PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — While the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission added four weeks to its season for hunting mountain lions so that people would have more opportunity to take one, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has reduced the number that can be legally killed for the coming season.
Nebraska will allow a total of four lions, with a sub-limit of two females, to be taken January 2-February 28, 2021, in parts of four northwestern counties along the Wyoming and South Dakota borders.
The Nebraska hunt is limited to the counties of Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and Sioux, north of the Niobrara River and west of Nebraska Highway 27.
The limit and sub-limit are half of what were allowed for the 2020 season. Nebraska uses a lottery system. There will be 320 permits drawn for 2021, half of those drawn for 2020.
If the 2021 limits aren’t reached, hunters can apply for an auxiliary season March 13-31.
South Dakota’s 2020 season for the Black Hills Fire Protection District ran December 26, 2019, through April 30, one month longer than prior years.
The extra month in South Dakota saw six females and three males killed. For the season overall, there were 27 females and 24 males killed for a total of 51. The limits were 60 total or 40 females.
South Dakota’s harvest this year was a significant increase. Kills had been declining: 13 males and eight females in 2018-2019; 12 males and 19 females in 2017-2018; 14 males and 16 females in 2016-2017; and 16 males and 25 females in 2015-2016.
The peak seasons were 73 killed in 2011-2012; 61 in 2012-2013; and 53 in 2013-2014.
South Dakota doesn’t limit the number of mountain lion hunting licenses. Only residents can hunt lions in South Dakota, where more than 3,000 licenses have been sold in 10 of the past 14 seasons. The prairie season remains open in South Dakota. Last year, hunters took 10 lions on the prairie; the previous year, 11.