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This 125-pound male cougar was shot by wildlife officer Cal Treser after it killed a calf near Twisp on Sunday. Photo by Cal Treser

By Ann McCreary

Two more cougars were shot and killed last weekend in the Methow Valley, one by a state wildlife official after the cougar killed a calf, and the other by a young hunter.

Cal Treser, enforcement officer for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said he shot an adult male cougar Sunday (Feb. 9) on a ranch owned by Bill White of Lookout Mountain Road, just outside Twisp town limits.

After receiving a call from White about a dead calf, Treser went to the ranch Sunday afternoon and found that a calf had been killed in a pasture just across from the White home, and then dragged into trees nearby.

Treser said the calf had been recently killed and was still warm when he arrived. Treser followed cougar tracks and found the cat in a tree only about 100 yards away from the dead calf. He shot the cougar, which he said was a healthy, 125-pound male, about 3 years old.

White “had moved his cows right in front of his house to keep an eye on them,” Treser said, adding that he would file a request for compensation from the state for the loss of the calf.

Earlier that same day, White’s grandson, Tanner White, followed fresh cougar tracks from the ranch and shot a 95-pound female cougar about one mile up Lookout Mountain Road. Treser said the 14-year-old boy had a tag to hunt cougar.

This brings to five the number of cougars killed following depredations on livestock and pets during the past two months. Another two cougars have been killed by hunters.

Last Wednesday (Feb. 5), a cougar was seen crossing Twin Lakes Road by the entrance to Liberty Bell High School, heading south. Two days earlier Treser tracked a cougar that had killed two ducks at Crown S Ranch, just across Twin Lakes Road from the school campus.

“All I can say is I hope the cougar near Crown S Ranch moves out of the area and does not cause any more trouble,” Treser said.

After wildlife officials kill a cougar that has attacked wildlife or pets, the carcass is often given to WDFW’s Special Investigative Unit, Treser said. The carcasses are used in investigations of black market dealings in illegal wildlife, Treser said.

The cougar carcasses are also sent to institutions like Washington State University for research, or are used by wildlife agencies for educational programs in schools and communities, Treser said.

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