Hunters in Nebraska kill seven mountain lions


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Hunters have killed seven mountain in northwest Nebraska’s Pine Ridge area, state officials said as the third season since 2014 closed Tuesday.

They took the limit of three males and one female in the area’s south subunit, ending its season Feb. 5, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. But hunters needed an extended season in the north subunit to take two males and one female.

Some of the lions wore ear tags or radio collars from an earlier research project, said Sam Wilson, furbearer and big-game manager for the state Game and Parks Commission.

The largest lion taken was a male weighing 171 pounds (77.6 kilograms).

“That would be about as big as we’ve seen in the state,” Wilson said.

Before the hunt, the Pine Ridge area was home to an estimated 59 mountain lions. The current number is unclear, Wilson said, because even though seven were killed, others likely were born or have moved into the area.

The hunting of Nebraska’s mountain lions has faced some opposition, particularly from Omaha state Sen. Ernie Chambers.