September 24, 2020

South Dakota Ends It's First Mountain Lion Hunt

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Below is the press release issued by the South Dakota Fish and Game. This first ever hunt started out to be quite a controversy with antis running amok claiming the hunt would wipe out the mountain lion population. Wait until you read the results of the hunt.

We posted previously here and here.

First SD Mountain Lion Season Completed

PIERRE, S.D. – The 2005 South Dakota mountain lion hunting season ended on Dec. 15 with no mountain lions harvested in the prairie unit, although a feral lion was shot the day after Thanksgiving in Douglas County.

The Game, Fish and Parks Commission established the prairie unit as a simple means of allowing landowners to protect their property from any threat of mountain lions. Only landowners were allowed to purchase licenses for the prairie unit and those licenses were valid only on the landowners’ own property.

Department field staff and researchers from South Dakota State University were not surprised by the lack of harvest on the prairie. While an occasional mountain lion may pass through the prairie unit, no documented breeding populations of mountain lions exist in South Dakota outside of the Black Hills.

“The mountain lion harvested in Douglas County was determined to be a cat that had been raised in captivity,” according to Tony Leif, GFP game program administrator. “Domesticated animals are not counted with wildlife populations or harvest. However, our staff feels it is important to include the harvest as a footnote to the season for a historically accurate depiction of what occurred in 2005.”

The mountain lion hunting season in South Dakota opened on Oct. 1, and the Black Hills unit closed 24 days later when the fifth female mountain lion of breeding age was harvested. A total of 13 mountain lions were harvested during the 2005 season.

A total of 2,295 licenses were sold for the Black Hill unit and 302 were sold for the prairie unit.

Tom Remington

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