In 1978, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks listed the mountain lion as a state threatened species.
In 2003 mountain lions were removed from the threatened list and classified as a big game animal with protection under a year-round closed season.
The first hunting season was established in 2005 as an “experimental season” and mountain lions have continued to be hunted as a big game species since, with the exception of 2008 when there was no mountain lion hunting season.
A total of 236 mountain lions were harvested from 2005 to 2012: 143 females and 93 males.
The 2012 Mountain Lion Hunting season (January 1 – March 31, 2012) had a quota of 70 total cougars or 50 females. The 2012 season closed in early March with a total of 73 cougars killed including 46 females and 27 males. Seven of the cougars killed were less than one year of age. The 2012 Mountain Lion Hunting Season Is Now Closed.
Current (2011) Big Game Regulations do not allow for the use of dogs for mountain lion hunting within the state. (See: Proposal for 2013 Mountain Lion Hunting Season below.)
Cougars killed by the department or private landowners, as well as road kill, incidental deaths by trapping or lions taken on Indian lands are NOT counted towards harvest objective quotas.
The 2013 mountain lion hunting season and bag limits will be established at the Commission meeting in Deadwood October 4 – 5, 2012. (Public Hearing is scheduled for October 4th with finalization scheduled for the 5th.) The 2013 proposal would increase the harvest limit to 100, up from 70 in 2012, and increase the female quota from 50 to 70. The season is set to begin December 26, 2012 (five days earlier than the 2012 season) and close March 31, 2013 or when either of the quotas are reached. Mountain lion hunting will be allowed in Custer State Park during 8 intervals – 5 of which will be between 14 and 16 days in length and will NOT ALLOW THE USE OF HUNTING DOGS while three hunting intervals, each seven days in length WILL ALLOW THE USE OF DOGS. A total of 162 valid license holders will be randomly drawn for the Custer State Park hunts.
South Dakota Mountain Lion Management Plan 2010 - 2015
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks manages it mountain lion population based on its 5 – year Mountain Lion Management Plan 2010 – 2015. In the plan the state’s 2010 mountain lion population was estimated to be 223. The state is divided into two management regions, the Black Hills of west-central South Dakota bordering Wyoming and the remainder of the state referred to as the Prairie Region. The Black Hills Region contains the core of the mountain lion population and forms the basis for the state’s population estimates and quotas. As of 2010 there was no documentation of lions establishing home ranges within the prairie region although it is recognized as a movement corridor for dispersing mountain lions. As of 2009, landowners on their own land are allowed to harvest a lion year-round outside the Black Hills. Harvest does not count toward quota outside of the Black Hill management unit season dates.
View the plan at:
Contact information for South Dakota State Senators: click here.
Contact information for South Dakota State Representatives: click here.
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Lion shot after wandering through western Rapid City neighborhood
Kevin Woster - Rapid City Journal | 2012-10-17Rapid City police and state Game, Fish & Parks Department officers shoot cougar with shotgun three times before killing it.
Mountain Lion Policies Creating More Problems
Dean Flage Radpid City Journal | 2012-08-18
Four Cougars Seen in Missouri Came from Three States.
Jim Low | 2012-05-23DNA shows that dispersing cougars that reached Missouri came from three different states.
Meandering Missouri Mountain Lion Last Seen in Michigan
Char Garrison - River Front Times | 2012-04-19A dispersing male cougar is on an impressive trek.
A Cougar in Connecticut - updated story
Science News | 2011-08-27Scientists piece together the wanderings of a young male cat.
Dead lion killing tourism?
Kevin | 2012-06-24Rapid City lost a tourist when police officers blasted a mountain lion in a parking lot near the downtown area just before 1 a.m. on June 15. Take the poll: Do you believe that shooting a mountain lion is the best way to handle one that wanders into a city?
Man finds mountain lion eating barn cats near Custer
Rapid City Journal | 2011-02-28Tom Cox said six of his barn cats had mysteriously disappeared over the past few days. On Sunday morning, he solved the mystery when he caught the culprit in the act.
GF&P kills 3 lions in Black Hills
KCAUTV.COM | 2011-03-02The state's wildlife agency killed three mountain lions after they killed domestic animals in the Black Hills.
Drugged elk makes easy pickings for Custer Park lion
Rapid City Journal | 2011-03-01The two got together Saturday in Custer State Park as a helicopter crew was shooting sedation darts at cow elk to drug them so they could be handled in a research project.
