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Letter: Story about recent mountain lion kill contains misinformation

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.

Tyler Ziegler’s March 7th story about the killing of a mountain lion (or cougar, panther, puma, catamount) by Jarrett Christofferson contains misinformation and hunter mythology.

Mountain lions do not kill for sport. Only man kills for sport. The mountain lion kills for food, and caches some in winter for later. Only man shoots a treed animal, it’s as courageous as treeing your neighborhood cat and plinking it with a BB gun. The dogs do all the work and take all the risk. Check out what a Dogo Argentino is.

The lame rationalization that a mountain lion “needs to be taken out of our system” is an unscientific excuse for killing for sport. Healthy ecosystems need apex predators like mountain lions and wolves. There is no evidence that killing mountain lions in North Dakota has any major effect on deer populations. It is a myth here in North Dakota and elsewhere.

If deer hunters want more deer we can think about increasing habitat, preventing poaching, and harvesting deer like a mountain lion. Mountain lions kill the weak whenever they can. Deer hunters tend to want trophies, thereby killing the big antlered bucks that are carrying the genetics that make them big antlered survivors. Deer hunters need to be concerned that trophy deer hunters are killing their local whitetail big antler genes.

Readers might want to use/learn a new word “anthropomorphism.” This is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to animals or inanimate objects. Everyone tends to do this, but when it comes to justifications for killing an animal because it is just being what it is, well that’s wrong.

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Those who value animals - whether you hunt or not - need to avoid the trap of anthropomorphism to justify your views.

Related Topics: HUNTING
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