Cougar hunt draws ire

The Canadian Press

EDMONTON–A Canadian TV personality is taking heat online after he killed a cougar in northern Alberta.
Steve Ecklund, the host of the outdoor show “The Edge,” bragged about hunting the huge cat earlier this month.
“What an unreal ending to a fun-filled season,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Dec. 3.
“Northern Alberta lion with BIG CAT ADVENTURES Brian and Claudette Chorney . . . can’t thank you guys enough for the eye-opener into your world of houndsmen.”
Ecklund posted several photos of him holding the dead cougar and another of him making a stir-fry from the meat.
His posts triggered outrage online: dozens of people have criticized the post, including Laureen Harper, the wife of former prime minister Stephen Harper.
“What a creep. Chasing a cougar with dogs until they are exhausted, then shooting a scared, cornered, and tired animal,” Harper said in a post on Twitter.
“Must be compensating for something, small penis probably.”
When asked if her Twitter account had been hacked, she said no.
Harper defended her comments, saying she comes from a family that hunts and fishes.
“Killing for fun makes me sick,” she said.
“Wasn’t hacked,” she added. “I was really angry that some guy flies all the way to Alberta to kill a magnificent cougar so he can make a stir fry.”
Others took to Facebook to condemn Ecklund.
“A senseless killing . . . and something to be ashamed of for the rest of your pointless life. Loser,” wrote one Facebook user, Rich Voysey.
Neither Ecklund nor the Chorneys have responded to requests for comment, but he didn’t back down in subsequent posts about the hunt.
“If you can guess what post has 900 likes, 450 comments, 13 confirmed death threats, 754 swear words, and one very happy hunter in it . . . I will enter your name into the draw for the new cougar cookbook, filled with mouth-water recipes for your next mountain lion hunt,” Ecklund wrote in a Dec. 4 post.
Others on social media defended Ecklund’s right to hunt the cougar.
“Awesome harvest Steve!” said Facebook user Mitchell Jones.
“Keep up the good work and ignore these simpletons, clearly they haven’t a clue how the world works and are out of touch with reality.”