Mountain Lion Debate

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 management 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.  Even with the a mountain lions large migratory pattern, it seems out of place to see lions ranging into eastern South Dakota and it starts to beg the question, Is the mountain lion population in South Dakota under control?

South Dakota GFP raised the mountain lion hunting  season this year to 45 lions or 30 females plus 5 in Custer State Park.   They also released a five year plan to reduce the number of lions from the calcuated 250 lions that live in the Black Hills down to 175 lions, through hunting.  To read GFP plan  and other information about mountain lions click the link  http://gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/critters/mammals/mountain-lion.aspx

An increase in lion population would now doubt have a negative effect on other species including deer, turkey, and elk.  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 it explodes out of control and I am glad to see GFP raise the limit on the number of animals that can be taken this year.  I hope further studies will be done to get a better population count of the number of lions not only in the black hills but one which also range out to the east, so the management plan can be altered if need be.

Let me know how you feel about this topic.  Do you think the lion population in SD is under control?

Below are a couple pictures sent to us by a family friend.  This person went to start her car at her home outside Hot Springs one morning last year to find 3 lions sitting in front of it.  From stories I have heard enconters like this are becoming more and more frequent which may point to an increase in lion population.

4 thoughts on “Mountain Lion Debate

  1. There are definitely too many lions. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. Also perhaps you should look up some spellings before you print articles. I’m from Moody County and it offends me when people spell the names of our communities incorrectly. COLMAN not Coleman!

    • I agree, I think it would be great if the City of Mitchell adopted a similiar plan as Pierre. A deer management task force was created to first count deer within city limits and then when it was deemed populations were too high trained Pierre Police Department sharpshooters would carry out managment.

  2. > Mountain lions eat many animals not just deer.
    > Predators cull sick, aged, weak and otherwise inferior animals. This allows the best specimens to contribute to the genepool and enhance the species.
    > Humans seek out trophy animals and leave the inferior ones to add their DNA to the gene pool.
    > Therefore… predators give us stronger, healthier herds. Humans give us weaker, sickly herds.

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