At some point in time, the state of Iowa along with the Department of Natural Resources will need to have a conversation as to whether mountain lions should be a protected species within the state. This just might be that time.

KCRG is reporting that last weekend the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirmed a mountain lion sighting in Johnson County. Officials then told KCRG that two hunters shot the big cat and killed it. The two hunters were lawfully licensed and were calling coyotes at night. The mountain lion was shot just West of Swisher.

Here is where my list of questions begins. Did the hunters feel their lives were in danger? Was the big cat threatening local livestock? If the answer to those questions is no, then why did they feel compelled to shoot and kill the animal? KCRG reports that the DNR was aware of a mountain lion in the Johson County area, but that it was hardly ever seen and never caused safety issues for residents or livestock.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources owes the public more information in this case. Yes, the hunters were legally licensed. But did they have a reason to shoot? These animals are back in our state. They have a plentiful food supply of deer. And in the case when they DO threaten someone's livestock or property, then deadly force would be suitable. But that doesn't sound like what happened here. This sounds like shooting something for the sake of a trophy. And that is something as a hunter myself, I can't get behind.

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