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California Official Shoots Cougar, Urged to Resign

by PH Online Editors   |  February 29th, 2012 53

Dan RichardsA California Fish and Game official who shot a mountain lion has been urged to resign by state officials after a photo surfaced of the official hoisting the puma.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom called on Fish and Game Commission president Daniel Richards to leave his post after Richards shot the animal during a hunting expedition in Idaho. The photo quickly made rounds around the Internet, and was quoted in Western Outdoors News saying, “I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho.”

Big cat hunting has been illegal in California since 1972, a ban that was signed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and has been renewed twice by California lawmakers, but cougar hunts are legal in Idaho, where Richards reportedly paid a $7,000 fee to tree shoot the puma.

Still, the bleeding hearts of California are up in arms and calling for Richards’ resignation, with 40 Democratic state Assembly members calling for Richards’ resignation.

“While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office,” Newsom said in a letter to Richards. “I do appreciate that you did nothing illegal in Idaho, but it is clear that your actions do not reflect the values of the people of California. … Your continued presence on the Commission is a distraction from those important issues. As such, I am prevailing on your sense of civic service to respectfully request you resign, effective immediately, so we can move on to the pressing issues facing our great state.”

However, Newsom admitted that he has a personal connection with mountain lion preservation, as his father, Judge William Newsom, is the past president of the Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation.

Richards was appointed to the commission in 2008 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has since stated that there is “zero chance” of him resigning, and compared his hunt to a California lawmaker gambling in Nevada.

In addition, Richards said he did eat a cougar for dinner, he did not use a high-powered rifle and he has “consistently supported” conservation efforts backed by scientific data.

“Do you really think a California commissioner is actually obligated to follow California laws across these United States? Really?” Richards wrote in a letter sent to Newsom and the entire Legislature, the governor, the California secretary of Natural Resources and members of the Fish and Game Commission. “Did I try to change California’s laws subversively? Did I encourage anyone to circumvent our rules and regulations? While I respect our Fish and Game rules and regulations, my 100 percent legal activity outside California, or anyone else’s for that matter, is none of your business.

“And so we’re perfectly clear, this hunt was not a high-fence hunt, we didn’t use (four) wheel drive trucks, snow machines or ATVs to chase the cat, I did not use a high-powered rifle with a scope at 300 yards and we did dine on mountain lion for dinner, all contrary to some erroneous reports. Under your standards, all Californians who enjoy gaming in Nevada are somehow ethically challenged as true Californians and should be removed from any official position. My guess is the Legislative chambers might look a little barren should that logic prevail.”

  • Melissa McDonley

    oh get a grip it was a legal kill why should he lose his job, people need to get over it

  • huntingmotherearth

    "While I respect our Fish and Game rules and regulations, my 100 percent legal activity outside California, or anyone else’s for that matter, is none of your business."
    He said it all!

  • Jack Kunze

    but banging your housekeeper and having a kid is ok

    • John O'Connell

      Nice one Jack.

    • Jim Hart

      I'm just reading this now (19 weeks after you) and think this guy being asked to resign is moronic to put it mildly, of course he did nothing wrong. But what actually made me comment was your comment. Do you realize he was appointed by the guy banging his housekeeper (then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as mentioned in the article)? I ask because you and the after-you commentator, "Nice One Jack" John O'Connell didn't seem to finish reading or understanding. But again, this is beyond the pale — Newsom should be reprimanded for harrassing this poor, law-abiding public servant. Maybe I misunderstood your comment.

  • Mannie

    What do you expect? It's Kalifornistan. Richards is probably toast. The Kalifornia Thought Police will hound him to death.

    Leave Kalifornia, Daniel, and escape to America.

    • OnHigh Texas

      I totally agree! He is welcome in Texas if the land of FRUITS and NUTS run him off!

  • djaz

    More bullying by the "tolerant" left. If my sister did not live there, I'd never enter California and give it my gas and meals, monies.

    Too bad, too, because the Left have managed to fk up a beautiful state.

  • Manhattanite in FL

    Lt. Gov. Newsom….what "values of the people of California" do you have in mind? Public nudity in SF? A politician sleeping with the wife of a friend? Which values are you talking about?

  • Pops in Va

    Glad at least one person if California has some common sense, well said…

  • Paul Bailey

    What a crock of S**T. I'm glad I don't live in California, have never visited it, and NEVER WILL visit it. Douchebags.

