Tuesday, October 13, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 41 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I’m very disappointed in the division in the way they handled this.”
- Richard Milford  
- on school bussing   


When out in the woods surrounding our community, one never knows what might be found -- but local resident Paul Rose, out hunting with his 11-year-old son, never expected to come face to face with a cougar, with only an instant to make a decision as it came toward them.
Paul and his son, Austin, were hunting elk east of the far side of of the Adanac summit, in an area known as Jackson Valley. They were walking along a game trail through a densely wooded area when Rose saw something moving in the trees nearby.
Believing it to be an elk, he crouched down and started forward, readying his rifle. At that point he saw the cougar moving quickly toward them, crouched low, attention fixed on young Austin.
"It happened pretty quick," says Paul. "It was just like a big snake in the bush. Another second and it could have been on top of us."
With the cougar less than 15 yards away and hurrying toward them, Paul made the split-second decision and shot the cougar, killing it.
"I've never had to do anything like that," says Paul, calling the incident unfortunate. He says that he has seen cougars several times before in the woods, but never had a confrontation like this before.
While some people might have simply walked away afterward, out of fear that they could be accused of poaching, Paul says he wanted to set a good example for his son. He contacted Fish and WIldlife to report the incident.
Since cougars can only be hunted in December, and then only with a licence, Fish and Wildlife investigated the matter. By examining the scene, they determined that the cougar had been feeding on a nearby deer kill along with its kitten when Paul and his son arrived.
Given the nature of the incident, and the possibility that the cougar may have been preparing to defend its cub and its kill, Fish and Wildlife determined that the shooting was justified as self defence.
The kitten ran off when the shooting occurred, and Fish and Wildlife officer John Clarke says that they are going to leave it to fend for itself. It is likely five months old, he says, and the only other option was to track the kitten and capture it to place it in a zoo.
Fish and Wildlife seized the animal's body. Clarke says that they often give animal carcasses to Lethbridge College for use in their studies and programs.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 41 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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