Slow mountain lion season in Black Hills ; several factors - KOTA Territory News

Slow mountain lion season in Black Hills ; several factors may contribute

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More than a month into the season, the number of mountain lions killed remains at 15.

Last year at this time, the tally was 20 lions. In 2012, 39 lions had been killed by hunters.

The slow start to the lion season has some people scratching their heads as to why.

Tony Leif, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Director of Wildlife, says there are a few things that could account for fewer kills.

There could be fewer lions. Leif says indicators from 2013 show the population of lions is declining. Additionally, he says conditions vary and so do the number of hunters getting out there.

Jeff Olson, former SD Game Fish and Parks commissioner, says the are hunters who are getting out there may be choosier this season. "Some guys wait until the end of the season. Some guys are out there and they see three cats but they're waiting for a big one. So there may be more trophy hunters this year."

Also, the number of licenses sold this year are down. This time last year, 4,088 were sold. As of yesterday, 2981 have been sold.



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