Hunters Charged In Lion Killing

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MITCHELL, S.D. — Two area men are among three hunters charged with illegally using dogs to tree and kill a mountain lion Feb. 1 in Pennington County.

Post a Photo of a Mountain Lion http://www.tonymacx86.com – Picture not included in story

The female lion had two kittens, one of which later died. The other is now in a zoo.

The lion was shot about three miles south of Hill City, S.D., Conservation Officer Blair Waite said.

Acting on a tip from an eyewitness, Waite ticketed James Jucht, 71, of Sioux Falls, S.D., on a charge of shooting the treed lion, and David Terveen, 63, of Emery, S.D., on a charge of aiding and abetting in the shooting.

Pennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Josh Hendrickson said Jucht and Terveen face the same charge, namely “violating the conditions of a big game license.” The big game violations are Class 1 misdemeanors, which can bring up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Both men face a hearing April 19 in Rapid City, S.D., before Seventh Circuit Magistrate Judge Heidi Linngren.

Wade Musick, 41, of Mitchell, was ticketed on a charge of illegally using dogs to hunt lions, a Class 2 misdemeanor that could bring up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if he is convicted.

Musick is scheduled for an April 10 hearing in Rapid City to discuss the charges.

“It’s a time for him to meet with the state to go over his options,” Henrickson said. “He can enter a plea at that time or ask for a court trial.”

All men were legally licensed hunters.

The use of dogs to hunt mountain lions was allowed this year on an experimental basis, but only within Custer State Park. The lion at issue was shot outside the park boundaries and before the in-park dog hunting season opened, Waite said.

“In Mr. Musick’s defense, he said he was using his dogs to hunt bobcats, which is legal in South Dakota,” he said. “Then this too wants to be banned!”

Waite said Musick was not present when the cat was shot, so he was not charged with aiding and abetting in the alleged crime, but he said Musick admitted his dogs treed the lion.

Waite acknowledged that dogs cannot differentiate between bobcats and mountain lions.

But apparently neither can some people,” he added.

One kitten was found immediately after the lion was killed, and the kitten was taken to a zoo. Waite said the other was trapped about 10 days later but was in such poor condition that it had to be euthanized. The bodies of the female lion and its kitten are being held as evidence.

Mike Kintigh, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks regional supervisor, said 61 mountain lions were taken during the annual harvest that ran from Dec. 26 to March 31. The number was short of the total 100-lion or 70-female limit set for the season. Only 35 female lions were taken. The female lion in question is not part of those harvest numbers at this time, but the lion and kitten will be added to his department’s lion mortality list, which tracks all lion deaths, Kintigh said.

Kintigh said lions are an emotional topic for hunters and conservationists alike, and statistics are tracked by groups nationwide. “How can hunters be as emotional as conservationists & especially animal advocates? They see it as a necessary blood sport”

News Link:-http://www.dglobe.com/event/article/id/63810/group/News/

URGENT! Protect California Mountain Lions! Sign To Help Pass SB 132! / Mountain Lion Foundation

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California Senate Bill 132, introduced by Senator Jerry Hill, is designed to do three main things:

  • Clarify the issue of “imminent threat” so that less-than-lethal procedures may be used to ensure the public’s health or safety.
  • Authorize the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to partner with qualified individuals, education institutions, governmental agencies, or non-governmental organizations to assist in implementing non-lethal procedures.
  • Require an annual report to the legislature on all public safety incidents involving mountain lions.

Other states are already utilizing these non-lethal procedures. SB 132 will bring California up to date.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has created new guidelines for handling mountain lion public safety incidents. They have already incorporated many of these non-lethal measures, but without legal authorization (SB 132), they will not be able to implement them.

You can help rectify this situation by signing MLF’s petition to show your support for Senate Bill 132

“This petition needs urgent action as this bill (SB 132) will help protect California Mountain Lions from unwarranted killing.”

“As you may have heard in the last several months, California Mountain Lions have been shot by officials without just cause. Several months ago two California Mountain Lion cubs in a backyard were shot despite there being no imminent threat whatsoever”

“The cubs, starving and separated from their mother, were seeking shade from the heat and posed no threat to anyone.”

“In another highly publicized case, a terrified Mountain Lion was shot in a Santa Monica parking lot rather than being tranquillized and relocated, which raised outrage amongst California citizens. Please sign the petition and share with all. We need to preserve and protect this precious national treasure. “

Please Sign the following petition:-http://www.mountainlion.org/actionalerts/030413CAsb132/030413CAsb132alert.asp?utm_source=Action%20Alert%203/6/2013

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