The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission last week approved staff recommendations tweaking the 2023 mountain lion season in the Pine Ridge.
The season will retain the maximum harvest of 4 mountain lions with a sub-limit of 2 females, but the number of lottery-issued permits will drop from 320 to 2000.
Game and Parks says it’s an attempt to boost hunter satisfaction by increasing the probability of a longer season.
The goal of Mountain lion season is to maintain a population of big cats in the Pine Ridge that remains resilient, healthy, and appropriate for the habitat. The 2021 genetic survey of cat scat estimates the population at 33.
The Commissioners rejected staff recommendations to shorten the fall wild turkey season and reduce the number of permits per hunter in both the spring and fall, instead calling for a public hearing on the proposal at their August meeting.
Staff wants to cut the number of permits from 3 to 2 in the spring and 2 to 1 in the fall with the fall season running Oct 1 to Dec 31.
In other action, the Game and Parks Commission approved mandatory turkey check-in starting next February, allowing antelope hunters to check-in by internet or phone, and banning baited areas on Game and Parks land.
They also made it illegal to use or even have night-vision scopes while hunting game animals and birds.