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More lions to be killed in 2013

Published: Thursday, October 18th, 2012

When it came time for the state Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) to review the annual mountain lion kill number for the 2013 hunting season, commissioner Jeff Olson expected a number of emails and letters, both for and against the proposal, from many local residents. What he didn’t expect was the number of protests from other states and countries.
 On Oct. 5, the commission voted to increase the total mountain lion kills to 100 or until the sub quota of 70 females is reached, which is 30 more than last year’s number. The hunting season will open Dec. 26 and end March 31 and is open to resident hunters only.
“We had mountain lion foundation members from all over the world contact us,” Olson said. “Many were from California who want to see lions in every state and believe South Dakota has a great source population to do that.”
When mountain lion populations become saturated, they tend to move on, which is what many advocacy groups want. Last year a 140-pound South Dakota mountain lion traveled 1,500 miles to Connecticut before a car killed it. 
“We get a lot of emails from people wanting to keep numbers low or non-existent,” Olson said. “A lot of the emails are more emotion than facts.” 
Some of the other emails have been from lion advocacy groups in South Africa and Europe, calling the lion hunting season a “slaughter” while others threatened a tourism boycott. 
While the Black Hills has the highest number of mountain lions per square mile, the state itself has a relatively low number.
“Montana and Wyoming have a lot, but California has the most,” Olson said. “[Advocacy] groups from California want us to believe they live in harmony with lions, but they don’t. They kill just as many or more. The only difference is they don’t hunt them.”

When it came time for the state Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) to review the annual mountain lion kill number for the 2013 hunting season, commissioner Jeff Olson expected a number of emails and letters, both for and against the proposal, from many local residents. What he didn’t expect was the number of protests from other states and countries.

 On Oct. 5, the commission voted to increase the total mountain lion kills to 100 or until the sub quota of 70 females is reached, which is 30 more than last year’s number. The hunting season will open Dec. 26 and end March 31 and is open to resident hunters only.

“We had mountain lion foundation members from all over the world contact us,” Olson said. “Many were from California who want to see lions in every state and believe South Dakota has a great source population to do that.”

When mountain lion populations become saturated, they tend to move on, which is what many advocacy groups want. Last year a 140-pound South Dakota mountain lion traveled 1,500 miles to Connecticut before a car killed it. 

“We get a lot of emails from people wanting to keep numbers low or non-existent,” Olson said. “A lot of the emails are more emotion than facts.” 

Some of the other emails have been from lion advocacy groups in South Africa and Europe, calling the lion hunting season a “slaughter” while others threatened a tourism boycott. 

While the Black Hills has the highest number of mountain lions per square mile, the state itself has a relatively low number.

“Montana and Wyoming have a lot, but California has the most,” Olson said. “[Advocacy] groups from California want us to believe they live in harmony with lions, but they don’t. They kill just as many or more. The only difference is they don’t hunt them.”

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