South Dakota Mountain Lion Hunting
Mountain Lion Hunting in South Dakota is a thrilling experience!
South Dakota residents have an opportunity to hunt mountain lions statewide. The prime focus for mountain lion hunting is the Black Hills.
Mountain Lion Hunting in South Dakota 2010
A limited number of licenses are available to residents only for specific areas in the Black Hills.
Take a look around at the tools and information on the left to find Season Dates, License and Application Requirements and much more.
Mountain lions inhabit much of the Black Hills, but prefer isolated, rocky terrain surrounded by timber. There has been documented movement of mountain lions outside of the Black Hills and onto the prairies of South Dakota. They typically follow river drainages as they travel.
A harvest limit is established prior to each hunting season based on change in the mountain lion population resulting from mortality, births, lions coming into the Black Hills from other lion populations, and lions dispersing from the Black Hills. As habitat conditions degrade or improve, population goals will fluctuate, future mountain lion seasons will be based on the outcome of past hunting season, changing habitat conditions, research results, and the current population status.
The Cougar (Puma concolor), also known as puma, mountain lion, catamount, or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the Felidae family, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America.
An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the American continents after the jaguar, and the fourth heaviest in the world, along with the leopard, after the tiger, lion, and jaguar, although it is most closely related to smaller felines.
A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses, and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range, but it also hunts species as small as insects and rodents. Moreover, it prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but it can live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and persists at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the jaguar, gray wolf, American Black Bear, and the grizzly bear. It is a reclusive cat and usually avoids people. Attacks on humans remain rare, despite a recent increase in frequency.
Adults stand about 2.0 to 2.5 ft tall at the shoulders. The length of adult males is around 8 ft long nose to tail, with overall ranges between 5 and 9 ft nose to tail suggested for the species in general. Males have an average weight of about 115 to 160 pounds. In rare cases, some may reach over 260 lb. Female average weight is between 75 and 105 lb.
Although cougars resemble the domestic cat, they are about the same size as an adult human. The head of the cat is round and the ears erect. Its powerful forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey. It has five retractable claws on its forepaws (one a dewclaw) and four on its hind paws. The larger front feet and claws are adaptations to clutching prey.
If you are ready to hunt Mountain Lions in South Dakota, or need more information, stop by our Galleries, Forums or Blog to get the latest scoop on the the 2010 South Dakota Mountain Lion Hunting Season.
South Dakota Hunting provides information on Pheasant Hunting, big game hunting, small game hunting, waterfowl hunting, and predator hunting. If you are looking for a professional outfitter to guide you on your hunt, South Daktoa Outfitters is where you will find it.