Despite a dwindling mountain lion hunting success rate, South Dakota's Game, Fish & Parks Department is not recommending any changes in hunting quota levels for the upcoming 2014-15 season to the Commission when it meets today.
The Department's decision means there will be no public hearing or discussion on the accuracy of the state game agency's lion population model or whether South Dakota's mountain lion population is under duress from previous management decisions.
During South Dakota's 2011-12 hunting season, 73 mountain lions were killed. Forty-six of those were female lions which also created an unknown number of orphaned kittens.
In 2012-13, the mortality level dropped to 61 (35 females) despite an increase in the quota.
Although last year the Commission dropped the hunting quota back to 75, hunters didn't even come close to that number, killing only 55 lions, 33 of which were females.
Many of the opponents to South Dakota's mountain lion hunting policies are disappointed over the Department's tactic to suppress the public's voice and wonder what it will take for South Dakota to accept a "real" science-based mountain lion management plan.