Apr 13, 2012 12:39 AM by KPAX Media Center
HELENA- Mountain lion hunters in the Bitterroot are fighting with deer and elk hunters over hunting quotas.
The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission approved an increased mountain lion quota on Thursday.
Bitterroot mountain lion hunter Chuck Pyles says the increased quota will decimate the population.
"Keep the quotas low in both females and males. If we keep the quotas high I can almost bet you within a year or two you can put our cougars on the endangered species list in our region."
However, Townsend Hunter Virgil Hankey says the lions have hurt the deer and elk population and he would like to see even higher quotas.
"We've noticed a real sizable decline in the mule deer there. The stuff that was right behind my place there was probably 100 plus deer in that range that I was aware of. This fall I could count about 20."
The major controversial areas were the hunting districts in the Bitterroot and near Townsend and Tosten.