Bighorns become part of prey study
Black Hills Pioneer | 2011-02-28Wildlife biologists know mountain lions are killing bighorn sheep in the Black Hills, but they want to know just how many.
SD mountain lion season just 3 shy of limit
KCAU TV | 2011-02-14RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's main mountain hunting season is just three short of its limit after hunters in Lawrence County killed 2 of the big cats on Friday. That brings the total for the 2011 season to 42, three short of the limit of 45.
Rapid City man uses archery equipment to take mountain lion
Rapid City Journal | 2011-02-11Practiced in the art of the hunt and knowledgeable in the ways of his quarry, Sean Fulton has to his credit a solo hunting experience that few could ever hope to match.
Kill Limit Surpassed In SD Mountain Lion Season
Keloland | 2011-02-22The final tally for the season that began January 1 is 21 male lions and 26 females. South Dakota wildlife officials say they will not punish two hunters who shot mountain lions after a state-set limit of 45 kills had been reached.
South Dakota mountain lion season nears the end
Rapid City Journal | 2011-02-21A male lion was killed in Meade County over the weekend, bringing the season total to 44. The limit set by state wildlife officials is 45. The season opened Jan. 1 and is scheduled to run through March or until the quota is reached.
Hunters play role in trimming lion population
Rapid City Journal | 2011-02-28In killing 47 mountain lions during a season that ended last Monday, hunters again played a key role in the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission plan to trim the Black Hills mountain lion population.
SD mountain lion season nears quota
kcautv.com | 2011-02-08KEVN-TV reports that a male and a female lion were killed over the weekend in Pennington County. That brings the total to 38 lions, seven shy of the 45-lion quota.
Silent protest in state park could reduce lion kill, affect management
Rapid City Journal | 2011-01-31Some of the 10 special mountain lion permits for Custer State Park are held by hunters who don't intend to kill a lion.
One kitten killed, others rescued in lion season irony
Rapid City Journal | 2011-01-18One mountain lion kitten has been shot and killed during the first two weeks of the 2011 cougar-hunting season, while three other kittens have been rescued for shipment to zoos after their mother was killed by another hunter.
SD MOUNTAIN LION MANAGEMENT PLAN—PUBLIC COMMENTS
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks | 2011-01-12Only 13 (or 12%) of the people who responded were in favor of current mountain lion management/hunting objectives in South Dakota.
Six lions killed in 2011 season
Black Hills Pioneer | 2011-01-06The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks reported six lions were killed by the evening of Jan. 2, the second day of the 2011 mountain lion season.
SD lion count at 14 after 1 week of hunting season
KCAU TV | 2011-01-1014 lions have been killed in the first week of the season
Six lions killed in 2011 season
Black Hills Pioneer | 2011-01-03Two females and four male mountain lions were killed in the first two days of the New Year.
Mountain lion season begins Sat.
Black Hills Pioneer | 2010-12-31The sixth mountain lion season in the state opens Saturday and the recent snowfall should make for excellent tracking opportunities.
Steinwand clarifies some questions on recent mountain lion shooting
Bismarck Tribune | 2010-12-31The story of the 15-year-old girl shooting a mountain lion near her home south of Bismarck has generated a lot of interest in various circles.
Mt. Lion Killed After It Kills
Keloland.com | 2010-12-09Officials with Game Fish & Parks killed another mountain lion this week near Rapid City. But not before the cat got its kill.
Mountain Lion Hunting Closed In Black Hills Area
AP Casper | 2010-11-17Mountain lion hunting is closed in an area of the Black Hills.
County landowner shoots mountain lion near Nunda
Moody County Enterprise | 2010-11-17A Moody County landowner last week killed on his property a large male mountain lion that he considered to be a threat, according to a South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks official.
Jack Russell terrier trees mountain lion near Colman
Argus Leader | 2010-11-12The 17-pound Jack Russell terrier chases squirrels around their Colman farm every day, but he made such a fuss on Tuesday morning that Virtus, Chad's father, had to step out of the shop to investigate.
State files charges against Hills men accused of illegally harvesting mountain lion
Rapid City Journal | 2010-11-02Two local men accused of illegally killing a mountain lion on federal property last January are now facing state charges for unlawful possession of big game.
Commission sets lion kill at 50
Rapid City Journal | 2010-10-08The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission set a 2011 mountain lion season Thursday with a maximum kill of 50 cats, including five in Custer State Park.
Pastor spots mountain lion in Aberdeen
KSFY - Sioux Falls | 2010-10-06It was a frightening moment outside of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, on Monday.
