LANDER - At their July 10, 2012, meeting in Lander, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission addressed proposed changes to mountain lion hunting seasons in the Black Hills and Platte Valley. At this meeting, the Commission agreed to increase mortality quotas for hunt areas 9 and 31 in the Platte Valley and to create a new hunt area (hunt area 32) in the Black Hills near Hulett.
Assistant Chief of the Wildlife Division Tom Ryder said that approved changes to lion seasons in the Black Hills will result in an increase in the overall mortality quota for the area.
“The overall mortality quota for the Black Hills area will increase from 40 lions for the 2011-2012 season to 61 lions for the 2012-2013 season,” Ryder said. “The creation of a new hunt area and increase in quotas will allow the harvest of more lions to address public concerns including damage to livestock and conflicts on private land and provide additional recreational hunting opportunity for an abundant wildlife resource.”
The newly created hunt area 32 was previously part of hunt areas 1 and 30. Hunt area 32 will have a mortality quota of 25 lions and will be open from Sept. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013. The mortality quota for hunt area 1 will remain at 24 lions and the mortality quota for hunt area 30 will decrease from 16 to 12 lions.
In the Platte Valley, the mortality quota for hunt area 9 was increased from seven to 12 lions and the quota for hunt area 31 increased from six to 11 lions for the 2012-2013 season. The changes for hunt areas 9 and 31 were a result of public comment gathered during the Platte Valley Mule Deer Initiative to address declining mule deer numbers.
Changes to mountain lion hunting seasons (Chapter 42 of Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Regulations) will be effective for the 2012-2013 hunting season.
The commission will consider all mountain lion seasons in the summer of 2013.