On January 14th, a rancher near Watford City killed a mother and her three kittens. She had dragged a deer into a barn and the four were feeding on it. Two days later, a 6-9 month old male kitten was killed in Dunn County. (See attached map.) It is illegal to kill spotted kittens in North Dakota.
Watford City is at the northern edge of cougar hunting Zone 1. North Dakota’s 2010-2011 cougar hunting season began on September 3, 2010 and was scheduled run up to March 31, 2011. But the quota of 10 cougars was filled in mid November 2010 and the season was closed. Dunn County is partly within Zone 1 and partly in Zone 2. There is no quota for Zone 2.
However, Stephanie Tucker, Furbearer Biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish
Department, tells us, “North Dakota state law allows landowners/producers to kill mountain lions that are in their buildings (as in the case of the mother with the 3 kittens) or in amongst their livestock (as is the case with the other kitten). It has nothing to do with the Game and Fish Department’s regulations pertaining to a harvest season on mountain lions.”
The Cougar Fund has an ALERT on the killing in the barn, with a link to the Game and Fish Deparment if you’d like to express your opinion – http://www.cougarfund.org/
Several mountain lions shot in Dunn County
By KIM FUNDINGSLAND, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A total of five mountain lions were killed in a recent three-day period in Dunn County.
According to the North Dakota Game & Fish Department, a rancher discovered four mountain lions feeding on a deer carcass in his barn Jan. 14. All four lions a mother and three kittens were shot by the rancher.
The adult female was estimated to be 3 to 5 years old and weighed 104 pounds. The kittens were about 5 months old and each weighed approximately 40 pounds.
On Sunday, a Dunn County rancher sighted three mountain lions among his cattle. He shot and killed one and wounded another. The dead lion was a 6-month to 9-month-old male kitten that weighed 60 pounds.
The incidents were investigated by Game & Fish. The killing of mountain lion kittens, described as having visible spots, is generally not permitted unless they pose a danger to people or livestock. Greg Link, assistant chief of the Game & Fish wildlife division, said it is believed that no charges will be filed in either of the incidents.
“During our recent Advisory Board meeting in Killdeer, several ranchers said they were seeing lots of lion tracks and sign and wanted the quota for the lion season increased,” said Link. “This doesn’t come as a big surprise. That area from Killdeer to Watford City to Grassy Butte is kind of the center of lion habitat in North Dakota.”
Law requires that any mountain lion harvested in North Dakota must be reported to Game & Fish within 12 hours.
The Bismarck Tribune
Watford City area man shoots four mountain lions in his barn
By BRIAN GEHRING Bismarck Tribune
A Watford City area rancher shot and killed four mountain lions last week after finding them feeding on a deer inside his barn.
District game warden Bill Schaller said Bill Jorgenson went to a barn used for storage in the pre-dawn hours last Friday to find four sets of eyes peering back at him in the beams of his pickup’s headlights.
Schaller said Jorgenson retrieved a spot light to find the 104-pound female and her three offspring hunkered down in the barn near the remains of a deer carcass.
“They had dragged the deer into the barn and were feeding on it and had it pretty well cleaned up,” Schaller said. “By all appearances it happened overnight,” he said, referring to the deer kill.
Schaller said the three offspring were in the 40-pound range. He said mountain lions are common in the area and Jorgenson was within the law in shooting the animals.