'Threatened' lynx trapped, shot - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

'Threatened' lynx trapped, shot

Man said he thought he was killing a bobcat

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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Lynx are rare in North Idaho.

While their presence has been documented in some areas in recent years, no resident population has been confirmed of the reclusive cat, listed as "threatened" and protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for lynx that includes part of the Purcell Mountains in the far northeast corner of Boundary County.

It was just outside that area where one was killed earlier this month.

"Losing a lynx to trapping or any other cause is disheartening," said Jim Hayden, Fish and Game regional wildlife manager for the Panhandle region. "Fortunately these are very rare events."

A North Idaho man, whose name was not immediately available, pleaded guilty in state court to mistakenly trapping and harvesting a lynx.

He was fined $200 and ordered to pay $25 restitution to Idaho Fish and Game and $160 in court costs. The Boundary County Prosecutor's Office handled the case.

The man told investigators he would have released the animal from the trap had he known it was a lynx. Because he could not see the animal's paws because of snow, and he believed it was a bobcat, he shot it.

When he realized his error, he immediately reported the incident to the local conservation officer.

"I have to give the guy credit for immediately letting us know he had made a mistake," said Phil Cooper, Fish and Game officer. "It's not something there was any intent to do."

The incident occurred in early January. Cooper said the age of the female lynx hadn't been determined.

He said it's not known how many lynx could be in North Idaho. They are extremely secretive and difficult to census.

Michael Lucid, IDFG wildlife biologist, has conducted surveys for lynx in the Idaho Panhandle the past three years.

Confirmed lynx samples of hair and scat have been collected in the Selkirk Mountains and the Purcell Mountains.

Tests may reveal if the trapped lynx was related to the lynx that was confirmed in North Idaho the last two winters, said a press release.

The killing emphasizes the importance of knowing how to tell a bobcat from a lynx, Cooper said.

Bobcats and lynx are similar in body size and harder to identify when observed. However, their tracks are far different in size and easier to distinguish. Bobcat feet are small and lack hair between pads. A lynx has very large paws for its size. The longer hind legs of a lynx give it a stooped appearance.

Lynx are found in areas of particularly dense forest and tend to inhabit areas with deeper snow cover and higher elevations. They generally stay within a 100 yards of thick forest.

They are found in Canada, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. A lynx population exists in Yellowstone National Park that extends into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. After being eliminated from Colorado in the 1970s, lynx were reintroduced there in 1999.

While bobcats can be hunted and trapped, lynx are completely protected "making the ability to distinguish one from a bobcat especially important," Fish and Game said.

Idaho Fish and Game dedicates two pages in its Upland Game and Furbearer Rules to help trappers distinguish lynx from bobcats, ways to avoid incidental take and how to safely release a lynx from a trap.

"Failure to recognize the difference between a bobcat and a lynx can be a costly mistake for trappers, and result in unlawful take of a protected species," the release said.

The lynx will be mounted alongside a bobcat to aid in identification programs.

"Hopefully, we can use this as a means of educating people to know better of what they're looking at," Cooper said.

Difference between bobcats, lynx

• Idaho bobcats are brownish or reddish with spots over much of the upper body, and distinct black spots on the belly. The lynx is generally pale gray without distinct spotting.

• Bobcats may have ear tufts, but they are usually less than one inch long. Lynx have conspicuous dark ear tufts about 1 1/2 inches long. Bobcats lack prominent cheek tufts, lynx have prominent cheek tufts.

• Tail characteristics, however, are probably the most reliable feature for making positive identification. A black tip completely encircles the end of the lynx's tail, and it has no bars on the upper side of the tail. The underside of the bobcat tail is white to the tip, usually with some barring on the upper side.

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  • truthful1 posted at 6:45 am on Sun, Jan 20, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    Ah, Joe, you are truly a worth Tea-billy.

