GF&P Commission approves mountain lion kill limit - KOTA Territory News

GF&P Commission approves mountain lion kill limit

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The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission approved the mountain lion hunting season as proposed Friday morning.

The proposed season, based on recommendations from wildlife biologists, would allow hunters to shoot more big cats than ever before - a total of 100 mountain lions or 70 females.

The public was allowed more than 90 minutes of public testimony Thursday afternoon during a commission meeting at Cadillac Jacks Gaming Resort in Deadwood. 

Last winter's season set a quota of 70 lions or 50 females. Some hunters argue more cougars should be shot because they kill Black Hills deer and elk. Other people contend too many mountain lions are being killed.

(Original Story)

People with differing opinions on the 2013 mountain lion hunting season gave their, often heated, input to the Game Fish and Park Commission Thursday. The controversy comes after a proposal by the Commission to allow a kill limit of 100 cougars, a level well above last year's 70 cat maximum.

There was standing room only at the hearing in Deadwood. Person after person sat before the Commission. Of course some are in favor of the increase and others are against it, and some say they're just plain fed up with the Commission.  People on both sides of the issue feel there are politics involved.

Many hunters say the lion season should be even higher than the current proposal, due in part to a dramatic decrease in deer and elk herds and for the protection of humans.
"If they're coming into town like that they're invading where we live - not us invading where they live," one person said.
Others say an increase in the kill limit will hurt the lion population, and further many are upset with the Commission, saying they only listen to hunters. "I think you've listened for political reasons to the wrong voices and you need to step back and take a good look at wildlife management," another person said.

There were also several stories of lion sightings, including one where a man said he recently had to fight off a big cat near Lead. 

The Commission believes there are about 300 mountain lions in the area.  Their goal is to get that number to around 150.

A final decision on the issue is expected Friday.

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