Legislation introduced in Washington by State Senator Timmy Sheldon would establish a 5-year pilot program allowing hunters to use dogs for cougar hunting. The pilot would then be used to determine the effectiveness and need for such a program moving forward. Senate Bill 5100 is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks.
Take Action Today! Washington sportsmen should call their state senator and ask them to vote YES on SB 5100. Sportsmen can contact their legislators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center Directory.
Animal-rights groups bankrolled a ballot issue in 1996 that banned using dogs to hunt cougars. However, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is still able to use them to track individual problem mountain lions. Under Washington Senate Bill 5100, hunters would again be allowed to use dogs to hunt cougars in certain game management units in Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Chelan, Okanogan, Mason and Klickitat counties. The majority of the counties included have prime cougar habitat and a higher population of the big cats.
“The use of well-trained dogs to track and harvest cougars is an way to control those species that have no natural predators, which the state has been doing at great cost to taxpayers for years,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “This pilot program is a positive step toward a broader understanding of why predator control is necessary and how hunting dogs can be used to greater protect Washington’s citizens and its natural resources.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.