    • MattyMo

      We are too

  • Rick

    what a bunch of crock. Another bunch of STUPID polititions thinking there god! Who in the hell do these assholes think they are. The man has a right to hunt in any state he wishes as long as he has the proper permits of which this gentleman had. Just because he bagged an animal in another state is absolutly no one's buiesness but his own and if anyone needs to resign it should be the California governor and the entire California legislature for trying to stick there nose where it dosn't belong.

    • Ron Keffer

      "We'll never get the water to clear up until we get the pigs out of the creek"

  • John Whittington

    That goes against his 1st Amendment right, freedom of expression! These people who make laws do not know anything about dangerous animals like that puma. A woman in San Diego County was killed and drug out into the woods and half eaten! "That's dangerous!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff Williams

    I will not visit California, nor will I buy anything manufactured in California.

    • Ron Keffer

      NOT TO WORRY…………………nothing is manufactured here………..we buy everything from China……..We send all of our recyclables to China then buy them back…………

      Our politicians have taken care of that

  • Brandt

    I live in Cali…love it…..but the f$&King politicians are crazy…..

  • David Halley

    As a life time Californian, I have watched my once beautiful state slowly being destroyed by the liberal politicians who now dominate the state government. This latest attack by the anti-hunting, anti-gun loyalists comes in the form of a demand that the president of the fish and game commission resign for….wait for it…..LEGALLY HUNTING. This should be a wake up call for all hunters from every state. At one time California was a conservative state and this type of action would have been laughable. Be warned my fellow hunters, it can happen in your state. Please stand by your fellow hunters in California. We are under attack.

  • rdrhodes

    The people of calif. never cease to amaze me. I am glad that I have lived in calif. for many years( there is alot of good here) Many of the people though just don't get it when it comes to hunting and the great outdoors. I think Daniel Richards said it very well in his response to the critics. He can still be effective in his responsibilities with fish and game even though he enjoys hunting in a legal and responsible way. I just wish many of us who call calif. home would think first and speak second. It would make life alot easier and better. I hope the high and mighty don't continue to hound him until he just figures the job is not worth it. We need good people who will stand up for their rights and still be able to make a difference for good.

  • moralcalifornian

    Speaking about Mr. Newsom, the fact that he teaches moral to other people, means that he believes his actions with his best friend’s wife reflect values of people in California.

    • ron keffer

      We need to ask new some for his resignation………….his infidelity is not moral……………

      Please step down, Mr Newsome…….

  • frank w

    What has this country come to? Insanity. I hope he has the courage to hang tough. The liberal left…good grief!

  • Not concerned hunter

    Maybe Gavin Newsome needs to resign and go get a life. I see why California is in the trouble it is in. Focus on something that might help your state. Now gone Pres. Uncle Ronnie is turning in his grave. You are not being a responsible political figure. Let it be. With all your state's problems just what will this settle – not a thing.

  • Raghorn

    Come on you California morons, it's legal here! As more and more of your little kitties become habituated to interacting with non threatening humans, they will start eating more of you, (which might not be a bad idea) and then we will see how you feel about humanizing your animals. I suppose it would be much more socially acceptable if he was screwing your wives or daughters? What he did was legal, and he did it on his own personal time. We have more cougars in my Idaho county than people. They are a game animal here and harvests are very closely monitored by Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game. GET REAL!

  • dakotashooter2

    Forget the fence on the Mexican border lets build one on the east border of California………….I hope this guy holds his ground and if he is fired I hope he Sues the state

  • strom19

    I lived and hunted in California for 15 years. While deer hunting in the high Sierras I ran across an older gentleman who was walking with his beagles on the same trail I was on. When he approached me I greeted him with a smile and continued to say, this is sure beautiful country but I haven't seen any signs of deer all morning, I mean not even a track of any kind..the older gentleman continued to say, and you wont! continuing to explain he said, ever since the state of California put a moratorium on the mountain lion which was forbidden to hunt or shoot they have grown into huge cats ranging form 150- 200 lbs thus wiping out most of all the deer herds..I asked him how he knew this and he said I use to conduct bear hunts in these parts for many years. Lessons learned… Obviously California doesn't know jack S*%#T about wildlife conservation but these Communist bastards heads of state think they know whats best for their residents and others as well. I no longer live behind enemy lines as I left that state of delusion many years ago. Go Get em……… MEXICO!!

