernatowicz. Ive talked to him a few times. He's friendly and very helpful.

You can find his contact info here:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/wildlife_district_bios.pdf

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 10:06:25 PM »
Once cats figure out that a place attracts game they can really do some damage. You will be doing the sheep a favor if you can get one of those cats that is targeting the feeding area.

FYI - Some of my best deer and elk hunting spots I have found when I am hunting cougar. The cats know where the best hunting spots are all at!
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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 10:24:24 PM »
 :yeah: For sure very seldom do I find a area the elk have been using without finding lion tracks. We have a serious cat problem :bash: When we can go from wintering 500+ deer on our ranch to maybe 100-120 and 2/3 lions at any given time. Things are getting bad :bash:
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Online yakimanoob

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 01:19:05 PM »
The "official" response is in from DFW:

"Reality is that cats kill few if any bighorn sheep in this area."  The biologist said the Clemans sheep herd is "almost too healthy" and they've relocated over 200 of them to other areas, and will be increasing the number of ewe tags this year  :tup: to help control the population. 

He said "hunting is very unlikely to have any impact on cat populations," so if that's what you're into, hunt away! 

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 06:52:30 PM »
The "official" response is in from DFW:

"Reality is that cats kill few if any bighorn sheep in this area."  The biologist said the Clemans sheep herd is "almost too healthy" and they've relocated over 200 of them to other areas, and will be increasing the number of ewe tags this year  :tup: to help control the population. 

He said "hunting is very unlikely to have any impact on cat populations," so if that's what you're into, hunt away! 

If hunting cats don't have any impact on their population, then why do they have a quota?  :dunno:


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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 08:46:48 PM »
That was my first thought too, Elkcollector.  I guess just to make SURE it doesn't have an effect on the population? 

Offline garrett89

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 10:29:42 PM »
They're really gutsy when it comes to exiting the woods. Not nearly as bad as wolves. Never heard of a cougar killing for sport.

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 06:33:39 AM »
They're really gutsy when it comes to exiting the woods. Not nearly as bad as wolves. Never heard of a cougar killing for sport.

I agree. Can't compare a cougar to wolf. Cougars take what they need. Problem is they are over populated. So you see a result in that. Now the wolfs are starting to populate and the amount that we have does a huge impact on animals. Killing for sport and/or food.  Just imagine the impact on the animals once the wolfs reach a unmanageable number.

I guess once the wolfs move into down town Olympia/Seattle the people Will finally see what we have been saying all along.  :dunno:

Online bobcat

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 01:34:25 PM »
The "official" response is in from DFW:

"Reality is that cats kill few if any bighorn sheep in this area."  The biologist said the Clemans sheep herd is "almost too healthy" and they've relocated over 200 of them to other areas, and will be increasing the number of ewe tags this year  :tup: to help control the population. 

He said "hunting is very unlikely to have any impact on cat populations," so if that's what you're into, hunt away!

I'm surprised that's the response you got because a few years ago I got the exact opposite information from a WDFW biologist. He encouraged me to try to kill a cougar on Clemans Mountain as they were having a negative impact on the bighorn sheep.

Offline Special T

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 02:01:51 PM »
And some people wonder why WDFW has a bad reputation...
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 02:07:18 PM »
Kill the cougars if you can and help the sheep. Sounds like you already found at least two lion kills maybe more? That's your answer on if they are hurting the sheep population don't worry about what wdfw says.

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Cougars good or bad for the Cleman Mtn sheep herd?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 02:09:28 PM »
Cougar meat is good also so you will still be meat hunting and saving a few critters as well!

 

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