Utah is putting more cougars in the crosshairs — and not even all hunters like the idea

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune A 4-year-old female mountain lion slowly shakes off the effects of a sedative after researchers from Utah State University and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources replaced her radio collar after being captured in the Oquirrh Mountains.

Over the objections of wildlife advocates and some hunters, Utah wildlife officials are upping the state’s cougar harvest for at least the third straight year. The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Citing a healthy and stable mountain lion population, the Wildlife Board has increased cougar permits from 581 to 642 for the 2018-19 season, which runs Nov. 7 to May 31.

The decision has drawn a rebuke from those opposed to trophy hunting, arguing the quota represents a quarter of the state’s adult cougar population and should be reduced.

“Where is your conscience when you make wildlife decisions knowingly based on inadequate, outdated and grossly erroneous information and formulate these wildlife decisions to conform to the wishes of the usual cadre of special interest groups?” Park City physician John Ziegler told the board at its Aug. 30 meeting.

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