I hope my pastor is reading this. For months after the ND Game & Fish Department opened a season on Mountain Lions he would constantly chastise me and my employer for killing these magnificent creatures. I told him the reason we have a limited harvest of these magnificent creatures is so that they don't invite themselves into your home for dinner.
My pastor is not alone. The Game & Fish Department has gotten a lot of comments that range the whole spectrum from people that don't want any Mountain Lions in the state to people that cannot believe we allow people to kill them.
The truth is the ND Game & Fish Department appreciates these creatures also and believes that the southwest corner of our state has the necessary habitat to support a limited population. But we don't particularly want them outside of this habitat nor do we want the population to exceed the capacity of the habitat we have.
So we have a season on them for a couple reasons. First it assists us in managing the population to tolerable levels so that the animals and people can share this great state we live in. It also helps us keep them out of areas in the state that do not have suitable habitat. The season also allows us to study these creatures to learn more about them to help us in managing the population further.
You may be asking what on earth does this have to do with my office window. As you may have guessed, my office does have a window, but it does not look outside. Instead it overlooks our atrium where we have a variety of static displays of various animals and their habitat. Up until a few months ago the view outside my window consisted of the hind quarters of 2 bighorn sheep.
I don't particularly have any problem with these animals, but it's not the most exciting view. A few months ago, however, this view was changed somewhat.
The Game & Fish Department came into possession of a Mountain Lion that had been inadvertently taken by a nonresident hunter. We had the animal mounted and it was most obligingly placed so as to present a perfect view from my window. Since my computer faces the window I can stare at it as often as I like. It's the first thing I see when I turn on my light in the morning. It's like I have a kind of watch cat that guards my inner sanctum from unwelcome guests
This is the view I have now. I'm much more happy with this compared to the sheep. If you know me well enough you will understand that cats are not my favorite animals. I really kind of detest them. However, this dislike only applies to the house cat variety. The big, vicious cats I truly admire. They are quite extraordinary.
This particular cat was taken in Billings county in December of 2007. It was accidentally snared in a bobcat trap.
So, if you ever decide to visit me at work. Beware of cat!