Letters of Consumer and Social Concern

A Modest Proposal, to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,


Please be advised that you are in receipt of a letter from the Bureau of Letters of Consumer and Social Concern (BLCSC).

I was pleased to learn that on March 18 you tracked and killed three adolescent cougars east of the Sisters area in central Oregon. It sounded quite scary, according to locals in the area who had spotted the cougar activity, and the BLCSC does send its regrets and condolences to the family who lost a pet dog to a hungry cougar. I actually have cougar hunting in my lineage: my great great uncle, Fred Holcom, was a bounty cougar hunter and these days, when I listen to news reporting, am always tickled when I learn of a State cougar hunt, and frankly would like to hear more of it.

Because there have been a reported twenty-one deaths related to cougar and mountain lion in the U.S. and Canada (including California) in the past 121 years, it seems clear that we should respond in kind to these vicious animals. And though there have been no human deaths related to cougars in Oregon (at least on record, since 1890), it still seems reasonable to develop a full extermination strategy.

The BLCSC is not really concerned with the politics of this decision, but we more have a question for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about cougar hunting in general. As suburbs encroach on cougars’ native territories and our pets’ lives become endangered when we leave them out overnight in the cougar habitat, do you have some good recipes for cougar? With the escalating cougar threat–and now impending greater number of dead cougars–you have surely prepared some tasty cougar meat recipes?  For, as an organization dedicated to “stewardship” of Oregon’s environment and its living creatures, you are certainly practicing holistic hunting techniques, right? (On the home page of ODFW, it states: Protecting and enhancing Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations.)  I would personally be first in line to taste one of these expert predatory animals.

Also, on that subject: if there are fatal pet strikes by cougar in these rural areas, do you have any good recipes for dog? And what about the clothing and shoes you are making from their hides?

Actually, now that I look into it a little more, I find that there are an average of twenty deaths by dog every year in the U.S. (an estimated 117 times greater chance of dying by dog than by cougar in America), what is our extermination plan for the lethal dog population? And where on your website are the dog recipes?

Not to be untoward, but on the other end of the–albeit very very rare–fatal attacks on humans by these animals, there is a dead human. As an establishment of conservation, preservation, and tradition, it seems that you would want to do the holistic thing with these poor souls who have left the scene by animal attack. Do you have any recipes for Homo Sapien?

On the subject of freak-of-nature-rare deaths, did you know that more than 700 people are killed by the savages of lightening every year in the U.S.? I know it is not in the purview of the ODFW to address lightening, but look at the facts: it is a killer (compared to cougars).  If you could think of any way to attack the lightening or retaliate, please let us know here at the Department of Letters.


Sincerely Yours,


Benjamin Shook (chairperson)

POST SCRIPT: (Left) Fred Holcom with a captured cougar (not yet dead), near Cascadia, Arizona, January 1926.