RAPID CITY, S.D. — The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission is considering a proposal that would allow hunters who use dogs to begin a mountain lion hunt on private land to continue onto most public land outside the Black Hills.
The commission voted Thursday to advance the South Dakota Houndsman Association’s petition for further consideration later, the Rapid City Journal reported.
The association sometimes obtains licenses to hunt problem mountain lions for landowners outside the Black Hills, said Brad Tisdall, president of the association. But the hunt must stop if lions move from private land onto certain parcels of public land where hunting with dogs isn’t allowed.
“The landowners are upset with us,” Tisdall said.
Mountain lions usually roam the Black Hills. People can hunt the animal statewide, but there are restrictions on hunting with dogs, which are used to tree the lions. Hunting mountain lions with dogs is allowed only in Custer State Park and on private land outside the Black Hills Fire Protection District.
Current rules allow mountain lion hunts with dogs that begin on private land outside the district to continue on public land only if the parcel is managed by the state Office of School of Public Lands or the U.S. Bureau of Management, excluding the Fort Meade Recreation Area near Sturgis.
The rules were established as a compromise to allow some mountain lion hunts with dogs to progress onto public land while keeping some other public land off-limits to avoid conflicts with other users of that land.
The association’s proposed rule would allow mountain lion hunts with dogs to continue on any public land, presumably including the recreation area.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com