Third Mountain Lion Taken

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State Game and Fish Department officials have confirmed that another mountain lion was taken by a hunter over the New Year's weekend.

The lion, an adult male, was killed in an area of the badlands west of Grassy Butte in McKenzie County on Dec. 31.

It is the third mountain lion taken in North Dakota since a season was opened last September. The other two cats were shot in midNovember. One was a juvenile male, the other an adult female that had not yet had a litter. All three lions were harvested in the same general area - the northern badlands within 25 miles of Grassy Butte.

"This mountain lion is interesting because it's probably a resident male that was holding a territory," said Dorothy Fecske, Game and Fish Department furbearer biologist.

The state's first open season for mountain lions in modern times runs through March 12. The Game and Fish Department will close the season early if the total harvest reaches five before that.

Information gathered, Fecske said, will help Game and Fish better manage mountain lions in the future. "So far, this season is telling us that, while we get reports of mountain lion sightings statewide, their presence is greater in western North Dakota," Fecske said. "It's another piece of the puzzle to help us understand the population."