When we went to America we saw only one buffallo in South Dakota and some deer. We saw chipmunks at the Grand Canyon. That was it. I would have longed to see a mountain lion, a bear, a beaver or a racoon! I think racoons are cute!
I have to wonder what roads you took because you're not going to see much from the Interstate. Did you go to any of the National Parks other than the Grand Canyon? Tatanka is still within the park boundaries of Yellowstone where you should have seen elk, moose and deer as well.
I think that perhaps you may have an overly romanticized view of the animals you listed. Mountain Lions view you as food, plain and simple. A female bear with cubs is nothing I would want to run into. Beavers are pretty cool but racoons while looking so cute and cuddly are pretty bad assed. They will kill a good hound dog if the encounter is near water. They are very strong and will try drown the dog. However, all have a right TO BE.
Living in California I have seen all the animals you listed including the buffalo. The buffalo was on a ranch and you could view them from the car as you drove by. The bears I saw were dead when some guy my father knew brought them by to show off. Nothing is more manly than displaying a dead sow and her two cubs. They stunk to high heaven and it was not the death smell. I walked away in total disgust at the "hunter." When you see as I have seen a fresh paw print in new snow you start to realize just how big and probably dangerous they are. It's time to move on. An older brother and I once camped in the Olympic National Forest. We got to the camp site late and were busy getting a fire going and unpacking food to cook. I looked up and saw a raccoon on the table with our bread in its hands. I started yelling and advancing towards it to scare it away. About five or six feet away from it, it raised up on its hind legs, growled a nasty growl and bared its teeth with the canines prominent. Stopped me dead in my tracks because we were eyeball to eyeball!!
I couldn't back pedal fast enough. Needless to say we went without bread that meal.
There is no justification for the slaughter animals listed in the articles I've posted here. They often shoot them for being in the area, not for actually killing stock. To me it is the same mindset that so often took place regarding Indians. No need to get the guilty party, just kill anyone in the area and proudly proclaim yourself to be an "Indian fighter." No matter that they were women, old ones and children and were doing nothing but living within their own territory.