Spouting the standard propaganda about hunters being the biggest conservationists, Tom Ferry, of Ponca, Nebraska, paid $13,500 to become the winning bidder of one of the first two mountain lion permits issued by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Mr. Ferry, a Big Game Hunter, has killed animals for sport in Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, and across the United States. He has approximately 150 trophy mounts commemorating his exploits at his home including those of mountain lions killed in Arizona and Utah.
"I just thought it would be nice to hunt mountain lions in Nebraska during the state's first season," Ferry said.
Ferry will be one of only two people permitted to hunt cougars during Nebraska's first lion hunting season (January 1st through February 14th) in the Pine Ridge Hunting Unit. Last week, 15-year-old Holden Bruce of Franklin, Nebraska, was selected in a drawing for the other permit. Both hunters will be allowed to hunt with dogs.
The auction, held Wednesday night at a special Nebraska Big Game Society function, reflected the small participant turnout experienced in last week's statewide lion hunting lottery with only 70 bidders.
Before the auction, Nebraska Game and Parks Director, Jim Douglas, also presented former State Senator LeRoy Louden, who shepherded Nebraska's lion hunting bill through the Legislature, with an honorary mountain lion hunting permit so he can accompany the remaining 99 lottery winners when they commence their hunt during Nebraska's second lion hunting season (February 15th through March 31st).
Game and Parks officials say the objective for allowing mountain lion hunting is to provide hunters opportunities while allowing a slight to moderate reduction in mountain lion population.
Mr. Ferry seemed to sum up the Department's draconian position towards Nebraska's wildlife. "They have a saying in Africa," he said. "And it's true here, too: If it doesn't pay, it doesn't stay."