2011 Mtn Lion Hunting Season To Be Finalized
KOTA radio 1380 | 2010-10-04The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission is expected to finalize the 2011 mountain lion hunting season when they meet next week in Spearfish Canyon.
GF&P kills mountain lion at Rapid City Regional Airport
Rapid City Journal | 2010-09-30South Dakota Game Fish & Parks Department shot and killed a mountain lion near Rapid City Regional Airport Sunday night after it threatened to roam onto the runway.
Mountain lions called integral to the Black Hills
Rapid City Journal | 2010-09-20A New York state wildlife biologist dispelled Saturday what he called some of the myths about the dangers of mountain lions in the Black Hills.
SD Weather Could Be the Cause of Deer Decline
KDLT news NBC | 2010-09-20A biologist says weather patterns, not mountain lions, are responsible for the recent decline in the
number of deer in the Black Hills.
Game officials: Chadron area woman justified in slaying cougar
Rapid City Journal | 2010-09-22Nebraska game officials have ruled that a Chadron, Neb.-area woman was justified in shooting a mountain lion on her property Friday.
Mountain Lion Kittens Killed in Hunts
Care 2 Make a Difference | 2010-09-14In 2010, 40 wild mountain lions were hunted and killed in South Dakota during an annual hunt. According to the South Dakota Mountain Lion Management Plan, five of the forty killed were kittens less than a year old.
GF&P proposes lion license fee increase
Rapid City Journal | 2010-08-16The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed bumping up mountain lion licensing fees when it suggested changes for the 2011 season.
GF&P 50-lion limit proposal higher than staff recommends
Rapid City Journal | 2010-08-09For the second straight year, the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission is proposing a mountain lion season that would kill more cats than its staff recommended.
Letters: S.D. poorly manages lions
Argus Leader -Thomas Mangelsen | 2010-08-02As usual, South Dakota's mountain lion management plan reflects a desire to maximize hunter "harvest" and ignores the science of cougar management.
GFP euthanizes hurt mountain lion near Rapid City
KSFY.com Sioux Falls | 2010-08-02Game Fish and Parks officers have euthanized a mountain lion hit by a car near Rapid City. The lion was hit about 1 p.m. Saturday and was put down soon after.
Letters: Housing invades lion habitat
Argus Leader | 2010-07-20Even though I no longer live in South Dakota, the state is dear to me. Mountain lions are not the biggest problem in the Black Hills. Rather, overdevelopment is the cause of mountain lion issues in the Black Hills and many other problems.
GF&P releases five-year mountain lion management plan
Daily Republic | 2010-07-07In 2005, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department instituted the state’s first-ever open mountain lion season. Since then, 112 mountain lions have been taken in five seasons by hunters specifically pursuing the carnivorous mammal, which is also known as a cougar.
GF&P to slash lion population
Black Hills Pioneer | 2010-07-06State wildlife managers want to lower the mountain lion population in the Black Hills by 80 animals.
2 charged with illegal lion kill
KCAU-TV abc | 2010-07-05Two men are charged in federal court with killing a mountain lion within the boundaries of Mount Rushmore National Park where hunting is not allowed.
Public input sought on state's mountain lion management plan
Arugus Leader | 2010-07-02The state Game, Fish and Parks Department is offering citizens an opportunity to review a draft of a new five-year management plan for mountain lions.
Lion killed inside Rapid City limits
Rapid City Journal | 2010-06-21A mountain lion was shot and killed Saturday morning in the backyard of a Rapid City residence on the city’s southeast side.
GF&P commissioner who faced term-limit suit resigns
Rapid City Journal | 2010-06-15An Aberdeen man who has served on the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission has resigned after being sued by a frequent critic of the board.
A Black Hills lion in the Badger State? Maybe
Rapid City Journal | 2010-05-19Wildlife biologists and hunters in Wisconsin are wondering if the latest visit by a mountain lion, which might have wandered from the Black Hills, is a sign of things to come in the Badger State.
Proposed lion season in state park would have limitations
Rapid City Journal | 2010-05-14Chances are good that the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission will consider extending the mountain lion season to Custer State Park when commissioners meet to set the lion season in August, GF&P secretary Jeff Vonk said.
Three lions found in subdivision near Hot Springs: Two killed, one driven away
Rapid City Journal | 2010-05-03When a pet goat and a deer were discovered killed the morning of April 20 behind a home in the Eagle Valley Subdivision, less than a mile east of Hot Springs, there was little doubt what caused the deaths.
