State lawmakers have moved to close down the mountain lion hunting season almost as soon as it started.
Sen. Ernie Chambers has succeeded in advancing his bill, LB 671, which would strip authorization to issue mountain lion hunting permits by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Chambers tells colleagues during floor debate the use of dogs to take down a mountain lion in western Nebraska enraged him.
“What surprised me, I’d also indicated that the way they did that gave hunting a bad name,” Chambers tells colleagues during legislative floor debate. “I was called by people who said they were hunters and said that’s not hunting and that was not something that would enhance the image of hunters and hunting.”
Two male mountain lions have been taken in the first hunt authorized by Game and Parks. One hunter paid more than $13,000 for one permit. A teen-ager won the second permit through a lottery.
Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala warns colleagues about moving forward with a repeal of a law only recently approved by the legislature.
“And I would hope that we aren’t going to jump back and forth on issues like this and make it look like maybe we don’t know what we’re doing,” Schilz says. “And that may be entirely the case. But consistency in law makes sense over time.”
Chambers tells colleagues this bill means a lot to him.
“I’ve exercised what for me is considerable restraint. There is no bill that I’ve ever offered since I’ve been in this legislature that has affected me the way this one has,” Chambers says. “No issue, including the death penalty, has done to my mind what has happened under this bill has done to my mind.”
The bill advances on a 31-5 vote. It must clear a couple more votes to go to the governor.
AUDIO: Sen. Ernie Chambers closes on LB 671. [5:20]