New bill makes mountain lion hunting open year-round
In Utah, it’s open season year-round on mountain lions following the passage of HB469 last week. Governor Cox signed the controversial bill into law on Friday, removing management of mountain lions from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) along with the requirement of a separate hunting license to hunt them, according to ABC Channel 4 News.
Those against the bill say that the governor “ignored Utahns united voices of sportsmen, houndsmen, wildlife biologists, conservationists and advocates” and essentially made it open season on mountain lions without public input. Vocal opponents included the Utah Mountain Lion Conservation and Humane Society of Utah, which sent a letter to Governor Cox opposing the bill. Last minute additions from lawmakers to the bill, which originally began as a way to regulate unfair hunting and trapping methods passed with an amendment that removed any season restrictions for mountain lion hunting.
“This opposition is based upon the bill’s complete destruction of the scientific management of the cougar population,” stated a letter from the Humane Society of Utah.
“Please leave wildlife management decisions to wildlife biologists,” posted the Utah Mountain Lion Conservation on social media. “You are undermining their education, research, and knowledge by passing this law.”
Hunting season was schedule to run Nov. 1 through May 31, but HB469 now makes it legal to hunt mountain lions year-round.
What do you think? Should mountain lion hunting be allowed without season restrictions in Utah?