The South Dakota Game Commission voted to reduce the 2016 Black Hills mountain lion hunting quota to 60 lions from the previous year's 75. The state has an unfortunate tradition of ever-increasing lion quotas; so a decision to lower them is new and refreshing.
Some conservationists see this action as a first move by the Commission in recognizing that the lion population in the Black Hills has been over hunted. Opponents claim that the last two years of dismal hunting results are more a factor of bad hunting conditions (lack of snow) rather than a lack of lions.
In addition, the Commission decided to postpone for two years the agency's revenue making scheme of commercializing mountain lion hunting with out of state trophy hunters.
THE FIGHT IS FAR FROM OVER!
MLF is forming a coalition to protect mountain lions in South Dakota. If you'd like participate and be contacted about volunteer opportunities, please sign up here, and be sure to check the box that says "Contact me about volunteer opportunities."
Together, we can save the American lion!
The Game Commission will finalize changes to the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 mountain lion hunting seasons at their upcoming meeting. Specifically, the proposed amendments would:
While parts of this plan are a great step in the right direction, allowing nonresidents (people living outside South Dakota) to come into the state to hunt lions is a dangerous and terrible idea. Please take a moment to call or email the Commission and urge them to lower hunting quotas, stop the use of hounds, and to not allow nonresident mountain lion hunting.
To Contact the Commissioners:
In your email, please point out:
Please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Speaking to the Game Agency face-to-face is much, much more effective than sending an email. So if you are able to attend the meeting, please do so.
WHEN: Thursday, October 1 at 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center, 305 North 27th St, Spearfish
Please share this action alert with your friends and family through email and social media. Forward this page to your South Dakota friends and consider sharing it on Facebook.
Private long term economic investment in mountain lion take increases as a result of hound hunting, out of state hunters, use of guides, outfitters and private hunting ranches.
South Dakota game officials and residents have stated in the past they do not want "out of staters" telling South Dakota how we should manage our mountain lions. But by allowing nonresident hunting, the state will be doing exactly that.
Nonresident hunting will commercialize and incentivize the killing of South Dakota lions. This extremely limited natural resource will quickly become over exploited. A handful of guides and hunting ranches will profit, but the rest of the state will have to pay to cost.
Hounding is an inhumane and outdated blood sport. Shooting an exhausted and frightened animal out of a tree is unethical hunting and it has no place in modern wildlife management or recreation. Hounding has been banned in two-thirds of the United States. It is a waste of time for South Dakota to even consider instating the practice statewide.
Using hounds violates all claims of "fair chase" and ultimately does not protect cubs.
Through our efforts to protect mountain lions from sport hunting in the United States, the Foundation has conducted extensive research on the statement that allowing the use of hounds makes hunters more selective: letting females and juveniles go and only shooting depredating cats or trophy-sized adult males. However, a review of 30 years of records from game managers throughout the western United States found that although technically feasible, most hunters could not tell the size and sex of an animal up a tree.
Furthermore, of the hunters who claimed to be selective and said they would let smaller and female animals go free, less than 30 percent actually did so. Hounding an animal is sometimes an all day event: following the hounds for hours on end, over rugged terrain, until they finally wear out the lion and it seeks refuge up a tree. After the excitement and exhaustion (and hefty expense if a professional guide was used), more than 70 percent of hunters shoot the first animal they tree, regardless of age, size, or sex.
Hound hunting guides make good money and are a very vocal group. But make no mistake, this is an archaic and cruel practice for both wild animals and domestic dogs that should be banned in our state.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to help protect South Dakota's mountain lions!
The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat. The mountain lion is also known as cougar, puma, panther, and catamount.
We believe that mountain lions are in peril. Our nation is on the verge of destroying this apex species upon which whole ecosystems depend. Hunting mountain lions is morally unjustified, and killing lions to prevent conflicts is ineffective and dangerous. There is a critical need to know more about the biology, behavior, and ecology of mountain lions, and governments should base decisions upon truthful science, valid data, and the highest common good. Conserving critical lion habitat is essential.
Together, we can save America's lion.
Join us today!No minimum gift is required to become a member of the Mountain Lion Foundation. Just make the donation you can afford using any of the following methods. Click HERE to make a gift through PayPal, or mail your contribution to Mountain Lion Foundation, P.O. Box 1896, Sacramento, California 95812.
You can make a tax-deductible donation with your credit card using Paypal's secure server by clicking on one of the links below.
You may also mail your contribution to Mountain Lion Foundation, P.O. Box 1896, Sacramento, California 95812 or call us at 916-442-2666.
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