Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Monday, April 1, 2013

n 2011, hunters killed 72 Pumas in South Dakota..............The State Game Dept. then raises the 2012 quota to 100..............The result------.Only 60 Pumas killed of the 100 sought despite excellent snow conditions to make tracking the Cats as easy as possible....................And yet the folks who live in South Dakota cannot find it within themselves to admit that they are killing Pumas faster than they can reproduce and have created a population sink in this, the most eastern breeding population of Pumas outside of Florida.................As our friend and Puma biologist John Laundre comments-----"It basically means the lion population has crashed".... "It has been over exploited the last two years."

Subject: RE: SD hunt ends

They know they have to come up with a reasonably sounding reason for the low kill (other than that they have killed them all) so they can continue to justify a high quota next year.  You can be sure that they will propose an equally high quota next year, "to keep the population from rebounding". 

  When the one commissioner stated that she wants the same number of cats that there were in the 90's, she is admitting she only wants a handful of cats because that is how many there were then!  It all revolves around the false idea that there can be too many predators.  How can there be too many predators in a predator prey relationship that has existed for 10s of 1,000s of year? 

 Any predator-prey relationship where there were "too many" predators would have ceased to exist long ago! Given that predator-prey relationships are then inherently stable, any instability that may exist today is from human caused reasons.  We need to control ourselves and our actions NOT the predators!
John Laundre
Subject: Re: SD hunt ends
To: John Laundre; John Laundre
From: Rick Meril
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 

Chris,,,,,,,,they have previously hunted the cats way too hard(as u and john have stated),,,,,,,and yet the nimrods are off making up other reasons for the reduced kill this year

Lion season closes with reduced kill, ongoing debate over population level

kevin Woster;

