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New Colorado Lion Season
Wondered if anyone else has heard about this. Pulled from the CPW website.
Mountain Lions & Black Bears
April and regular mountain lion seasons will remain unchanged. However, CPW will initiate a process to establish a new fall mountain lion season in the future for hunters with a valid elk/deer license that will be valid during open rifle elk or deer seasons (hunting with hounds not permitted)...... These changes were made in response to public interest in providing more hunting opportunity for these species while factoring in other management considerations.
It was one of the alternatives in the season structure for 2015-2019 said to only be implemented in the units that never fill quotas during regular lion season.
I would be in favor of adding a fall hound-less mountain lion season. I just do not like that they would only open it to units that did not meet the previous quota.
I personally would like to see them open up all units for the fall season, continue implementing the quote and call in system, and on top of it create a female and male quote for each unit.
I am not a big fan of the "hunters discretion" in regards the take female lions. Put a number on it and stick to it for a management plan. I think a lot of hunters/outfitters opt to take females to early in their hunt. IMO
Sounds good...but how many lions are actually seen without the use of dogs each year?!
I can't believe they had not done this a long time ago? I think the chances of getting one are slim but there is a chance to see one by luck for sure I did see one once while elk hunting but don't think I could have even got a shot at it but would I buy a $350 lic. to take that chance NO but if they were $14 like Oregon Hell ya!! Its a hefty price to pay for the odds of ever seeing one!!! But I think its a great idea and I'm a hound hunter!!
I don't think this new regulation has been thought out very well. This has the potential to close some units with low quotas before the regular lion season even gets started. But that's not the biggest issue. About 5 years ago, the game commission was worried about the high female harvest and went to the extent to implement a new test that anyone buying a lion tag has to pass first. The majority of the test is about identifying a male from a female. Why are they all of a sudden no longer concerned about this? Opening up lion season during elk and deer season is going to increase female harvest. I suspect very few hunters that happen to see a lion while out hunting elk or deer will hesitate to shoot it. A clear advantage that hound hunting gives you is to have all the time you need to identify if it's a Tom or female. How many N.R. hunters are going to fork out $350 ahead of time in the hopes that they might stumble accross a lion during their hunt? I suspect darn few. What is going to happen is that some guys who happen to see their first ever lion, gets excited, knows that he can get a tag, so goes ahead and shoots it. Then runs down and buys a tag. This is a problem now but the CPW knows to investigate all lions killed within a day or two after a tag is purchased. Hopefully I'm wrong about this but time will tell.
Whats interesting is the decision is being made mainly due to the hunting public wanting more opportunity to hunt lions AND bears. I seem to remember (but not 100% sure) that there was a question on a post season servey a couple years ago that asked if hunters would like more opportunity to hunt these species. If so, it seems their information gathered would include hunter input for bears. Or it may be just because they are the only two predators categorized as big game so they combine them in a question. I would venture (not far) to say that anyone who would answer that question with a "yes" was thinking somewhere in the back of their mind "gee I wish we could hunt bears with dogs again" HMMM, could this possibly be the bud of a return of such?.... As mentioned, most hunters rarely see a lion without dogs under it. Even most of those who work in the outfitting industry, seem to see only one every fall durring elk season with many clients out marching around. Of course this depends on how many cats are in the area. Weather there is opportunity to shoot remains to be had. Possible, yes. When determining sex at a distance without a visual of the genital area, one has to be well skilled and experienced in knowing what the physical differences are and even then so its still an assumption much less haveing enough time to make a clean shot. Make note though, that the supposed season is stated to only be implemented in areas that routienly do not fill the harvest objective. (This statement was released in the "alternatives" for the 5 year structure) And must be what they mean now by "other management considerations" Still though, when trying to put this all together along with the rules in place for the regular lion season it seems like an oxymoron.
FullCryHounds is right I never thought of that but I'm sure the female kill will be way up and also it will be hard to impossiable to tell if a female has kittens at long range also where in a tree is very odvious! Fish and game strongly suggest not shooting females also but it is legal if they don't have kittens!! I have to agree with FullCry after thinking about it!!
What state managers like about this is that they will sell a hell of a lot of license's without much success, so its a cash cow for them. That's what has happened with bear season during the fall big game season and they love it because it drastically raised revenue without many bears getting killed. The big difference with cats is your chance of seeing them without dogs is almost zero that time of year (yes it happens but about less than 1% of the big game hunters will see a big cat). Your chances of winning the lottery is about as good as seeing a cat after you buy a license for that kind of hunt. It could almost be called a sham and to charge regular prices for that type of license isn't fair, even the casinos in Colorado have to give better odds than that. Everyone likes more opportunity to hunt but its a bad idea, and they are promoting it even though it will somewhat increase female and young kill percentages.
I wish it would have been that way when I was stalked by a large lion during elk season last year. The cat watched me for 5-10 minutes at less than 60 yards from the ridge above me.
If nothing else, maybe they can get a reasonable idea of how many are already being taken during the regular big game seasons with making licenses available. I suspect there's more SSS than you would think on the odd occasion a cat is seen while a hunter has a weapon in hand.
Do you really think this will produce big numbers? Hard to say, but I bet 20 cats killed (even if all females) is nothing when looking at the big picture. I can't see more than 20 cats being taken in archery season statewide.
Cazador- they say it will only be during rifle seasons. But I think you are still right in that there may not be many killed.
Thornton- I bet that was a cool experience! Got the heart thumping!
Hopefully it is not a test to see if the "other management considerations" can effectively obtain harvest objectives. Thus eliminating the need for hound hunting. That would be a sad day for sure. Im doubtful this is the case but one must keep a careful eye on some of these decisions.
FCH is right when saying there would possibly be early closures of units. Taking opportunity from the hound hunters.
So I would hope they are very picky on which units get nominated. They would have to be units with very high lion population as well as rifle hunter populations. Considering that, take a unit with a (estimated) high number of cats, it will likely not have a high number of deer and elk because of this which means it will likely be a limited unit to hunt rifle which means fewer hunters that could even see a lion to shoot.
I dont keep track of the whole state (pardon the pun)Does anyone know on average how many lion units fill quotas and close each season?