Second-ever Nebraska regulated mountain lion hunt set for 2019

Doug Dufford, wildlife disease and invasive species program manager at the Illinois DNR, says there's "a good possibility that we will see more cougar sightings going forward.''

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved a mountain lion hunting season for 2019 at its meeting Friday, June 22 in Ogallala, the Commission said in a news release Friday.

The season will provide a harvest opportunity for up to eight mountain lions in two sub-units within the Pine Ridge of northwestern Nebraska. The season will allow the population to remain resilient and healthy, while halting growth or moderately reducing the population size, the Commission said in the release, adding that this will initiate a reduction of the population density in the Pine Ridge to one similar to that of other states that allow mountain lion hunting.

The state has held one previous regulated mountain lion season – in 2014, when hunters killed five animals (three males, two females).

 The approved 2019 mountain lion season regulations:
  • A harvest season will be held only for the Pine Ridge area, which has an established population that can sustain a harvest.
  • The proposed season will allow up to eight mountain lions to be harvested, with up to four of those being females.
  • There are two sub-units in the Pine Ridge: a north sub-unit (north of U.S. Highway 20) and a south sub-unit (south of U.S. Highway 20). Sub-units are designed to distribute harvest throughout the Pine Ridge. Up to four mountain lions, and no more than two females, may be harvested in each sub-unit. Public lands are closed in the north sub-unit to focus harvest onto private land in Sioux and Sheridan counties, where the majority of landowner input has occurred. The south sub-unit includes public lands for expanded hunting opportunities.
  • Once four mountain lions, or two females, have been harvested in a sub-unit, the season in that sub-unit will close.
  • In each sub-unit, 320 permits will be issued, for 640 total permits. Permits will be allocated by drawing.
  • An initial season will run from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2019. The use of dogs will not be permitted during the initial season.
  • If the limits and/or sub-limits have not been reached in a sub-unit by Feb. 28, then a limited number (equal to the animals remaining in the limit) of permittees will be allowed to hunt with the aid of dogs in an auxiliary season. Permits for the auxiliary season will be granted to unsuccessful permittees from the initial season via a lottery. If the auxiliary season occurs, it will take place from March 15-31.
  • Baiting and trapping will not be allowed during any season.

For more information on mountain lions in Nebraska, go to outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlions.

— Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Categories: Hunting News

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