Meade County Lincoln Day Dinner and lions on the rise

I had a note from reader Aaron Lorenzen who attended the Meade County Republican Lincoln Day dinner just the other night which was keynoted by new GFP Secretary Jeff Vonk who gave a talk on elk and mountain lions. Above, you see Senators Ken McNenny and Dennis Schmidt who were in attendance.

Speaking of mountain lions, I see from the Kevin Woster article in the Rapid City Journal that their numbers are going up, with lion deaths up 16 from the previous years.

While the "lion loonies" say it shows that the population is being pressured, GFP officials say it shows there's plenty of them out there:
Dr. Sharon Seneczko, a Custer veterinarian who heads the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation, said it was troubling to see such a substantial increase in the mortality outside the sport-hunting season — from 27 in 2005 to 40 in 2006.

“To me, it shows that we have much human-caused mortality — predominantly from traps, cars and the taking of lions (by GF&P) because of problems,” Seneczko said. “I think this problem will only increase as the hills become more populated, there’s more sprawl and more and more places for conflict.”

Nine lions died after being hit by vehicles last year, and seven were accidentally caught in snares or traps.

The increase in total mortality didn’t alarm George Vandel of Pierre, assistant director of GF&P’s Wildlife Division.

“I think it should be seen as a sign that we’ve got lots of lions,” he said. “We’ve had two hunting seasons, yet the number of lions we find (dead) through incidental causes continues to increase. That tells me the lion population is doing quite well.”
Read the whole article here.

Do you hear that? Two lion seasons, and the numbers are still going up, up and up. Here's a thought - remove protection status, and reinstate bounties. They aren't warm and fuzzy kitty cats. They are predators who look at people as food.

Are we forgetting that they menace people and livestock? I'm telling you as the lion population grows, so does the risk that someone's child is going to be badly mauled if not killed by one of these things.


Anonymous said…
PP, are you advocating the nanny state now? How many small children have been killed by lions in SD? I'm not sure why your afraid of them, they don't have them in Pierre do they? I live in mt. lion territory yet have never been threatened and my cat is 13 years old and spends most of his time outdoors. I think the threat level is a tad below that of children under 8 being killed in a car accident - even in a car seat!
PP said…
Nanny state? I'm advocating wildlife management, not regulation on adults who can choose for themselves.

In fact, this would be de-regulation in favor of farmers, ranchers, and landowners.

And that's a good thing.
Anonymous said…
PP, i agree the cats can attack and possibly kill humans. I do believe that people should stay out of their habitat. We are intruding and the cats will spread to find new area.
Yes, i agree if found on a farmers land they should have the right to kill, (and i know some will do it regardless) but we have to stop building and invading their domain for the all mighty buck. I am a conservative making this statement.
Ted said…
Nice pic of Dennis by Aaron. I think Dennie will be an important member in the Senate in years to come. PP, how does your eco-buddy Tony Green feel about your comments.

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