In 2012 the Wyoming Game and Fish Department approved plans to drastically increase the sport hunting of mountain lions in their region of the Black Hills. This island-like patch of mountain lion habitat lies between Wyoming and South Dakota, and it is home to a crucial population of lions.
The Black Hills may only support a couple hundred mountain lions, but dispersing animals from this island-like patch of mountain lion habitat are America's best hope for seeing the species reestablish populations throughout the Midwest and eastern states. See MLF's feature article Eastward Ho for more information about this slow migration.
Unfortunately, both Wyoming and South Dakota have stated that they want to suppress the Black Hills lion population. For the current trophy season, both states increased their quotas by fifty percent and created special "unlimited zones" that allow for an unrestricted number of lions to be killed.
Wyoming ranchers and trophy hunters have already maxed out some of the hunting zones and have killed a whopping 67 lions in their portion of the Black Hills.
When the commission adopted the season plan in the fall of 2012, WGFD's large carnivore biologist Dan Thompson possibly summed up the Commission's decision best when he said that he didn't "know if a quota of 25 [lions in the newly created Hunt Area #32] will last the season or fill before March 31, but it will cut the population." The quota was reached by the second of January.
In addition to the 67 lions killed in the hunt, the department has recorded 4 more lions killed by humans in the area comprising the crucial 4 hunt areas, for a total of 71.
Artificially shrinking a mountain lion population has been shown to decrease the overall age of the population and increase conflicts with people and domestic animals.
Please help protect people, pets, livestock and lions by joining the Mountain Lion Foundation today. With your help, MLF will travel to the Black Hills this year and fight to stop the lion hunt, permanently.