Many cried foul, but it seems MTFWP did due diligence in analyzing the tragic discovery of a severed mountain lion paw in a trap last April. The naysayers who accused cougar advocate Cal Ruark of faking the discovery owe him an apology. We all KNOW that non target trapping happens, more so since the large sadistic predator traps aimed at wolves now dot the landscape.
We are discouraged by FWP’s inability or reluctance to follow up judiciously on thisafter-season incident. Culpability needs to have consequences, and consequences need to be directed at the best possible for outcome for wildlife. There is room in the new mountain lion management plan to address the issue of non-target trapping. We think Montana has the courage to be first in rewarding conscientious sportsmen for ethical behavior, by accounting for the meaningless loss of animals to poorly located or primitive equipment and non-compliant trap checking.