Don’t sign petition

People who know me are aware that the outdoors have been a huge part of my lifelong interest. I hunt, I fish and just enjoy being away from it all.

The professionals at the Arizona Game and Fish Department deserve nothing but our admiration for managing our wildlife under the sometimes harsh conditions of our environment.

Sometime in the very near future you’ll likely have someone thrust a clipboard in your direction asking you to sign a petition to place on the ballot an item for the protection of Mountain Lions and Bobcats. In my opinion this is a very misguided effort to manage wildlife at the ballot box through emotion rather than proven sound principles.

California is a perfect example of why this is a very bad idea. Since California placed them under protection status there have been more Lions removed by lethal means by State paid hunters than there ever were by hunters. Lions show up in neighborhoods and take peoples pets right out of their yards. To a Lion your beloved pets are nothing but food. There have also been attacks and fatalities on humans. I have a friend who lived in Northern California and over the course of two years he received permission to kill 3 and did because they were killing his sheep. We don’t need more and we don’t need less.

Estimates are that a lion kills and eats an animal a week. We’re talking deer, javelina, elk, bighorn sheep, and others.

Population estimates are between 2500 and 4500 Mountain Lions currently roaming Arizona, a difficult number to verify due to their secretive nature. Multiply these numbers by 52 and the impact is huge to other animals that we enjoy. Proper management is not an emotion driven decision.

Please leave the Wildlife Management to professionals and don’t sign the petition.

Ernie Bunch
Cave Creek