Cougar Management Meeting
The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will host a public meeting in the conference room of the Monte Vista Co-op regarding management of mountain lion populations on the west side of the San Luis Valley on July 15 at 7 p.m.
The meeting will begin with a brief presentation on proposed changes to population management and the setting of harvest quotas. A period of discussion and time for questions will follow.
Mountain lions are classified as a big game animal in Colorado. The hunting season runs from January 1 thru March 31, and from the day after the close of regular rifle deer and elk seasons through December 31 annually. Hunters are required to report any lion harvest, and to bring their animals to a DOW office for inspection. Once the harvest quota for a management unit is reached, the area is closed to further lion hunting during that year. Mountain lions may also be killed when they present an imminent threat to livestock or human life, but in these cases, the carcass must be turned over to the DOW.
Mountain lion interactions with humans have increased in recent years as more people build homes in mountain lion habitat and more outdoor recreation enthusiasts spend time in the mountains.
People living in mountain lion country should provide kennel enclosures for outdoor pets, and closely supervise small children as they play outside, ensuring that they stay a safe distance from areas of heavy cover. Make sure that you have adequate outside lighting around your home and keep children in the house around times of dawn and dusk. Remember that anything in your yard that attracts deer may also bring mountain lions nearer.
If you encounter a mountain lion that stands its ground — stay calm, try to make yourself appear larger by raising your arms and opening your jacket, and then back away slowly. It may help to shout and make other loud noises, or to throw stones or sticks. Report any such encounters to the DOW. Fight back if attacked by a mountain lion.