  • efromm posted at 11:24 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    efromm Posts: 704


  • charliek60 posted at 10:21 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    charliek60 Posts: 204

    show up at Black Sheep tomorrow at 1 pm with a gun . us hilbillys our goin to have a party

  • JoeIdaho posted at 10:00 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Anyone NOTICE that EVERY comment by the anti-hunting people came from the communist brigade?

    Me; I'm going to buy some more traps, set them, hunt sme more, hopefully wipe out a few dozen wolfys, and go bout my bidness.

    I WONDER how many of you left wing communists will show up at the gun rally tomorrow; to protest the hunters who will all be displaying their RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.

    The best thing that could happen to Idaho woudl be if ALL liberals moved back home to Cali.

  • bionic man posted at 6:37 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Whether you "low-lifes" realize it or not, hunting has been and always will be a way of life. If it wasn't for your "low-life" fore fathers not hunting, you might not be here. I don't care where you came from, Idaho has been and always will be a hunting state. At least this " Idaho " hunter had the grits to admit his mistake. That's what Idaho is all about. You transplants probably couldn't tell the difference between a mule and an elk......Check with G & F about the Cali dude that had a mule strapped across his truck thinking it was an elk. Typical mentality of the transplants moving to Idaho.

    LMY...your comments are " in humane. " They are causing me suffering and pain everytime I read them.

    At least from the posts here, we all know who the real Idahoans/sportsmen are!!!!!!!!!

  • truthful1 posted at 3:19 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    he was probably so drunk that he didn't realize what he was shooting at

  • Twin Lakes Redneck posted at 1:57 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Twin Lakes Redneck Posts: 134


    it is very obvious from your remarks you know nothing about trapping, how it works, how the traps work, the regulations, the necessity of it as a tool from an ecological stand point, the benefits of trapping etc....

    yet you act like the expert, judge people, take peoples rights away and in general bloviate....coeurgenx is right on! if you dont like it here, then go to a place you do like, eitherway quite whining...

  • LMYCDA posted at 12:59 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    Oh, you hate abortions but love slamming me for no dam reason. Well said.

  • LMYCDA posted at 12:58 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    When was I vulgar. And stop with the abortion propaganda.

  • coeurgenx posted at 12:15 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    coeurgenx Posts: 1

    The lynx will be mounted alongside a bobcat to aid in identification programs.

    This is a solution to avoiding this problem in the future. how many of you people have been in the F&G headquarters to see what is already mounted in there to help educate us/them. I dare you negative sayers on here to walk in there and ask the kind folks who work at F&G some of these negative remarks/questions and I am sure you will be surprised how things actually work.

    remember, you moved here because of what N IDAHO has to offer. How do you think the locals/native Idahoans feel about you coming here and telling them how to live their lives? support their families the only way they know how and continue on what was handed down to them.

    If everyone continues to preach their personal beliefs then N IDAHO will turn into the place you moved away from. Now who wants that?

  • Jill Heine posted at 11:28 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    May you be the first in line for the culling of 6 billion more souls.
    After all, the Elite must preserve a chance sighting of a Lynx by terminating all potential human predators.
    It's too bad the feds and IDFG didn't opt to reintroduce the Lynx instead of the Canadian Wolf!

  • Jill Heine posted at 11:25 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    LMYCDA - so much for your abhorrence of vulgarity! You agree with vulgarity when it suits you.

  • Jill Heine posted at 11:23 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    LMYCDA...your question posted at 9:56 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 is a few inches below.
    Human Beings are trapped daily with forceps and killed slowly and painfully with sharp objects at the base of the skull at Planned Parenthood. Where is your empathy for these souls. The will return to help you off this world.

    As for the acronym that efromm used...get a LIFE! I am confident that you have uttered such world.

  • efromm posted at 11:22 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    efromm Posts: 704

    Sweet report me. I did not say that they could not live here. I question why they are here? I hear people all the time commenting negatively about locals. This is America right? I don't have the right to say what I please? Or how I feel? So you will censor my words because you do not like them? I don't hate anyone for moving here. I question their motives. Why move here and complain about the people that they decided to move next too? They deleted the earlier posts that I was referring to. So your jumping my scat but you don't know who I was responding too. Seems to me that you have the problem. And it is the divided states of America. And the more people move to places where they are in conflict with their neighbors the worse it will get.

