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Bismarck Police Take Out Urban Mountain Lion

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November 30, 2009

Bismarck Police Take Out Urban Mountain Lion

By Dave Hurteau

From The Bismarck Tribune:
"In 38 years of being a game warden, I've never met a live cougar," said Bruce Burkett, investigation superintendent for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

That changed Friday night after a 100-pound male mountain lion was shot near the former Home Depot Building in north Bismarck. . . .

The NDGF partnered with the Bismarck Police Department on the call. . . Bismarck Police Officer Jason Bullis fired a shotgun from 15 yards away after the mountain lion peaked its head out of [a] rock pile. Burkett said a shotgun was used because it was safer in the neighborhood than a rifle. . . .

“Our policy is if a cougar is in an urban setting, we have to take it out," Burkett said.

Comments (14)

Top Rated
All Comments
from steve182 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I think relocation should be an option, at least once. Tag it or collar it. If he shows up again, bang. Zero tolerance policies are rarely if ever warranted.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bdarak wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I also disagree with the zero tolerance policy. Shoot it with a tranquilizer, collar it, and relocate.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunflash17 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I live in Bismarck and there are cats in people back yards just outside of city limits. They are everywhere. 2 years ago there was no mention of mountain lions now there is a season for them. 8 in the western unit and unlimited in the eastern unit. Well the western unit has already taken 7 of the 8 and the season runs through March. They are becoming a problem.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I agree with Gunflash17. I too, live in ND. I live near the Fargo area, but we do our outdoors work near valley city. There has never been mountain lions on the east half of the state, but now they are showing up everywhere, especially in rural settings. I know this goes on in others places, but it is still uncomfortable.

Nate

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from krwheeler wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

They made the right decision. They needed to shoot the thing. What most people don't realize is that a mountain lion ranges over 300 miles. Relocation doesn't help. G&F have tried to move mountain lions in Elk Mountain, Wyoming to Casper. It doesn't do any good. They just find their way back.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I also think relocation is a good policy. When I lived in Spokane, the Fish and Game were trying to relocate a cougar sited in my area.I guess the rules are different in North Dakota.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Topper wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Darting a lion anywhere but in the head or neck is a tough shot. Hit an eye, tough too. 100 lb. lion in an urban setting could kill somebody quickly. probably best to shoot it with a bullet unless one is an extremely good darter. my2worth.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 214 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I am quite surprised to find this article here. I am the officer that shot the mountain lion and it was quite an experience. For those who say we should have shot the lion with a dart it was brought up, but the NDGF felt that since the animal was so close to buildings and people out and about it was a dangerous risk.
The publics safety was the number one priority and time was a factor, why the cat stayed as long as he did surprised me. I figured he would run off and honestly nobody from NDGF and the PD seen the cat only its eyes shining in the light. For all we knew it was a coyote as we have so many here.
As a avid hunter I was excited to possibly see a mountain lion and as a police officer I was obligated to follow an oath to serve the public. I will say that once I was within the 15ft and the cat poked his head up and we knew once and for all it was a mountain lion. I suddenly realized I was to damn close!!!
It was an experience I will never forget or take lightly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

there is a mtn lion living around my house here in colorado. it is raoming a greenway right on the other side of the fence around my yard. i will not take the risk of it coming over the fence when my dog is out there and i have told the DOW to either remove it or i will. time is running out for this kitty.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Locustplaguemember wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

To Nate and jamesti: If it's so "uncomfortable" for you to be around wildlife, then move. The cats were there first. You moved into their back yard. There are people living in cities who will never get the chance to see an animal as beautiful as a mountain lion or a bear except in a zoo or on tv. I was shocked to see this article and how proud everyone involved was for killing the cat especially since this was in the lightly populated state of North Dakota where I figured people might have some appreciation for how lucky they are to be living in a state that's still pretty wild compared to most of the heavily-populated and concrete-covered ones. I guess I was wrong. So take it for granted and kill away. And don't forget to keep pouring that concrete North Dakota. You're well on your way to becoming an average state.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Locustplaguemember:
If you are comfortable around mtn. lions, then that is your perrogative. I am not fully comfortable around mtn lions, especially after one of our buddies claimed to have seen a one jump out of a tree that we walk by every time we are there. However, moving would be a terrible idea, because we own some of the best country in the area, and we are not going to leave just because of a mountain lion sighting.

P.S. You must not spend much time in North Dakota to make such rash and uninformed conclusions about North Dakota as state. Please get your facts straight.

Nate

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Locustplaguemember wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Well Nate, my advice to you is to grow a pair. If the sight of a cougar on your property makes you want to leave, as opposed to being the iconic symbol of all the reasons to stay on such a piece of land you're truly out of your element and undeserving of the privelege you somehow have of living there. Plus I don't get the feeling you have a cougar problem on your property, you just happen to live in unspoiled country. Cougars belong there. They're part of the natural ecosystem. If you don't like country like this why do you live there? Let me guess you were there before the mountain lion? Well, just kill the cougar and cut the tree down Nate I'll send some concrete and you can make an industrial park ok?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Locust,
That hit a nerve. BIG TIME.
I know that was probably your purpose, and it worked.
If you think that we don't have a cougar problem, I'll have you ask the cougarSSS.
It's also really starting to piss me off that you keep inviting concrete and industrial park building not only into the state of ND, but now the property that I take pride in. Now, when did I say that I wanted to leave???? In fact, re-read my comment, and you find that I said that I wanted to stay. (Yes, that means you actually have to read my comment, bummer). In case you don't believe me, how's this? I don't want to leave because of a mountain lion. I am nervous because it has been sighted in a place where it hasn't been sighted in hundreds of years. If that isn't clear enough for you, then something is seriously wrong with you (which is what I suspect anyway). I'd be willing to bet that YOU are the city-goer. I will inform you that my property is 60 miles in every direction from a town with more than 5000 people. How's that for "unspoiled"? You sicken me.