    • steve

      No way should he resign. He has done nothing illegal. Since when do we have the right to ask someone who obeys the law to leave his job because the State he from does not allow this type of hunting. Its very evident our country is going down the wrong path. I truly believe the State of Calfornia has a lot bigger issues to deal with and should waste no more energy on this.

  • jerry

    We have to remerber, Where satan rules, common sense dies.

  • JHJimbo

    Left Coast liberals, typical of your twisted thinking. Take a break and get a life.

    Dan Richards did nothing wrong.

  • John R. Monson Esq

    As a Fish and Game Commissioner for 14 years in NH ( 10 of them as Chair of the Commission)in my opinion the legislators have no business even commenting on what a Commissioner legally hunts outside the State of California. Commissioner Richards is perfectly correct in saying it is no business of any State official to comment on his out of state hunting activities. Lt Gov. Galvin Newsom is way out of bounds with his comments and should go stand in the corner with a Dunce Cap on for his stupid comments and each of those 40 Democratic legislators should do the same. John R. Monson

  • Joe Becker

    Yes I live in north central Sierra foothills of California. I have been sending emails for 2 weeks now to those desiring to remove Commissioner Richards in his support. He is only one of 2 of our 5 F&G Commissioners who will vote for sound management of our natural resources here. We sportspeople in all hunting & fishing organizations must better organize and speak up on issues like this.
    Do believe only when California has the giant earthquake and our inland valleys become ocean front property from Mexico to Canada will we improve. (Coastal areas of Oregon and Washington are not much better for scientific conservation of natural resources than California is. Not enough people have milked a cow, or killed, plucked and gutted a chicken in our modern world, they hire a meat cutter to do the blood and guts part of packaging food. Did you know that a radish screams every time someone pulls it out of the ground, then bites it.

  • Johnny Guttry

    Tell them to bite a hog in the a__ _.This is stuipd,this man has done no wrong.Move south we do not have this kind of crap to contend with!!!

  • Ranger Rick

    Where was this liberal MF'r when Boxer and Pelosi were killing thr elk and deer on Santa Rosa?

  • grizzlyhunter

    i can see why california is due for a big quake and fall into the ocean, those people r crazy// he has the right to hunt anything, anywhere he wants, long as its legal

  • David Ransom

    Anyone that has the power to cancel any kind of meeting or convention in California should do so, and make sure you very publicly announce that this incident is the reason you are doing so. By the Lt Governor's reasoning, if he goes to Montana and drives a legal speed limit over 70 mph, then he should resign, as California only has a 70 mph speed limit.

  • Bill Padgett

    wasnt newsome The past mayor of SF ? Hes a moron Handin out Marriage licenses after prop 8 was voted down by the maj. of the people. Im so Glad I live in Idaho. Were still free. some years I hunted there I saw more Lions than Deer. bunch of liberal idiots, bet Sam Farr signs on to that one. Keep standing ur Ground I am personally proud of You commissioner. Oh Great photo and congratulations on your success,not an easy task.

  • Hornswoggle

    Newsome's father as a Judge was a left wing whack job who supported the Mountain Lion Ban along with the eco-terrorist group Earth-First and all the rest of the dangerous clowns. Gavin the now Lt. Gov. supported the Illegal Alien sancutary city of San Fran and he is well known as a left wing nut job. Yes he did think his friend's wife was fair game and he is a disgrace and should leave the country!

  • jp338

    Thank God Idaho isn't as screwed up as California.

  • lpb1952

    Congratulations on a legal successful hunt. God help us if
    we don't get these leftist out of office.

  • Fedup

    When is that f"$@g place going to drop off in the ocean and give the world some relief!

  • Tony

    I know California carries a lot of weight in the political circut. what is legal in other states but illegal in Cal. we should obey cal. law. That is a bunch of bull pucky. I guess people will need to stay out of Nevada now. Hang in there and do not let the sudo tree huggers win. Hunters and fishermen are the true conservationalists (the real tree huggers) .

  • Andy94538

    Andy94538 Part 1

    The reason California is messed up as it is, is because of a court decision, Baker v. Carr (1962) from a case in Tennessee if I recall correctly. As a net result, both houses of the California legislature had to be elected by population. The U.S. House of Representatives is elected by population, and the U.S. Senate is elected two per state regardless of population. Before this decision, the California Assembly was elected by population and the State Senate was elected one per county regardless of population. What we now have is a two-stage unicameral legislature giving excess weight to urban political concentrations in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego metropolitan areas. This is precisely why 1), Ben Franklin designed the U.S. Bicameral legislature to avoid this in the U.S. Congress, 2), why our state legislature was originally patterned on the same model, and 3), why this court decision caused the screwed up mess we now have here in California. Our less populous rural counties no longer have the means to keep urban concentrations of political power (including urban Bambiists) in check.