Lead veterinarian sues to oust GF&P commissioner
Rapid City Journal | 2010-04-20A frequent critic of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has asked a judge to bar a commissioner from finishing his term on the panel that sets rules for hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities because he has served too long.
Most comments so far seek fewer lions
Rapid City Journal | 2010-04-01Public comments have been consistent across the state in a series of Game, Fish & Parks Department meetings on mountain lions: We have too many.
GF&P: Cougars Not Major Presence In Area
Press & Dakotan | 2010-03-25A mountain lion was shot six years ago inside Yankton, but the animals are not considered a major presence in southeast South Dakota, according to a state Game, Fish and Parks official.
GF&P: Cougars now kill as many Black Hills deer as hunters
Rapid City Journal | 2010-03-24Some hunters don’t like the increased competition from lions, said Mike Kintigh, GF&P regional supervisor in Rapid City.
Mountain Lion meetings planned
Midwest Agent | 2010-03-17"We are in the process of updating South Dakota's mountain lion management plan," Tony Leif, GFP Wildlife Division director said. "An important early step in that process is to gather public input."
LETTER: GF&P causing problems, not fixing them
Rapid City Journal | 2010-03-11Once again the Guns, Fees & Politics (GF&P) Commission has proclaimed another successful mountain lion hunting season. Not hard to do when you have no clue what you are doing other than economically exploiting a natural resource!
GF&P to hold statewide public meetings on mountain lions
Argus Leader | 2010-03-11State Game, Fish & Parks Department officials will be on the road over the next few weeks visiting with South Dakota citizens about mountain lions. We are in the process of updating South Dakota's mountain lion management plan,” said Tony Leif, GF&P Wildlife Division director. “An important early step in that process is to gather public input.”
Mountain lion season begins Sat.
Black Hills Pioneer | 2010-12-31The sixth mountain lion season in the state opens Saturday and the recent snowfall should make for excellent tracking opportunities.
Lion hunters use snow, calls for record Black Hills kill
Rapid City Journal | 2010-02-15Of that total, 24 were females, a fact that continues to worry Dr. Sharon Seneczko of Custer, a veterinarian and president of the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation. Seneczko and other lion advocates have argued against increases in the overall lion limit and the sub-limit. The 2005 season had an overall limit of 25 lions but a sub-limit of five breeding-age females.
South Dakota Mountain lion season closed as hunters reach limit
Rapid City Journal | 2010-02-11The mountain lion hunting season in the Black Hills closed Wednesday after 40 lions were reported killed for the 2010 season –- the limit set by the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks.
Poaching bill's punch restored
Argus Leader | 2010-02-08A bill that would raise the fines for poaching trophy wildlife in the state was amended back to its original language Thursday, setting up a vote by the full state Senate.
29 mountain lions harvested
Rapid City Journal | 2010-02-08Two more mountain lions were killed this weekend in the Black Hills area, raising to 29 the mountain lions killed thus far in South Dakota's 2010 hunting season. Nearly 75 percent of the big cats allowed to be killed have been taken.
Mountain lion tally now at 26
Rapid City Journal | 2010-02-03As of late Tuesday, 26 mountain lions have been killed in South Dakota’s 2010 mountain lion hunting season.
Mountain lion harvest count at 23, 15 females
Rapid City Journal | 2010-02-01As of Friday, 23 mountain lions have been killed in South Dakota's mountain lion hunting season. Of those, 15 are females, according to the informational hotline of the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks.
Bigger fines pitched to fight poaching
Argus Leader | 2010-01-20Given the penalties for poaching in South Dakota, conservationists say it's cheaper for someone to illegally shoot a trophy mule deer than it is to pay for a guided hunt.
Mountain lion tally at 18
Rapid City Journal | 2010-01-19So far this week, 45 percent of the licenses have been filled in the third week of South Dakota’s 2010 mountain lion hunting season. More than half of the limit on female mountain lions has been reached.
Lion count reaches 17 in the Black Hills
Rapid City Journal | 2010-01-18As of Sunday, 17 mountain lions have been killed in South Dakota's 2010 mountain lion hunting season.
With mountain lion killed Monday, count up to 15 in Black Hills
Rapid City Journal | 2010-01-13Hunters killed two mountain lions in the Black Hills over the weekend and another on Monday, raising the season total to 15.
Journey brings in big cat for wildlife display
Rapid City Journal | 2010-01-14In the heart of South Dakota mountain lion hunting season, The Journey Museum in Rapid City is trying something news -- adding big cats to its wildlife exhibit.
