Education course helps identify sex of big cats
By Kevin Woster, Journal staff
Mountain lion hunters in
Wendy Keefover-Ring of Sinapu, a Boulder-based wildlife advocacy group, said lion advocates worked for six years to win approval of a state law requiring the course, which was ultimately supported by hunting outfitters in that state. The course helps hunters differentiate between female and male lions based on the size of their tracks and strides and color patterns on certain parts of the body, Keefover-Ring said.
Because most lion hunting in
Those hound hunts also often involve situations and conditions where tracks are discernible, which gives hunters another indicator of the sex of the animal they are after, Keefover-Ring said. With the education course, available at online at wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/MtnLionEduc, hunters can try to focus their hunting pressure on males, reducing the kill on females that are often caring for young lions, she said.
"We were really concerned that they were killing too many females," Keefover-Ring said. "Females may spend 10 to 24 months with their kittens, which are absolutely dependent for the first six months, at least. I don't really like hound hunting, but in the instance of lion hunting, hunters have a lot more discretion."
With its third mountain lion season set to begin Nov. 1, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission has not yet allowed the use of hounds. GF&P personnel have argued in the past that allowing hounds would give an advantage to experienced hunters with expensive dog packs or force hunters to hire such people as paid guides.
GF&P spokesman John Kanta of
"Essentially, you'd have the houndsmen and a handful of people lucky enough to draw a license and with enough money to hire a houndsman," Kanta said. "Right now, we think the season is working for us."
Contact Kevin Woster at 394-8413 or email@example.com
Big Cat Rescue’s response: