The Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints in regards to Cougar sightings in Goldendale, town of Klickitat, Bingen-White Salmon, Glenwood, Husum, and other neighborhoods throughout Klickitat County. This is a serious PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERN. In addition, cougars and bears are a major concern and a problem for the farmers and ranchers in our County. Livestock and Domestic Animals are being killed by cougar and bears in our County on a regular bases.
In 2019, I established a program in accordance with Washington State Law, (RCW 77.15.245(2a), which allows better protection for Public Safety, the protection of domestic animals and livestock within and throughout Klickitat County from Dangerous Wildlife. The Sheriff’s Office responds to all complaints where cougar or bear are a threat to public safety, domestic animals and livestock.
Within the past two weeks, the Sheriff’s Office responded to two separate cougar sightings in areas where public safety is a concern.
On March 7, 2021, the County Dispatch Center received a call of a cougar sighting next to a residence on Sunset Drive just outside of Goldendale. Deputy Dustin Vorce responded to the call. Deputy Vorce stated the complaining party inform him that she was sitting in her office room when a mountain lion (Cougar) walked just outside her window at the base of her house. Deputy Vorce checked around the outside of the complainants residence but did not locate the cougar.
Just as Deputy Vorce was about to leave the area, another complaint came into the County Dispatch Center about another cougar sighting on Clyde Story road just outside of Goldendale. This most likely was the the same cougar that was seen at Sunset Drive a short time earlier. However, this time the cougar was seen going under a porch at a residence on Clyde Story road.
One of the Sheriff’s Office hound handler’s were called to see if he could assist in locating the cougar. However, Deputy Vorce arrived at the Clyde Story road residence and located the cougar under the back porch of the residence prior to the hound handler’s arrival.
Deputy Vorce euthanized the cougar with his firearm in the interest of public safety. Deputy Randy Wells transported the cougar and turned it over to the Washington State Wildlife Agency.
On March 19, 2021, I received a phone call from a Centerville area resident that he and a friend shot a cougar that was under the house where the foundation skirting was missing. I informed the reporting party that I would have a deputy dispatched to the residence to take a report.
Sergeant Joe Riggers responded to the residence on Dalles Mountain road where the cougar was killed. Sergeant Riggers stated that there were domestic animals on the property as well as a large number of cattle on both sides of the residence. Sergeant Riggers further stated that the evidence shows that the cougar was shot and killed while it was under the residence.
The Cougar killing was justified in the interest of public safety.
The Cougar was turned over to Washington State Wildlife Agent Dan Bolton.