South Dakota Wants to Increase Mountain Lion Limit

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State Biologists have sent in their proposal to increase the limit for mountain lions next year in South Dakota. The numbers of elk and deer have been declining, and they think the cause is directly related to the mountain lion population.

This year the quota was 45 mountain lions, with no more than 30 of those being female. The proposal for next year would be 60 with no more than 40 being female. The season would run from January 1st- March 31st, and this year Custer State Park would be included in the total number of lions instead of having an additional quota. Also Custer Park would allow more hunters at a time.

There is opposition to the increased limit. Custer veterinarian Sharon Seneczko, president of the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation agrees with some parts of the proposal. She does not believe that increasing the quota is a good idea though. As the state has increased the number for the past years, and the mountain lion population may already be declining. She believes the state is using the mountain lion population as a scapegoat for the deer/elk decline. The mountain lion is a natural predator and helps keep the populations moving, it is part of a natural ecosystem. There were 30 elk collared, 14 of those have been killed by predators and 13 of those are confirmed lion kills.

"We have individuals who believe every mountain lion should be shot on sight," Leif said. "On the other end of the spectrum are those individuals who believe we should never hunt or kill any mountain lion in the state. Both those extremes can get fairly emotional in advocating for their positions." The Game, Fish and Parks Commission will finalize the mountain lion season after a public hearing October 6th. From The Republic.


hunter25's picture

The mountain lion issue can

The mountain lion issue can be every bit as hot as the wolf issue and sometimes even worse as people just don't believe there are many out there because they never see them and they don't make the news like the wolves do. I have seen only one in my life without the use of dogs and was extremely amazed at how many we found evidence of when I went out with someone who knew what to look for. They were everywhere.

The data here is pretty conclusive that they are a big part of the problem and steps must be taken to slow them down. At least is specific areas where all these collared elk are getting eaten. It sounds like there is not really an overall increase just a redistribution of where they can be harvested to get control of the highest population centers like the Custer park that was mentioned.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, I don't know how this

Well, I don't know how this veterinarian can argue the fact that the lions are the prime critter responsible for killing the elk and deer.  They appear to have scientific evidence to back it up, with the collared animals being killed.

I wish California would just allow limited hunting for mountain lions.  I believe that our deer herd suffers greatly in areas with a large lion population.  Truthfully, the DFG does not even have any clue here as to how many lions live in the state, and what the impact is.