Those looking to go Nebraska mountain lion hunting will be denied the opportunity—at least for this season.
The Game and Parks commission has outlawed Nebraska mountain lion hunting this season, but next year things may be different.
Game and Parks director Jim Douglas said they will be conducting research through 2018 to see if Nebraska mountain lion hunting is a necessary step for conservation.
He told reporters, “It doesn’t mean that we will not have a season during the three-year period. We will look at each year to see what is going on.”
The commission has been doing scat-testing since 2010, but it plans to use GPS collars and trail cams to better understand the necessity of Nebraska mountain lion hunting.
Senator Ernie Chambers, an outspoken critic of the program, passed a bill last year to repeal the hunting season, but then-Governor Dave Heineman vetoed the bill. Chambers introduced another bill to repeal the commission’s ability to set a hunting season.
He spoke of the necessity of his current bill, telling reporters, “Then they cannot be pressured by people like Cabela’s and others to implement a hunting season. … They don’t even have to struggle with that issue.”
Sam Wilson, the commission’s furbearer and carnivore program manager, told reporters the commission will budget $60,000 to do research on mountain lions in the Cornhusker State. The information will be gathered and analyzed with the aid of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Nebraska and Chadron State College.
The Game and Parks Commission plans on using GPS and trail cams in breeding areas to get a firmer grasp on the number of female mountain lions, the amount of attacks on livestock, and the environmental behavior of the animals.
Nebraska’s first mountain lion hunt took place last year and only five hunters were able to fill their tags.