An environmental group wants to place a measure on the Arizona ballot that would ban the hunting of mountain lions and bobcats. Arizonans for Wildlife is backed by several anti-hunting organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club. Together, they label predator management as “trophy hunting.”
“They’re trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” he said. “We are going to mobilize and do what we can do to fight it,” Jim Unmacht, executive director of Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, told azcentral.com.
Earlier this month, the Arizona Game and Fish Department highlighted the importance of managing mountain lions in a Facebook post.
“This photo was taken in California, where mountain lion hunting is illegal. California wildlife officials answered 3,284 incidents involving mountain lions between July 2015 and July 2017. During that same time span in Arizona, where AZGFD has the authority to manage mountain lions and hunting is legal, we recorded only 642 mountain lion calls, confirmed 4 mountain lion ‘incidents’ and did not remove any mountain lions for public safety concerns. Legal hunting keeps the public safe and provides revenues for conservation management and habitat improvements.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that predators have a proper place on the landscape. RMEF supports science-based management of all wildlife including mountain lions, elk, wolves, deer, bears and other species in line with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model.
(Photo source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)