Tom Ferry, the winning bidder at a Nebraska Big Game Society auction, and 16-year old, high school sophomore Holden Bruce, who won the statewide hunting tag lottery, both killed their trophy mountain lions thus ending the first phase of Nebraska's inaugural lion hunt on the second day of a 45-day season in the Pine Ridge section of the state.
The two lions that were killed, a five-year old, 150-pound male for Ferry, and a two-year old, 102-pound dispersing sub-adult male for Bruce, represent approximately 10 percent of Nebraska's entire estimated lion population.
As of February 15th, 100 other hunters, whose names were drawn in the same lottery that Bruce won, will renew the hunt in the Pine Ridge section. This second season will not include the use of hounds, and will continue through March 31st or until two more males, or a female lion has been killed.
Despite the closure of the Pine Ridge hunting area, mountain lion hunting will continue in the Prairie Unit which encompasses about 85 percent of Nebraska. Lion hunting in this area will be year-round, not restricted by lottery and only cost $15 per hunting tag.
Nebraska Game and Parks officials claim that their objective, for allowing the hunting of the 22 lions estimated to exist within the state, was to provide Nebraska's hunters with unique recreational opportunities.
State Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha has announced his plans to try to repeal a 2012 law that permitted the commission to establish the mountain lion seasons.