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Lion quota cut

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Evidence of a decreasing mountain lion population in the Black Hills has led the South Dakota state Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) Commission to recommend a 75 lion kill quota with a 50 female subquota for the next hunting season. That figure is down from the 100 lion season with a 75 lion subquota from the previous season.
The recommendation was made by GF&P staff biologists and will now go to public comment before the commission officially sets the season quota at its October meeting in Spearfish.
John Kanta, regional wildlife manager for GF&P in Rapid City, said a variety of factors were used to determine the recommendation, including the fact that only 61 lions were killed during last year’s hunting season. In 2011, there were 73 lions taken before the season had even ended.
“We had a discussion about whether we could reach 75 (this year),” Kanta said. “The discussion was more centered around (the number) we did not want to go over. Anything over 75 would have had a significant impact on the population. Anything over 50 would continue to decrease the population, which is what we want to continue to do.”
Kanta said GF&P estimates there are 230 lions in the Black Hills, based on radio collar data, numbers of lions harvested during the past couple of hunting seasons and other data. GF&P hopes to get the lion population to somewhere between 150 and 200.

Evidence of a decreasing mountain lion population in the Black Hills has led the South Dakota state Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) Commission to recommend a 75 lion kill quota with a 50 female subquota for the next hunting season. That figure is down from the 100 lion season with a 75 lion subquota from the previous season.

The recommendation was made by GF&P staff biologists and will now go to public comment before the commission officially sets the season quota at its October meeting in Spearfish.

John Kanta, regional wildlife manager for GF&P in Rapid City, said a variety of factors were used to determine the recommendation, including the fact that only 61 lions were killed during last year’s hunting season. In 2011, there were 73 lions taken before the season had even ended.

“We had a discussion about whether we could reach 75 (this year),” Kanta said. “The discussion was more centered around (the number) we did not want to go over. Anything over 75 would have had a significant impact on the population. Anything over 50 would continue to decrease the population, which is what we want to continue to do.”

Kanta said GF&P estimates there are 230 lions in the Black Hills, based on radio collar data, numbers of lions harvested during the past couple of hunting seasons and other data. GF&P hopes to get the lion population to somewhere between 150 and 200.

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