  • Andy94538

    Andy94538 Part 2

    It is also why we have the citified ban on mountain lion hunting and bans on lead bullet ammo in parts of our state based on politically motivated junk science. This is also why we have citified gun controls imposed throughout the state. We have citified legislators who think you can get something by simply voting for it with no concept of the consequences or associated costs involved.

    The judges who rendered this ill-advised decision had absolutely no idea how a Constitutional republic works and why bicameral legislatures work the way they do.

    As a result, we now have Bambiists in elected office, along with Bambiists in HSUS and other antihunting groups, trying to oust our DFG Commission Chairman.

  • Andy94538

    Andy94538 Part 3

    I’ve given this some serious thought, and one thing we in California can do is have the non-citified counties petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Baker v. Carr, citing the United States Constitution, Article I, our legislative model, as the reason, citing the means by which agricultural and other non-urban counties are protected from the influences of urban concentrations of political power in the same manner as the less populous states are protected in the Congress from the more populous states. The petition should also ask for return to the way it was BEFORE the decision forced this change as a precedent as it is unlikely that urban concentrations of political power would properly relinquish its power to those whose power was usurped by this ill-advised decision in the first place. It would also mean that even if the Assembly is gerrymandered to the gills as it is now, the State Senate would serve as a check and balance against it.

  • J Al

    Wow fagifornia get over it if it was a legal harvest there isnt a reason for him to resign, idiots piss me off

  • shootbrownelk

    Mr. Richards, Please visit Wyoming on your next out-of-state hunt and kill one of our mountain lions, our deer and elk will thank you for the effort! Good luck on your fight…hang in there, you're RIGHT! They're WRONG!!

  • Jack jones

    I lived in calimexico for 61 years before moving to Georgia in 2010. I got tired of all the illegals flying their flags on American holidays, the high price of gas, car registration, home taxes, sales tax, and all the other screwed up crap in calimexico. I got tired of fools like pelosi, boxer, feinstein, and all the other idivots ruining what once was the greatest state to live in. I took my retirement monies and moved to a state that's 180 degrees different than ca. Best thing I've ever done.

  • Ron Keffer

    I think if he is removed from office for that incident (which was legal and had nothing to do with California) that we should find out who the people responsible for the removal, be followed daily and if anyone of those "little angels" make a mistake regarding California Law….it should be brought to the attention of the public and they should be removed….. I will guarantee you sooner or later they will trip and make a mistake. let them practice what they preach. If that is the case, They better live in a bubble…..if that happens, they won't be our politicians………..

    What about our servicemen who go to boot camp and during their training they go to the firing range and have to

    fire an M60 machine gun, or an AR 15. Is he suppose to say I can't do this I am from California and sometime, someday, I may want to run for an elected office. I don't want someone to tell me that I disrespected California Law……makes just about as much sense…

    When you go to the polls……….to vote……….just remember……..

    ..""We'll never get the water to clear up until we get the pigs out of the creek"

    So lets get those pigs out of politics……and maybe our creek will clear up.

    Ron Keffer
    Where do you think all californians would be if they all refused to fire those weapons…..

    Get a life

  • Rick Ensrud

    I only wish Mr Newsom might run into one of those poor nice "kitty-cats" out in one of the California parks, then he might wish Richards was around to take care of business!
    R. Ensrud

  • Mrs. Crandberryrose

    I support Dan Richards killing mountain lions and wish he could kill them in California. But when I supported him and wrote supporting him to my legislator, he informs me Richards took a gift of $6,800 of the hunt , so he could hunt there, and California law bars officials from gifts of over$420. Really bummed. Willing to support him hunting anywhere and anything he likes, I don't support an ethics violation–if it's true.
    Finally, I'm thrilled when someone kills deer in California; it keeps the mountain lions out of our neighborhoods!

  • dan Watland

    Unfortunantly a DNR position requires a fish bowl character throughout the U.S. Any DNR officials who disagree with their state should move onto nother state. For example: Game Wardens are given leaway by using their own discretion when enforcing the law. It is apparent this is how the Lt Governor of California feels.

  • MLee

    AND a Californian lifetime baby yes we've messed it UP big time

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