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Mountain Lion Hunt Slower Than Last Year

Either Rep. Betty Olson is losing the justification for her chronic mountain lion hysteria... or we've chased the mountain lions out of the Black Hills toward Betty's Prairie City bunker. Game Fish and Parks reports we're well behind last year's pace in killing mountain lions. Last year, we hit the 70-lion quota a month before the end of the season. This year, with 100 lions up for grabs and the season ending March 31, GF&P says we've taken only 49, including 29 females. No one has bagged a lion since March 6.

I enjoyed my first taste of mountain lion at a church wild game feed last year. Mr. Kurtz notes that eating carnivore isn't such a great idea:

Yet "eating carnivores is mostly not a good idea," argued Luke Hunter, president of Panthera, a U.S. based wild-cat conservation group that works with National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.

For one, carnivore populations worldwide are dwindling—the African lion is listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and is endangered in certain West African countries.

...Handling wild-carnivore carcasses can also be dangerous, Hunter said. Since the predators end up eating so many different animals, they accumulate parasites and diseases. In 2007, for instance, a biologist in Arizona contracted primary pneumatic plague after dissecting a cougar carcass and died shortly after [Christine Dell'Amore, "Proposed Lion-Meat Ban Shines Light on Wild-Animal Meat," National Geographic Daily News, 2013.03.12].

Pass the venison, please!


  1. Rorschach 2013.03.19

    I believe that the number of mountain lions in the Black Hills has been greatly overestimated by GFP. However, cougars are still abundant in the hills. Maybe that's what GFP was thinking. Happy hunting boys!

  2. DB 2013.03.19

    over estimated?....hahaha
    How many deer are running through Custer?...or Lead?...or Deadwood? Used to be able to drive for miles and see deer and elk everywhere. Now, driving through the hills you barely get a glimpse and you have to work hard to even find them. The mt lions have brought the numbers down on elk and deer immensely. The lack of snow is making the hunt this year harder. I know because I was out there with many hunters. You guys should keep to the topics you know. I can get just as sick from a deer as a lion. Much of that sickness is a direct result of over population. Then again, the animal lovers would rather watch a deer die slowly of starvation and disease then to see them die a good, clean death. You are just doing more fear mongering. Let me tell you, the kitty tastes mighty delicious. One other thing, they are all over east river. You just need to get the GnF to man up and admit to it. It's about as bad as MN officials and their inability to acknowledge the existence of wolves for so long.

  3. Rorschach 2013.03.19

    So which is it DB? Is there an overpopulation of deer? Or an underpopulation? You have the issue surrounded.

  4. Les 2013.03.19

    The areas that lack snow in the BH's are the areas the elk and deer migrate to for forage. The lion follows. Without snow or dogs, the lion is a tough customer to find. I've personally seen lion from the hills to ND on our side of the river.
    The month early debate means nothing if the climate wasn't taken into account.

  5. Bill Dithmer 2013.03.19

    You guys should keep to the topics you know. DB I'm ready lets talk.

    The Blindman

  6. grudznick 2013.03.19

    Maybe they're making a dent in the kitties or maybe the lack of snow lets kitties go less noticed. The reason doesn't matter as much as long as there is hope for a surge in the next few days after it snows.

  7. DB 2013.03.20

    Overpopulation of lions, under population of deer and elk. Having deer in town was showing the overpopulation. Not even finding a deer within 5 miles of town shows the under population. Elk have taken the biggest hit. Calves are getting taken at an extreme rate. Harvest rates have tanked since the lions began prospering. It will always swing one way and then the other. We just can't let it get too far either way or we could lose control.

  8. Dana P. 2013.03.20

    I wonder how the mountain lions, deer, and elk ever "did their thing" before humans started getting in the middle of things and messing with nature. Nature took care of things. The EHD that is occurring here in South Dakota (also drought related) is doing its best to make a dent in the deer population. Not the mountain lions.

    People aren't going to be happy until they annihilate the mountain lion here in the hills.

  9. DB 2013.03.21

    Dana, EHD barely touched the hills. Get a clue. You won't find better conservationists than hunters. If you want to see what PETA has done to my home, you can come visit in the winter when the deer walk up to humans....bone thin and delirious looking for food...nipping your gloves thinking it is something until they eventually collapse and die in the streets and alleys. We picked up 150 off a 9 hole golf course 2 years ago while residents picked up over 500 in their yards in a town the size of Baltic. PETA goes around the nursing homes and has residents apply for tags that will be burnt, only to let the dear starve to death. Mother nature did take care of it before man, and it was far more brutal and painful of a death for the animal's than any man could impose. The cats will be in check when they aren't forced to leave the hills because of their growing population. Hunters will always try to keep a healthy population around, while animal lovers would rather they almost die out from disease. It's long past letting mother nature handle it. If you think they will shoot them til they are gone, you aren't even worth talking to.

