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As far as we know, only two cougars were killed during the 2009-2010 season (below).  We are not aware of any kills so far in the 2010-2011 season, but a male was killed in June 2010 outside the season.  This all started because of presumed attacks on at least one horse  and the death of a cow.

Yesterday, the state’s Game and Fish Department announced that the quota of 10 in the the Badlands of southestern North Dakota had been filled.  Their cougar hunting season has been closed.


Mandan Hidsta Arikara

Two mountain lions were killed on the Fort Berthold Reservation

By L.M. Baker

Last week, two mountain lions were killed in Dunn County on the Fort Berthold Reservation according to the Three Affiliated Tribes Fish & Wildlife Division.

The Fort Berthold Mountain Lion Season, which opened on September 1, 2009, has a five mountain lion limit during its season which closes on March 28, 2010.

The two gentlemen that killed the mountain lions last week were non-tribal members who obtained a furbearer’s license through the TAT Fish & Wildlife Division and hunted together.

The first mountain lion was killed last Tuesday and was determined to be a male, approximately 107 pounds and anywhere from a year to a year and a half old. The second mountain lion was killed on Wednesday; the mountain lion was a male and approximately 133 pounds and two and a half years old.

According to Antoine Fettig, Wildlife Biologist for the TAT Fish & Wildlife Division, the two men are from the Beulah/Hazen area and hunted with dogs to help track the mountain lions.

“They had seen three sets of tracks on the 28th (December 28, 2009),” said Fettig. “They went out on the 29th and that was when the gentleman got his first one and they went out the following day and the other guy got one. They used hounds; they had two dogs that treed the mountain lions and they shot them. I was surprised they shot two in two consecutive days.”

According to Fettig, it is not known how much mountain lions are on the reservation and they are still learning about mountain lions.

“We know there are mountain lions out there but we don’t know how many,” said Fettig. “We still have a lot to learn about their home range, breeding grounds or if they are just transient animals that just pass through. In the Grassy Butte area they still have a lot of mountain lions there.”

Fettig and James Baker, TAT Fish & Wildlife Game Warden are currently planning to go out and do a snow track survey where they look for mountain lion tracks.

“We will document it and GPS it,” said Fettig. “We will do some measurements of the tracks and note it down.”

With two mountain lions killed in two days, Fettig thinks more people will start hunting them more before the season closes.

“It is possible now that more people know about it,” said Fettig. “Last year there was one mountain lion killed but that didn’t count towards the quota because it was snared. I think now that more people know that the season is still open and that Fort Berthold has a five limit quota on mountain lions, people are going to start hunting, especially the hunters that have dogs because they are usually more successful at it.”

According to Fettig, there are steps to follow after a mountain lion is killed.

“If anybody gets a mountain lion they have to contact us immediately,” said Fettig. “We will take initial measurements of the paws, body length, tail length, teeth and weight. We will return it to the hunter if they want to take it to the taxidemist then they can skin it. After that, we take it to the state to get it analyzed; they will take tissue samples and DNA samples.”

Anyone wishing to hunt and harvest mountain lions must purchase a furbearer’s license at the Three Affiliated Tribes Game & Fish office located on Main Street in New Town. Any legal firearm or archery equipment currently allowed for furbearers is legal for the mountain lion season. Hunting or pursuing with dogs is only allowed after December 1, 2009. Cable devices (snares) and traps cannot be used to take mountain lions.  Any mountain lion other than kittens (lions with visible spots) or females accompanied by kittens may be taken during the season. The limit for mountain lions is one animal per hunter per season.

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