Some of you no doubt read story this weekend about the mountain lion that was treed by a Jack Russell terrier in Colman South Dakota this last Tuesday, and it got me thinking about Mountain Lion managementÂ in South Dakota.
While archery hunting this weekend my dad and brother found obvious signs of a mountain lion being just south of Iroquois SD in recent days.Â Even with the a mountain lions large migratory pattern, it seems out of place to seeÂ lionsÂ ranging intoÂ eastern South Dakota and it starts to beg the question, Is the mountain lion population in South Dakota under control?
South Dakota GFP raisedÂ the mountain lion hunting Â season this year to 45 lions or 30 females plus 5 in Custer State Park.Â Â Â They alsoÂ released a five year plan to reduce the number of lions from theÂ calcuated 250 lions that live in the Black Hills down to 175 lions, through hunting.Â To read GFP planÂ and other information about mountain lions click the linkÂ http://gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/critters/mammals/mountain-lion.aspx
An increase inÂ lion populationÂ would now doubt have a negative effect on other species including deer, turkey, and elk.Â Not to mention the effect it can have on ranchers who use Black Hills National Forest Land to graze cattle in the summer.
Personally, I think something needs to be done to control this species before itÂ explodes out of controlÂ and I am glad to see GFP raise the limit on the number of animals that can be taken this year.Â I hope further studies will be done to get a better population count of the number of lions not only in the black hills butÂ one which also range out to theÂ east, soÂ the management plan can be altered if need be.
Let me know how you feel about this topic.Â Do you think the lion population in SD is under control?
Below are a couple pictures sent to us by a family friend.Â This person went to start her car at her home outside Hot Springs one morning lastÂ year to find 3 lions sitting in front of it.Â From stories IÂ have heard enconters like this are becoming more and more frequent which may point to an increase in lion population.