14 cats killed so far in mountain lion hunting season
Argus Leader | 2010-01-12The 2010 mountain lion season started Jan. 1 and a total of 14 cats have been harvested as of today - five males and nine females.
Mountain lion killed Wednesday
Black Hills Pioneer | 2010-01-11A seventh female mountain lion was killed Wednesday. The lion was shot 1 mile northwest of Hayward.
Nine mountain lions killed in South Dakota season count
Rapid City Journal | 2010-01-04As of Sunday, nine mountain lions have been killed in South Dakota’s 2010 mountain lion hunting season. Of the nine mountain lions harvested, six are females, according to the informational hotline of the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks.
G&FP kills lion captured near Storybook Island
Emilie Rusch - Rapid City Journal | 2009-11-20A 2-year-old mountain lion was found in a city neighborhood near Storybook Island on Thursday morning.
Lion trapped in Deadwood
Mark Watson - Black Hills Pioneer | 2009-10-26One day after wildlife officials killed a female mountain lion within Deadwood city limits a kitten was captured by a trap.
GF&P kills lion found in backyard
AP - South Dakota | 2009-10-22A state trapper killed a mountain lion that had been eating a deer in a homeowner's backyard in Deadwood, and now officials are looking for a home for its kitten.
Mountain lion killed in Deadwood city limits
Kevin Woster Rapid City Journal | 2009-10-22A mountain lion was killed within the Deadwood city limits Wednesday morning after the big cat, and possibly another, apparently killed a deer in a backyard in town. A South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department trapper killed one lion Wednesday, but the hunt wasn't over, because police reports early in the day indicated that two lions were in the area.
New collars provide more info on mountain lions in Black Hills
Sioux City Journal | 2009-10-19South Dakota wildlife officials say new satellite collars on mountain lions are giving them a better understanding of the animals in the Black Hills. The collars are an upgrade from radio collars. Fifteen lions have been equipped with them so far.
Rooftop officer shoots, kills mountain lion
Pat Dobbs -Rapid City Journal staff, SD | 2009-08-31Reports of mountain lions in Rapid City almost always turn out to be overfed house cats, Sgt. Chris DeGroote said Saturday. After the second call of a mountain lion strolling a street about 9 a.m. near Robbinsdale Park, he knew this was no fat tabby.
Lion research continues in Black Hills
WAYNE ORTMAN | 2009-06-16SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A closer look at diet is the next phase in a study of mountain lions in the Black Hills, research that's gone high-tech to learn more about an animal that few South Dakotans will ever see in the wild.
Are SD Mountain Lions Eating Livestock?
Radio 1380 KOTA | 2009-05-26While ranchers are worried about mountain lions attacking their livestock, one study said there is nothing to worry about.
GF&P to consider higher lion kill - GF&P Commission proposes raising lion limit; one commissioner wa
By Kevin Woster, Rapid City Journal staff | 2009-05-13South Dakota mountain lion hunters could kill an additional five female lions under a 2010 hunting season proposed by the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission Thursday.
GF&P reviews lion hunting season
AP | 2009-03-07SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — Information from this year's hunting season on mountain lions will be used by state game officials to make a recommendation for next year's season to the Game, Fish and Parks Commission.
Aberdeen native bags 4th-largest mountain lion on Canadian hunt
LUKE HAGEN | 2009-02-20After five long tiring days of hunting, a 200-pound-plus mountain lion fell from a tree, possibly putting Mitchell resident Jeff Jarman in the record books.
Mountain lion season closes with 26 cats shot
Barbara Soderlin, Journal staff | 2009-02-14South Dakota's fourth mountain lion hunting season ended Saturday when a hunter harvested a 78-pound female cat in Meade County. The lion was the 15th female of the season, a harvest limit.
Mountain Lion Season Ended Saturday
2009-02-15The 2009 South Dakota mountain lion season closed Saturday with the harvesting of the 14th and 15th female lions.
End of season approaches for mountain lion hunt
Staff reports, Sioux Falls Argus Leader | 2009-02-06With the taking of the 13th female mountain lion on Monday, state Game Fish & Parks Department officials remind hunters to check the season status before going out to the field.
Senate rejects plan to use dogs for lion hunting
Bob Mercer, American News Correspondent | 2009-02-06The state Senate strongly refused Wednesday to allow mountain-lion hunters to use dogs in South Dakota. The vote was 27-6 against the bill sponsored by Sen. Gordon Howie, an avid big-game hunter.
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks
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South Dakota Survey 2002 - 408.8KB
South Dakota Hunt Comments 10-3-12 - 82.4KB
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