Nebraska Eyes Mountain Lion Season

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Thursday at Nebraska's legislative hearing on mountain lions, comments were heard for two opposing sides. State Sen. LeRoy Louden is for Bill 928, which would give Nebraska Game and Parks Commission the ability to have a limited mountain lion season. Louden has seen them around his ranch, and says there is a zero tolerance for them. On the other hand, there are residents who do not see how anyone could even consider killing a mountain lion. They argue that the mountain lions are just now returning into the area, and need time to get established before allowing a hunting season.

The limited season being considered would not harm the mountain lion numbers. "It will not lead to uncontrolled hunting or the decimation of mountain lions," said Sam Wilson, a state wildlife biologist who monitors the cats.

Nebraska G&PC will conduct a survey on the Pine Ridge area of northwest Nebraska. There is an estimated population of 13-28 animals, with over 50 reported sightings. With a growing population the commission may recommend a hunting season, but without passing of Bill 928 they cannot establish a season. The commission would have a mountain lion season similar to the bighorn sheep season they have currently. With only 2 permits being issued, and one auctioned off to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to the conservation of that animal. From Omaha World-Herald.