In CA lions are totally protected. If there is an incidence of predation on livestock you have to call the state and they'll send some on out to investigate, then in theory they will hunt the cat. Problem is that it takes generally several weeks for them to show up and by then according to the state guys they can't tell if it was killed by a cat or something else. Ranches we used to hunt had healthy deer populations and very few cats. We saw the cat numbers increase until it wasn't uncommon to see half a dozen a day. Now those same ranches have no deer fewer lions but more dead calves. It all has to be balanced, total elimination by shooting probably would never happen, even if you threw in trapping it would put a dent in the population but not eliminate it. Wacking them when they show up will keep them thinned and also help them keep the wild instincts that will allow them to survive in wild areas.