Nate

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ND_hunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

i live in bismarck about 15 miles from where it was shot and have spotted it about three times and next to a tree farm i ride horse and there is two eaten out carcasses one deer and one coyote and evey time it rains i see fresh tracks mountain lion season opens sept.3rd

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from steve182 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I think relocation should be an option, at least once. Tag it or collar it. If he shows up again, bang. Zero tolerance policies are rarely if ever warranted.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bdarak wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I also disagree with the zero tolerance policy. Shoot it with a tranquilizer, collar it, and relocate.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I also think relocation is a good policy. When I lived in Spokane, the Fish and Game were trying to relocate a cougar sited in my area.I guess the rules are different in North Dakota.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Locustplaguemember wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Well Nate, my advice to you is to grow a pair. If the sight of a cougar on your property makes you want to leave, as opposed to being the iconic symbol of all the reasons to stay on such a piece of land you're truly out of your element and undeserving of the privelege you somehow have of living there. Plus I don't get the feeling you have a cougar problem on your property, you just happen to live in unspoiled country. Cougars belong there. They're part of the natural ecosystem. If you don't like country like this why do you live there? Let me guess you were there before the mountain lion? Well, just kill the cougar and cut the tree down Nate I'll send some concrete and you can make an industrial park ok?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from krwheeler wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

They made the right decision. They needed to shoot the thing. What most people don't realize is that a mountain lion ranges over 300 miles. Relocation doesn't help. G&F have tried to move mountain lions in Elk Mountain, Wyoming to Casper. It doesn't do any good. They just find their way back.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Topper wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Darting a lion anywhere but in the head or neck is a tough shot. Hit an eye, tough too. 100 lb. lion in an urban setting could kill somebody quickly. probably best to shoot it with a bullet unless one is an extremely good darter. my2worth.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunflash17 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I live in Bismarck and there are cats in people back yards just outside of city limits. They are everywhere. 2 years ago there was no mention of mountain lions now there is a season for them. 8 in the western unit and unlimited in the eastern unit. Well the western unit has already taken 7 of the 8 and the season runs through March. They are becoming a problem.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I agree with Gunflash17. I too, live in ND. I live near the Fargo area, but we do our outdoors work near valley city. There has never been mountain lions on the east half of the state, but now they are showing up everywhere, especially in rural settings. I know this goes on in others places, but it is still uncomfortable.

Nate

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 214 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I am quite surprised to find this article here. I am the officer that shot the mountain lion and it was quite an experience. For those who say we should have shot the lion with a dart it was brought up, but the NDGF felt that since the animal was so close to buildings and people out and about it was a dangerous risk.
The publics safety was the number one priority and time was a factor, why the cat stayed as long as he did surprised me. I figured he would run off and honestly nobody from NDGF and the PD seen the cat only its eyes shining in the light. For all we knew it was a coyote as we have so many here.
As a avid hunter I was excited to possibly see a mountain lion and as a police officer I was obligated to follow an oath to serve the public. I will say that once I was within the 15ft and the cat poked his head up and we knew once and for all it was a mountain lion. I suddenly realized I was to damn close!!!
It was an experience I will never forget or take lightly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Locustplaguemember wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

To Nate and jamesti: If it's so "uncomfortable" for you to be around wildlife, then move. The cats were there first. You moved into their back yard. There are people living in cities who will never get the chance to see an animal as beautiful as a mountain lion or a bear except in a zoo or on tv. I was shocked to see this article and how proud everyone involved was for killing the cat especially since this was in the lightly populated state of North Dakota where I figured people might have some appreciation for how lucky they are to be living in a state that's still pretty wild compared to most of the heavily-populated and concrete-covered ones. I guess I was wrong. So take it for granted and kill away. And don't forget to keep pouring that concrete North Dakota. You're well on your way to becoming an average state.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Locust,
That hit a nerve. BIG TIME.
I know that was probably your purpose, and it worked.
If you think that we don't have a cougar problem, I'll have you ask the cougarSSS.
It's also really starting to piss me off that you keep inviting concrete and industrial park building not only into the state of ND, but now the property that I take pride in. Now, when did I say that I wanted to leave???? In fact, re-read my comment, and you find that I said that I wanted to stay. (Yes, that means you actually have to read my comment, bummer). In case you don't believe me, how's this? I don't want to leave because of a mountain lion. I am nervous because it has been sighted in a place where it hasn't been sighted in hundreds of years. If that isn't clear enough for you, then something is seriously wrong with you (which is what I suspect anyway). I'd be willing to bet that YOU are the city-goer. I will inform you that my property is 60 miles in every direction from a town with more than 5000 people. How's that for "unspoiled"? You sicken me.

Nate

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ND_hunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

i live in bismarck about 15 miles from where it was shot and have spotted it about three times and next to a tree farm i ride horse and there is two eaten out carcasses one deer and one coyote and evey time it rains i see fresh tracks mountain lion season opens sept.3rd

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

there is a mtn lion living around my house here in colorado. it is raoming a greenway right on the other side of the fence around my yard. i will not take the risk of it coming over the fence when my dog is out there and i have told the DOW to either remove it or i will. time is running out for this kitty.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Locustplaguemember:
If you are comfortable around mtn. lions, then that is your perrogative. I am not fully comfortable around mtn lions, especially after one of our buddies claimed to have seen a one jump out of a tree that we walk by every time we are there. However, moving would be a terrible idea, because we own some of the best country in the area, and we are not going to leave just because of a mountain lion sighting.

P.S. You must not spend much time in North Dakota to make such rash and uninformed conclusions about North Dakota as state. Please get your facts straight.

Nate

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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