The lion check

Lions shot by hunters must be brought to a GF&;P office to be checked in and examined. Biologist take:
  •  Body measurements
  •  Tissue and tooth samples
  •  Sex and age information
  •  Check general health and injuries
 Most carcasses, after hunters have taken head, pelt and edible parts, are sent to South Dakota State University for a full necropsy.
On paper, it looked like a mountain lion season to top all others.
The state Game, Fish & Parks Commission sold a record number of lion licenses. The commission increased the allowable kill to a record 100 lions. And snow for tracking lions fell more often than in 2012, when hunters killed a record 73 lions in two months.
But the 2013 Black Hills lion season will close today after a longer hunting season ended well short of the limit and below the kill in 2012. And the debate over what that says about the lion population and its management will pick up there when the season ends.
The lion kill sat at 60 Saturday afternoon. Lion advocates fear the reduced lion kill this season is a sign that the cats have been decimated by too much hunting pressure in recent years.
"It basically means the lion population has crashed," said New York-based cougar biologist and author John Laundre, who follows lion management in the Black Hills. "It has been over exploited the last two years."
Lion hunter Steve Bulle of Hayward, a small community in the Hills west of Hermosa, said there is no sign of a decrease in the lion population. He attributes the reduced kill to snow conditions that were unfavorable for tracking lions and some fatigue among lion hunters.
"It's terribly difficult for me to believe we've put much of a dent in the lion population," Bulle said. "All this says to me is that we need to kill 140 of them next year."
GF&P regional wildlife manger John Kanta is in between those two conflicting voices in his season analysis.
"It was definitely a little slower than we expected," Kanta said. "But we still got some good lion harvest out there. Our current direction is still to reduce the lion population. And this season went toward that goal."
The commission's population goal for Black Hills mountain lions is 150 to 175. The most recent population projection by GF&P was 240 before the start of this season. GF&P will use the harvest information after the season to determine how close that projection was.
The information will be part of a package when the GF&P staff presents a recommendation for the next lion season to the commission in August.
The lion population estimate has been a moving target often fired upon by GF&P critics, including Bulle. When the department last summer raised its lion population estimate from 200 to 300, Kanta said it was because of increased research and field data, including the kills from hunting seasons.
Bulle and others supported the increase, since they had been arguing for years that the GF&P estimate was low. But they remain suspicious about the numbers and question the assertion that the lion population is on the decline.
"Right now, I'm not going to say it's increasing. But I don't believe it's decreasing, either," Bulle said. "And I'd say there's a good chance it will increase again because of the reduced harvest this year."
Laundre has no doubt it is decreasing. And he, too, doubts the GF&P population estimate, but for different reasons. He suspects it was raised last year without a scientific basis simply to justify the record 100-lion kill quota.
"I think they inflated the numbers under the pressure from the commission to justify the 100 limit," Laundre said. "I'm convinced that the GF&P Commission's overt or covert mission is to decimate the lion population because of pressure from hunters and ranchers."
GF&P commissioners have denied such allegations, saying they want a sustainable lion population at a lower level. Kanta confirms that and also maintains that the staff upped the lion population estimate based on science, not politics.
Harvest data from the seasons and overall lion mortality from other causes are part of the population-estimate model. No one season should be taken as conclusive, but this season seems consistent with a declining population, he said.
"I'm confident it's declining. What I'm not confident in is how much we're decreasing each year," he said. "I don't know exactly how much it's being reduced each year."
It's hard to know, because young lions are being born as other lions are dying. And the season isn't the only lion mortality factor. Last year, along with the 73 lions killed in the 2012 Black Hills season, four more were killed by licensed hunters outside the Black Hills.
In addition, 32 other lion deaths were recorded for causes other than sport hunting, including GF&P removal of problem animals, vehicle strikes, lion fights and unknown causes.
There were also 13 recorded lion deaths last year because the 2013 lion season actually began on Dec. 26, 2012. 
Kanta points to the 32 non-hunting lion deaths in 2012, compared to 51 2010 and 44 in 2011, as another factor that seems to indicate a declining population.
This year, however, there have already been 14 recorded lion mortalities outside of sport hunting. That is twice the number that had been recorded last year at this time. So other mortalities are on pace to increase this year.
Whatever the trends or significance of nonhunting mortalities, Bulle said he and other "boots-on-the-ground" hunters see things differently.
"I've got pictures of 11 cats on four different trail cameras within 4 miles of my house," he said.
Bulle contends that more lions would have been killed this season if conditions had been better for tracking.
"To me, it's pretty evident that this season was all weather related," he said.
National Weather Service data actually shows more snowfall days and more days with snow cover at locations across the Black Hills from January through March this year than in 2012. Bulle argues that often the snows were not good for tracking or melted before hunters could use them.
He points to a 16-day period from Feb. 15 to March 1, 2012, a period of good snow cover when 32 lions were killed. This year during that period with limited snow, six lions were killed.
"If we'd had the same snow cover in that same period this year, we'd have been at 72 lions on March 1, compared to 73 last year," Bulle said.
The Black Hills lion season typically is set to run through March 31, unless the kill quota is reached sooner. The 2012 quota was 70, and hunters reached and exceeded it, with a flurry of cats, by March 1.
Since the quota of 100 wasn't reached this year, the season went through March for the first time. It also started earlier, on Dec. 26 rather than the typical Jan. 1, to give hunters a shot at lions over the holidays.
And the value of snow was clear in the first six days of this season, when 13 lions were killed.
Kanta notes that in 2012, almost 70 percent of the lion kills were related to tracking in snow. Yet there were times this year when the snow fell and the lions didn't, he said.
"The whole snow thing is important to hunting success," Kanta said. "I don't know how much it's worth talking about in relation to a lion population trend."
Bulle challenges the importance of the license sales, too. If sales did set a record, some hunters might not have gone out much because conditions were't right, he said. Others might have already bagged a lion in previous seasons and didn't hunt as hard in this one. And some might have bought a license because the GF&P Commission changed  rules to allow non-landowners with a lion permit to hunt them year round outside of the Black Hills, Bulle said.
Some also might have bought a license to apply for limited spots to hunt in Custer State Park, but then were not drawn, he said.
The GF&P Commission this year increased the number of lion hunters allowed in the park and also allowed some to use hounds. As of Saturday, six lions had been killed in the park, five of them through the use of hounds. 
"Overall, I think the hound hunts went great," Kanta said.
Some of the biggest male lions of the season were taken with hounds in the park, including a 138-pound male estimated at 8 to 9 years old.
Lion hunting won't end entirely with the Black Hills season. Hunters with permits who haven't killed a lion this season may continue to hunt outside the Black Hills Fire Protection District for the rest of the year.
And there is no end in sight for the debate over lion management.
[This story has been changed to reflect a correction. There have been 14 recorded lion mortalities this year outside of the hunting season.]