  10. larry kurtz 2013.03.21

    Mule deer are lousy in the Hills and are wiping out entire aspen clones because the snow pack is so low. Kill 'em all along with every ponderosa pine younger than a hundred years.

  11. Les 2013.03.21

    "Lar", that is an extreme exaggeration if not an outright lie. Don't try and tell those of us who spend time in the middle of the Black Hills things like that.

  12. larry kurtz 2013.03.21

    There is nothing out there but doghair and dry cheatgrass, Les.

  13. Les 2013.03.21

    I will agree the Hills is a mediocre producer of forage, but to say the Hills are lousy with any deer more or less mule deer is not accurate. The turkey is now making a comeback but I see no other wildlife down the chain from the lion doing so.

    I really believe the lions that run in the cities should be allowed to stay and take care of the lawn eating deer and the house cats allowed to roam at night at the same percentages lion are thought to be stable in my country. Might quiet some the RC gang activity as well.

  14. Les 2013.03.21

    Glad ur back in the Hills Lar, we can always use the extra mercy in this part of SD. Enjoy the perfect day.

  15. larry kurtz 2013.03.21

    Some of the best looking is the southern flank of the Jasper Fire: Hell Canyon is coming back in aspen. Mulies are thick in there.

  16. Les 2013.03.21

    I get into the guts of miles of awesome aspen sledding if anyone wants a tour some winter day. Though I have fought bugs successfully(in my mind at least), the bug is here to stay and possibly has less than a decade of work left where unattended. My spruce have a few issues, but nothing I will live to see and the spruce babies have exploded where the bug has done it's job on/around my property in the pine. Aspen just don't like my neighborhood, racist I'm guessin.

  17. larry kurtz 2013.03.21

    Unless the Northern Hills get significantly more than what is happening there now, Les: expect demand to exceed supply very soon. It's creepy dry.

  18. grudznick 2013.03.21

    I wonder if we should call that a success. Fewer kitties than can meet the demand. Seems if we keep it that way we can even drive the price up more. But I hold hope that the dusting now will result in 5 more kitties by Monday noon.

  19. Les 2013.03.21

    Yes Larry, for those who don't know, the Hills gives up her water far faster than she takes it in depleting those subterranean springs in drouth and takes it in far faster than she gives it up while excess rains come. The trouble with that is, the peak of either event can bring more excitement than I care for. A wonderful world while the careful balance exists.
    I had doe's pass the house twice today, they enjoy creek moss. I haven't seen a coyote here in years and rarely see the racoon and have never seen any of the smaller furbearers. I had a young cat pass through our drive a couple weeks ago my dog alerted me to, visible by the security light. We are living in the range of a large tom who mostly stays invisible. The lady of his house who used to sun on our side of the mountain was probably one of those taken two years back when a couple of females went down in the hunt.
    More rambling than most want or need to hear, but the southern Hills is very dry with an extreme range of good to great to poor as you moved through the woods where snow did exist this winter. We are susceptible without spring rains, having been in extreme fire danger most of last summer. They say it can take several years to bring the moisture content of the tree core back after a drouth.

  20. Les 2013.04.02

    Frank Carrolll, another guy feeling the need to tape expert to his forehead with every story, reassuring the masses, " expert he is".
    I prob agree more than I disagree with Carroll, Lar. Yes, he's is down where the migration of all wildlife in the Northern Hills ended up. Pennington and Custer counties had most of the lion kills as well. For all who cry out for the original balance whether it be wolf, coyote, lions or whatever they need to get their booties out of the way as well. DC once had bear, coyote, mink, otter. Now it just has pigs gorging themselves.
    Doesn't this years hunt on lions without dogs seem more like it should be? An actual hunt instead of ten lions on a weekend? 4000 lion hunters is also being chimed. I'm one of those who never hunted a day. I'm sure I'm far from alone.

  21. larry kurtz 2013.04.02

    Carroll is a christian, too: that's certainly one reason to doubt his veracity. I just made some big loops in the central and southern Hills. Will put up some pix of many mule deer.

  22. Les 2013.04.02

    It depends on which part of the body of Christ his veracity rests on.

  23. larry kurtz 2013.04.02

    Mike Kintigh is getting his posterior handed to him on a plate by Dr. John Laundre on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio.

    GFP is a slaughterhouse.

  24. Les 2013.04.02

    How a about Dr John taking his $24 worth of Venetian beads and trinkets back and getting his posterior out of New York so the American Indian and the puma can go back home.

  25. interested party 2014.01.12

    South Dakota: Land of Infinite Stupidity:

    "According to the researchers, the loss of our apex predators could have profound ecological impacts on the planet. Take Yellowstone National Park, for example. Fewer wolves and cougars mean more elk and deer, and too many grazers threatens vegetation and, in turn, other small mammals. Carnivores play a complex role in the ecosystem and humans need to recognize that, the study says."

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