User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

76° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.


[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Biologists Seek Valuable Data From Black Hills Lion Season

December 26, 2013, 9:08 PM by Kevin Woster

Biologists Seek Valuable Data From Black Hills Lion Season

It began before dawn, as hunters slowly drove snowy forest roads in search of lion signs.

In the lion season that opened Thursday morning in the Black Hills, snow matters -- to the hunter, but also to state biologists who rely on hunter success rates and samples taken from lions killed to study and manage the big cats.

So snow conditions matter to science, too. And while there was widespread snow cover for the season opener, it wasn't the fresh snow that lion hunters love.

"We had that snow now that's probably a week old," state Game, Fish & Parks biologist Kevin Robling of Rapid City said. "And obviously fresh snow is critical to lion success, or it really helps and assists in harvesting a lion obviously, cutting fresh tracks is a big part of it."

Robling was at GF&P's Rapid City office Thursday, ready to respond to the first lion kills. Each cat must be checked in with GF&P within 24 hours, so staffers can log its weight, condition, sex and age, and take DNA and other samples. The data helps estimate the lion population and determine if the current policy to reduce it is working.

"We want to bring this population down," Robling said. "Our objective in our management plan is 175 lions, plus or minus 25. Obviously we're above that."

GF&P estimated a lion population at 300 two years ago and 230 last year. Season results this year and all the data that goes with it will help update the population estimate on the elusive cats.

The state Game, Fish & Parks Commission, an appointed citizens board that sets hunting seasons and oversees policy, has been increasing the lion kill in recent years to reduce the lion population. The commission set that downward direction, over outrage from lion advocates worried about their demise, in part because of the outcry by some hunters who believe there are too many lions killing too many Black Hills deer and other big game.

Robling said there's no doubt lions are effective predators on deer and other animals. And GF&P figures the estimated lion kill into its deer-management plan. But Robling said it's important to keep the lion and its appetite for venison in perspective.

"To say lions don't have an impact on deer populations, they do," he said, adding, however, that "the biggest tool to control deer populations is hunter harvest."

Previous Story

Next Story


Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Woman Killed In Sioux Falls Home

4/16/2014 6:01 PM

Sioux Falls police are investigating a murder in the southwest part of the city.

Full Story
SF Murder Victim Stabbed, Suspect Got Pills

4/17/2014 10:12 AM

Sioux Falls Police have released the names of the suspect and victim in the city's second homicide of 2014.

Full Story
Missing Girls Case Update On Tuesday

4/15/2014 7:15 AM

Authorities plan to release an update on the investigation into the 1971 disappearance of two South Dakota girls.

Full Story
Remains Found In Car Are Missing Girls

4/15/2014 1:39 PM

After more than 40 years, the families of two missing teenage girls now know what happened to them.

Full Story
Evidence From Car Led Authorities To Cold Case Conclusion

4/16/2014 11:35 AM

A more than 40-year-old cold case has been closed after South Dakota authorities announced on Tuesday the remains found in an old Studebaker submerged...

Full Story


KELOLAND TV: 501 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605.336.1100 · Breaking News call: 1-800-888-5356
Web Site Design and Custom Programming By: Lawrence & Schiller© 2014 KELO-TV -- KELOLAND.COM -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED