South Dakota Mtn Lion Season Changes Set for Discussion in October

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The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission proposed an increased harvest limit for the upcoming 2011 South Dakota Mountain Lion Season.

The proposed season would run from Jan. 1 - March 31, 2011 and have a lion harvest limit of 45, or 30 female mountain lions.

The season proposal includes an increased license fee of $25, up from $15.

The Commission also proposed to open Custer State Park's boundaries to mountain lion hunters, and to give those hunters the option of using dogs.

The Custer State Park Season would run in conjunction with the Black Hills Mountain Lion Season and would allow five resident hunters, chosen by lottery, to harvest 1 adult lion each. The license for this season would be $305.

Custer State Park hunters would have to notify the park office at least 18 hours prior to each day they plan to hunt in the park. Houndsmen would be required to register with the Custer State Park office and can only pursue mountain lions during the open season when accompanying a licensed hunter with a valid tag.

Custer State Park hunters would be required to harvest the first legal cat they have a reasonable opportunity to take, and would not be allowed to release dogs on tracks indicating multiple cats traveling together.

Hunters would not be allowed to have more than one mountain lion license in any one year, and any hunter who received a Custer State Park license in any of the preceding nine years may not apply for a license in that season.

Citizens who want to provide written comments on these Mountain Lion Season proposals may do so until 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 6. Comments may be mailed to Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD, 57501, or e-mailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us. All comments must have the senders' full names and addresses in order to be included in the public record.

Comments may also be presented in person during the GFP Commission public hearing, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. MDT on Thursday, October 7 at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, near Spearfish.