Despite the fact that cougars pose little threat to humans, many states still manage their population through hunting—which also makes it more difficult for them to spread east. South Dakota’s Black Hills currently mark the eastern border of established cougar habitat, and hunting has been allowed there since 2005. John Kanta with the South Dakota wildfire [sic] agency says some hunters falsely blame the cats for drops in the region’s deer and elk populations. “Mountain lions are killing deer and elk,” he says, “but there are a lot of other things going on.” The real culprits of the deer decline, he explains, are drought and the over-issuing of hunting licenses. [Mary X. Dennis, Cougar Town, On Earth]Officials for the GOP-owned wildlife-killing agency in South Dakota told a Sioux Falls teevee station that the Black Hills cougar population has nearly been extirpated:
With only two weeks left in the season, only 49 lions have been killed, including 29 females. The season limit is 100 total lions or 70 females. No lion has been killed for nearly two weeks. The last one killed was on March 6 in Pennington County.A collared cougar from the Black Hills died during an act of gun violence in the Crazy Mountains near Big Timber, Montana according to Erin Madison in the Great Falls Tribune:
While this mountain lion’s story is very interesting, it’s certainly not the first mountain lion with South Dakota roots to show up in Montana, said Justin Gude, wildlife research and technical services chief for FWP in Helena.Apex predators are essential to healthy bioregions but at least one stupid white guy in the Black Hills eats cougar meat:
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. 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, National Geographic NewsAssassinations of cougars by the law enforcement industry, poaching and cougar/car collisions are not counted as part of the "harvest." KW reported in the Rapid City Journal:
Jack Alexander, a state Game, Fish & Parks Department lion-removal expert who handles a pack of state-owned hounds, was called in to shoot the lion Tuesday night when it returned to feed on a deer it had killed a day earlier in a neighborhood above Canyon Lake.Here is the name and number of the
Rewild the West.
I wonder if a hunt is really necessary for these cats. What is being done in other states or what is suggested in regards to Mountain Lions specifically? Let their populations rise and fall naturally? Don't they avoid humans generally? At least from what I've read attacks are very rare. I remember driving West River was definitely risky at night since there were so many Dear out there. I'm sure the Body Shops loved the business. Lynn G.
I am a citizen of South Dakota and the mountain lion hunting is honestly not a bad thing. If you think about it, the black hills in this state doesn't even cover half of it so having well over 100 mountain lions is actually an issue. More have been coming in over the last couple of years and even wandering into towns. I remember last year we had one on a playground at an elementary school in Rapid City and they called law enforcement who shot it with a tranquilizer and put it back in the mountains. Also, like all large cats mountain lions don't need to eat ever single day so no, they do not eat ALL of our deer and elk but with so many they do deplete the population. Also, they have been known to come into pastures and kill livestock such as cattle (cows) and horses and some ranchers have actually started to bring in llamas to fend them off. Hunting is all done for conservation and ever year the amount of cats allowed to be hunted is different based on the population of every other animal in the state. Also, hunting mountain lions with a dog is not illegal and its not uncommon for a dog to fight with a lion. Personally would I take my dogs out? No. I actually have a very strong fear for mountain lions but hunting is a cultural thing for us South Dakotans, and hey, it has to be when there's less 800,000 people in the entire state right? :)
Leah, what we really need is a season on republicans, that's the dangerous animal that needs to be thinned.
Leah, your point isn't lost on those of us witnessing the extirpation of cougars from the Mountain West inviting the establishment of wolf packs and allowing mesopredators like coyotes opportunistic growth where humans have triggered trophic cascades.
Be very afraid that unless we preserve habitat for the wild we have preserved nothing.
Larry, please remove my number from this article. I have never received one phone call, and would gladly talk with anyone on this issues. With that being said I don't think it was appropriate for you to put my number on here.
If you are really Justin send me an email at the address on the bottom of this page.
If you are related to Fred, you are fair game.
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