A Louisiana deer hunter became infamous last Saturday by being the first man in almost 40-years to kill a mountain lion in Arkansas.
Mountain lions once roamed freely throughout the continental United States, but eradication efforts by humans almost eliminated the species east of the Rockies by the early 1900s.
Arkansas' indigenous lion population was originally extirpated sometime around 1920. Over the years, young, transient mountain lions from western states have been known to travel through Arkansas searching for a mate and viable territory. One of those transients was killed in Montgomery County in 1949, followed by a second twenty years later in Ashley County, and then again in Logan County in 1975.
This most recent killing occurred on private land, by a hunter perched up high in a tree stand waiting for an unsuspecting deer to pass by. The hunter told authorities that he killed the lion because he felt threatened when he saw the lion moving towards his stand.
According to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regulations, non-game wildlife (except migratory birds and endangered species) that present a reasonable threat to people or property may be shot during daylight hours or trapped without a depredation permit.
At this time, the hunter has not been charged with violating regulations, but that might change since the incident is still under investigation.
CAPTION: Pictured here is the 148-pound male mountain lion killed in Arkansas on Saturday morning in Bradley County.
Photo by Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.