Elk NetworkCougar Hunt Sparks Debate Among Scientists, Hunters and Activists

General | January 10, 2018

After a social media backlash last month following TV Host Steve Ecklund’s cougar hunt photo, scientists, hunters, and activists seem to be split in Canada.

While the hunt was completely legal and in line with management practices, Ecklund received a barrage of social media backlash. Even the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife had something to say about it:

Scientists in the area stood up for the management practice. As MSN News reported “It’s seeing a much greater value on an individual animal rather than a population, but the system is set up for us to manage populations, not individuals,” said Adam Ford, an assistant professor of biology at University of British Columbia Okanagan.

With a regulated population, Alberta has maintained a stable population of 2,000 to 3,500 cougars within the province with an annual quote of 155 animals taken each year. The province has regulated cougar hunting since 1969.