Custer County Chronicle

Home   »  News

Bookmark and Share

Email This Article  

No lion: cat harvest behind 2012 pace

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, February 7th, 2013

With all of the recent snowfall, weather conditions are seemingly perfect for mountain lion hunting in the Black Hills. However, the numbers of lions harvested this season don’t reflect those conditions.
As of Tuesday morning, there had been a total of 33 lions killed since the season began Dec. 26, 19 of which were female. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) Commission set this year’s quota of lions at 100, or 70 females, whichever comes first.
Mountain lion season closes March 31 regardless of whether or not the quota has been met—something that seems unlikely at the pace the lions are being harvested.
“We are behind the harvest rate from last year,” said Mike Kintigh, regional supervisor for GF&P. “Hunting conditions are very good throughout the Hills. We have good snow cover, which seems pretty important to the hunters’ success. I don’t know if we will reach the quota. That’s yet to be determined.”
A year ago, 73 lions were harvested during the season, with the smaller quota being met before the end of the season. After listening to input from both the public and their own biologists, GF&P raised that number to 100, confident there were enough lions to support such a season.
Now some are questioning whether the estimate of 300 lions in the Hills, about 100 more than it estimated before the 2012 lion season, was accurate. 

With all of the recent snowfall, weather conditions are seemingly perfect for mountain lion hunting in the Black Hills. However, the numbers of lions harvested this season don’t reflect those conditions.

As of Tuesday morning, there had been a total of 33 lions killed since the season began Dec. 26, 19 of which were female. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) Commission set this year’s quota of lions at 100, or 70 females, whichever comes first.

Mountain lion season closes March 31 regardless of whether or not the quota has been met—something that seems unlikely at the pace the lions are being harvested.

“We are behind the harvest rate from last year,” said Mike Kintigh, regional supervisor for GF&P. “Hunting conditions are very good throughout the Hills. We have good snow cover, which seems pretty important to the hunters’ success. I don’t know if we will reach the quota. That’s yet to be determined.”

A year ago, 73 lions were harvested during the season, with the smaller quota being met before the end of the season. After listening to input from both the public and their own biologists, GF&P raised that number to 100, confident there were enough lions to support such a season.

Now some are questioning whether the estimate of 300 lions in the Hills, about 100 more than it estimated before the 2012 lion season, was accurate.

Available only in the print version of the Custer County Chronicle. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.



Click Here To See More Stories Like This

Current Comments

1 comments so far (post your own)
Mike W
February 7th, 2013 at 10:14am

GFP and local gunners (they can't be called hunters) have done and will do the same thing to this population of big game as they did to the Black Hills deer and elk populations. What is so surprising about this? Virtually half of the testimony at GFP Commission meetings since 2009 have predicted this unnecessary exploitation of cougars but the Commission and GFP are so politically hardwired, they are deaf and dumb to science or logic. Far to much attention is paid to the paranoid exaggerations of livestock producers and trophy hunting recreationists than to the birds and animals. Now it will take another 10 years for this population to recover to some assemblage of normal.

Leave your comment:

Name:

Email:

Website:

Comments:


Enter the text as it is shown below:



Please enter text
This extra step helps prevent automated abuse of this feature. Please enter the characters exactly as you see them.
 

Note: Emails will not be visible or used in any way. Please keep comments relevant. Any content deemed inappropriate or offensive may be deleted.

Advanced Search

Keywords:


Filter Search:
Classified Ads
News Articles
Event Calendar
Archive

Date Range:
From:
To: