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How do you sex a mountain lion? (Verrry carefully!)

By Gary Bogue
Friday, May 4th, 2007 at 7:47 am in Mountain lion.

The difference is not always obvious
In the state of Colorado, hoping to prevent mother mountain lions with litters from dying during hunting season, hunters will have to pass a test showing they know the difference between males and females before they set their sights on one of the big cats.

The state Wildlife Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve mandatory training, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, that starts in July.

Wildlife advocates say maintaining a certain number of female mountain lions is important because they don’t have litters every year, and kittens die without their mother.

Male mountain lions are larger and have bigger paws and longer strides than females, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife Web site. There are also other differences beyond the obvious. Males, for example, have a black spot of hair 4 to 5 inches below their tails.

If the mountain lion is charging the hunter, spotting that black spot could be a little tricky. I guess that’s known as the thrill of the hunt.

You can find out more about the Colorado Division of Wildlife mountain lion training program on the Net at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/MtnLionEduc

I wonder if/when the State of California is going to get around to doing this?

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