“It undoubtedly stirs up some native dialogue,” stated Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the North Dakota Recreation and Fish Division in Bismarck.
That has been readily obvious in current weeks, beginning in mid-November with the mountain lion that confirmed up on two totally different path cameras a landowner had set on his property close to Devils Lake.
The excitement continued in December, when a hunter legally shot and killed a mountain lion northwest of Hillsboro, N.D., and some days later, when a trapper got here throughout a mountain lion in a snare close to Lisbon, N.D., within the southeast a part of the state.
The mountain lion died within the snare, and the trapper turned the cat, a male weighing about one hundred fifty kilos, over to Recreation and Fish as required as a result of the division limits the authorized take to searching and never trapping.
The cat shall be utilized for division instructional packages, Williams stated.
Searching historical past
Recreation and Fish has provided a mountain lion season since 2005, Williams stated. The division closed the late season in Zone 1, the a part of western North Dakota that encompasses the prime mountain lion vary, on Friday, Dec. 29. The late-season restrict of seven cats or three females prompted the closure when the third feminine was shot.
A conditional season in Zone 1 opened Thursday for hunters to pursue the extra two cats that weren’t taken in the course of the early season. The early harvest restrict in Zone 1 was eight, and hunters shot solely six cats, Recreation and Fish stated.
The season in Zone 2, which encompasses the remainder of the state, has no harvest restrict and is open by way of March 31.
As with different giant predators akin to grey wolves, which stay federally protected in North Dakota and Minnesota, the thought of searching mountain lions is controversial.
“We nonetheless hear from people who assume we’re completely off-base in having a mountain lion season, and we nonetheless hear from individuals who assume we’re not going far sufficient with harvesting sufficient mountain lions on the market,” Williams stated. “We really feel we have struck a reasonably good stability in North Dakota so far as what we have completed with mountain lion seasons and the power to regulate the harvest restrict.”
Worry and fascination
The fascination with mountain lions takes many types, specialists say. Worry could possibly be a part of the attraction; so might a want to see a wild animal that inhabited elements the area earlier than settlement and seems to be making a comeback, unbiased Minnesota biologist Steve Loch informed the Herald in 2011.
Minnesota does not have a breeding inhabitants of mountain lions, and…