The mountain lion hunting season in the Black Hills has come to an end. This year hunters were allowed to harvest up to 100 lions. However, Game Fish and Parks officials say the fact that hunters harvested just 61 mountain lions likely shows the numbers of the big cats are now down in the Black Hills. They say the lions are a renewable resource and their numbers will again return. But critics see a red flag. They say the GF&P allowed over-hunting of the cats.
Dr. John Laundre is a predator ecologist and teaches at the State University of New York at Oswego. He has studied mountain lions in North America for over 30 years and wrote "Phantoms of the Prairie: The Return of Cougars to the Midwest." Mike Kintigh, GF&P Regional Supervisor in Rapid City, helps oversee the numerous studies of mountain lions in the Black Hills. They joined Dakota Midday Tuesday.