    It did not just happen in Idaho. In the foothills of Cali the same things went on there. And in the foothills of VA it was the same problem. People living on the edges of the city's are being driven out by the city folk. And the country is being plowed over.

    Now I was not talking to you LMYCDA in my earlier post. But for some reason you wanted to think that I was. Well I was not. Right now I am responding to you. You jumped to conclusions that you made up in your head. Your not my problem. You are your own problem. You might try to remember that in the future...

  • LMYCDA posted at 10:17 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    Well said, Thank you.

  • CaiusCosades posted at 10:14 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    CaiusCosades Posts: 380

    That's the North Idaho way! Any living creature needs to be shot and killed and mounted on a wall! Use and abuse the environment! Things will be better when we finally drive all these stupid animals to extinction.

    Why should we care? The earth is to be used and abused until our liberal hippy "californian" Jesus comes back for us.

  • LMYCDA posted at 10:00 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    I do question how he could have MISTAKENLY trapped this beautiful animal? He set the trap right? So did he MISTAKENLY SET THE TRAP? That makes no sense at all, none. What was he trapping for? Alot of unanswered questions, but again I do commend him for being honest. Traps should be outlawed, they are inhumane and not needed for hunting.

  • Sheeken Hunter posted at 10:00 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Sheeken Hunter Posts: 183

    Shooting anything without first clearly identifying what is being shot is wrong. The hunter made a mistake. He did the proper thing by reporting it. He paid the penalty for his mistake.

    The real question here is; Why is this a front page, bold heading, story???

  • LMYCDA posted at 9:56 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    I think what most people are upset about is the TRAPPING! So are you telling your kids TRAPPING is a civilized way to hunt animals? Should be outlawed. It is inhumane.

    And, Redneck you bore us too.

  • LMYCDA posted at 9:54 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    What is wrong with you? What? Why say something like that? Why? Are just wanting attention and can't get any? Show us ALL where someone that is a liberal/democrat said anything for this man's honesity? Please idahotater. You, sir, are a very poor example of the people that live in this great state. You are why so many in this country think most people in Idaho are bigots and racists and just crazy. Thanks for nothing. Maybe you can join the folks that are getting ready to occupy thousand of acres and open another Aryan compound in North Idaho. Do you think you would fit right in or not?

  • Twin Lakes Redneck posted at 9:45 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Twin Lakes Redneck Posts: 134

    this is a success story i would share with my kids, this guy was doing things legal by the book, made a mistake that no one would have ever found out about, yet manned up and confessed to what happend...good job!

    you clowns bashing on this story really bore me.

  • milburnschmidt posted at 9:29 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1160

    The two species look so much alike that most hunters dont even think about hunting bobcat since the big difference is the tufts of hairs on the ears. All the firearms training in the world couldnt stop a accidental kill of this species Just another poor excuse to stop hunting and private ownership of guns.

  • idahotater posted at 9:22 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    idahotater Posts: 54

    I commend him on his honesty. An honest sportsman, good for him, regardless of what the leftwing loons have to say.

  • Screen Name posted at 6:20 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 972

    Here is a really simple rule: If you don't know with certainty what you are shooting, don't pull the trigger. Basic gun safety rule. This is a prime example of why there should be more education requirements for gun ownership.

  • voxpop posted at 5:48 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    And I'm guessing exclam and ful1 wouldn't know a lynx from a larch stump.

  • exclamation posted at 1:40 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    exclamation Posts: 56

    Just another inbred hill billy " I didn't know" and "I couldn't tell" are no excuses if you don't know what's out there you have no business being there. Hope he gets caught in one of his or someone elsewhere traps.

  • truthful1 posted at 12:41 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    well, sure,theat are a threat to the local elk herds, right? The ones that the local hunters fear to have any competition with, since it makes it SO hard....

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