Lion season to close nowhere near quota(60 of

100 quota fulfilled)  mark watson;
    Lion season to close nowhere near quota

SPEARFISH — For the first time since the South Dakota mountain lion hunting season began in 2005, it will close before the quota was met.

The 2013 season will end Sunday with only 60 percent of the 100 lions permitted taken by hunters.

Many of the popular theories sportsmen tout for not meeting the quota have been debated by wildlife officials.
wildlife officials have heard from sportsmen as to why the quota was not met they say have been debunked.
"I've heard a lot of people say there hasn't been the activity that there has been in the past. My personal observations would show that, that is not true. I think we have had a large number of hunters take advantage of the season. Our license sales would show that too," said Mike Apland, a conservation officer for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.
License sale numbers support Apland's claim. Nearly 4,400 people bought a mountain lion hunting license for the season that began on Dec. 26, 2012.
"The closest number to that would be in 2007 when we sold just more than 4,000 licenses," said Regional Wildlife Manager John 
"More people are enjoying the hunt. It's a fun hunt," Apland added. "There isn't anything else going on at the same time, and people are really enjoying it."
Both wildlife officials said they heard people say the snow didn't allow for adequate tracking – the most successful way hunters have located lions this year and in previous seasons.
"We've taken a look at the data from the National Weather Service … and we've had more snow events this year and more snow that has stayed this year than we had in 2012," Kanta said.
So why were hunters not as successful this year?
"That's the million-dollar question," Kanta said.
Apland has his theories.
"This year, I think there was a combination of things as to why our quota was not reached," he said. "Personally I think that quota was high. I think it was unrealistic that we could get to that quota."
This season, there was a 100-lion or 70-female lion quota. The quotas have risen each year since the first season in 2005.
The 2012 season had a 70-lion quota. That was exceeded by three lions in early March.
In 2011, the season closed 52 days after it opened when the 45-lion quota was reached and then exceeded by two lions, shot on the same day the 45th animal was submitted to the GF&P.
In 2010, the season-ending 40th lion was killed on Feb. 10. The season opened on New Year's Day.
Prior to 2010 the seasons all ended when the sub-quota of females was reached. In 2009, the 15th female was killed on Feb. 14. A total of 35 lions were permitted to be killed that year. There was no season in 2008 due to a date change, but in 2007, 16 females were shot in 23 days.
In 2006 it took hunters 19 days to kill the eighth female lion, and in the inaugural season, 2005, five breeding-age females — about 2 to 3 years old or older — were killed in 24 days.
"Especially in the Northern Hills, we've really gotten into them," Apland said. "Over the past several years the hunt has definitely had an impact on their population, especially with the amount of females we've harvested.
"Some of that impact isn't going to be noticed right way, but when you take out those adult females, you are taking the mother and one less litter for next year," he said.
Additionally, Apland said, the seven years of hunting lions has educated them. Those cats born in 2005 are well into adulthood. The average age of an "old female lion" is 13 years old.
"Once you start hunting them, calls are going to get more difficult to use," Apland said.
The Black Hills Pioneer talked to several lion hunters this year — both successful and otherwise.
One successful hunter said he saw his lion at the same time she saw him. The lion jumped into nearby bushes and stayed there for more than an hour before moving into the hunter's sights once again. Another successful hunter said he saw his lion at close range but then lost sight of it before it appeared again in nearby trees.
One hunter who was unsuccessful said she saw tracks numerous times, knew she was close, and even pursued one for several hours before darkness ended her hunt.
Kanta said biologists will evaluate the season soon.
"As always we'll need time to evaluate, and take a look at where the population is," he said.
The 2012 population was revised up to about 300 animals. Those numbers declined to a projected 240 just before the 2013 season began.
For the first time this year, 12 hunters were able to use dogs to pursue the large cats, but only in Custer State Park.
Six lions in the park were killed, five of which were killed by houndsmen.
Kanta wasn't surprised.
"Not all these folks had dogs with experience chasing dogs," he said. "We'd heard a few of these guys picked up dogs with no experience chasing lions."
The Game, Fish and Parks Commission's goal remains to draw down the lion popula

No comments: