California Official Shoots Cougar, Urged to Resign

California Official Shoots Cougar, Urged to Resign

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."

Recommended for You

Pass on your passion and make hunting fun for children with these tips! How-To

How to Make Hunting Fun for Kids

Jeff Johnston

Pass on your passion and make hunting fun for children with these tips!

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West. North America

The Best Units for Hunting Elk, Mule Deer & Antelope

Chuck Smock

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West.

Use these steps to accurately estimate a bruin's size. North America Big Game

How to Field Judge Bears

Jospeh Von Benedikt

Use these steps to accurately estimate a bruin's size.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 7: Beginner's Luck

Host Kali Parmley takes first-time hunter Danae Hale of CZ-USA to Wyoming for a mule deer hunt. After covering all the basics with Danae, the girls head into the field and what happens next goes way beyond either of their expectations!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Dream of a job in the hunting industry? Here's the inside scoop on some of the most coveted positions in the outdoors. Stories

17 Dream Jobs in the Outdoor Industry

Kali Parmley

Dream of a job in the hunting industry? Here's the inside scoop on some of the most coveted...

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

See More Stories

More Other Game

So you didn't draw that coveted trophy buck or bull tag you've been applying for. Disappointed? Other Game

Last-Minute Opportunities to Hunt Western Big Game

David Hart - September 26, 2016

So you didn't draw that coveted trophy buck or bull tag you've been applying for....

Be sure to follow these 5 tips from the expert. Other Game

Fred Eichler's 5 'Musts' of a Guided Elk Hunt

Randy Hynes

Be sure to follow these 5 tips from the expert.

Fur, feathers and bristles provide all the action you need to sharpen your shooting skills.  Other Game

3 Spring Hunts to Plan Now

Darron McDougal

Fur, feathers and bristles provide all the action you need to sharpen your shooting skills.

See More Other Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×