Hunting: Just a right or does it come with responsibilities?



photo credit Laurie Iverson USFWS

Seventeen states constitutionally recognize the right to hunt and fish and eight more are planning to introduce amendments to guarantee  this same right to their citizens in the 2014 legislative session.

Recently, there have been numerous high profile cases of hunters enjoying their right to hunt,  but clearly failing to understand the responsibility that goes with that privilege, when they end up “mistakenly” killing an animal they do not have a license for.  Large carnivore hunting seems to generate more excitement and as a result, more mistakes.

Examples of such “mistakes” Read more

What To Do Wednesday: Issue #1

What to do if you encounter a cougar while skiing or snowshoeing in the backcountry.


It’s February, and the snow is flying in the western mountains. For many of us, that means putting on skis or snowshoes and exploring the backcountry. Many of us head outdoors to find wildlife, but what should you do if the animal you spot while enjoying pristine powder is a cougar?

Read more

Tuesday Tribute: The Grazerie, Alberta

Eric & Louise of The Grazerie (Photo credit:

Eric & Louise of The Grazerie (Photo credit:

Just as wildlife know no boundaries, we are heading north of the border to Canada this week! The Cougar Fund recently had the privilege of speaking with Alberta rancher Louise Liebenberg, whose ranch The Grazerie was the first certified Predator Friendly ranch in Canada. Located near the town of High Prairie in north central Alberta, The Grazerie is situated right in the middle of cougar, wolf, coyote, and black bear territory. As a result, raising sheep and cattle in the area comes with a number of unique challenges. So, how have they fared?

Read more

The Cougar Fund is proud to announce our new blog!

The first post of The Cougar Fund’s blog is dedicated to good people and to good news. It was the foresight and compassion of acclaimed wildlife photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen and author Cara Blessley Lowe that led to the foundation of The Cougar Fund.

Tom’s magnificent images and Cara’s sensitive writing brought the story of Spirit of the Rockies to the world. The beautiful story of a mother cougar and her three young kittens paved the way to change how mountain lions are perceived in the hearts and minds of many people. The myths about cougars that form the ramparts behind which those who would destroy them hide, are slowly but surely being undermined by science and common sense.

The Cougar Fund carries the torch that Tom and Cara lit.

Our mission is to enlighten people about the natural history and behavior of this iconic species, and to lighten the burden of fear that has caused apex predators to be undeservedly vilified.  And what of the cougars themselves-the ghost cats? They spend their lives trying to avoid humans. They are contributors to the environment and yet their lives, or the taking of them, are regarded as ‘sport’ in our society. It is vital that we encourage citizens and decision makers to re-examine what constitutes ‘recreation’.  Hunting cougars is not a safety mechanism. It is not a management tool…it is only for fun! Habitat loss and fragmentation are probably the greatest challenges that wildlife face. Innovation and willingness to take steps towards conflict prevention are proactive tools for respectful co-existence.

Cougars and other large carnivores are not present on the land as targets of our fickle entertainment choices. They are all keystone species that directly enhance the biodiversity of the environment. We need them.

We are excited and humbled to be able to share our thoughts and our mission with you through this blog. We want to bring you interesting and inspiring guest blogs, to weigh in on current events, to encourage participation in finding solutions when challenges occur.

The Cougar Fund’s message is being echoed in ever widening circles. More people are stepping up to be a voice for animals in the human forum of wildlife decision making. When this happens in Government it is very good news indeed. We see this demonstrated in Nebraska where Senator Ernie Chambers has challenged the validity and humaneness of that state’s inaugural  cougar hunt. Senator Chambers is standing up for cougars and other creatures and people are hearing him. This gives us great hope and affirms the passion and dedication of Tom and Cara. Their decision to form The Cougar Fund was visionary, and it is undeniably good news for the natural world.

Please ‘tune-in’ again soon. You are all essential members of The Cougar Fund Family!

Comment on Washington SB 6287
Moose Wilson Road Public Scoping Period February 2014 – Cougar Fund Comment