South Dakota Mtn. Lion Season Opens Jan 1

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The 2009 mountain lion hunting season will begin on January 1st. The season will have two major changes, including licensed landowners being able to harvest lions on their own land outside the Black Hills Fire Protection District year round with the 2009 Mountain Lion license.

The second noted change is the season running from January 1 to March 31. The mountain lion season will end earlier if either the 35 lion or 15 female lion harvest limit is reached sooner than March 31.

All of South Dakota is open to hunting with the exception of areas closed to hunting by the federal government, Custer State Park and portions of Indian Reservations where hunting is regulated by tribal governments.

Hunters successfully harvesting a mountain lion are required to bring the whole, entire carcass and pelt to a GFP Extension Trapper, Conservation Officer or Wildlife Biologist within 24 hours of harvest. All lions harvested in the Black Hills region must be presented to Game, Fish and Parks staff at the Rapid City GFP Regional Office at 3305 West South Street. Hunters harvesting a lion outside of the Black Hills can call the Rapid City office or their local GFP representative to arrange for an inspection.

Hunters can call the Rapid City GFP office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 605-394-2391 to make arrangements for inspections. On nights and weekends, successful hunters should call State Radio at 605-393-8121 to arrange to have a GFP representative meet the hunter.

All standard big game regulations apply to the mountain lion season. Hunters may not harvest a lion with a spotted coat or harvest any lion that is traveling with another lion.

Shooting times are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

Hunters may use electronic calls while hunting, but cannot bait, trap or use hounds to hunt lions.

All hunters are responsible for checking on the status of the mountain lion harvest immediately prior to each day hunting. Up-to-date mountain lion harvest totals will be posted on the GFP website at www.sdgfp.info. From the home page, simply highlight the link to "What's New." There will be a link to mountain lion harvest status that will give the latest information. Hunters may also call, toll free, 1-866-895-9067 to receive a recorded message on the latest status on the mountain lion harvest.