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Iowa Man Cited for Shooting Mountain Lion

LINCOLN – A 23-year-old Iowa man has been cited for shooting a mountain lion out of season near Crawford on the evening of Sept. 6.

The man was hunting deer with archery equipment from a tree stand on Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Dawes County when the incident occurred. He reported shooting the lion to the Dawes County Sherriff’s Department that night. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials immediately responded to the scene and recovered the carcass at about 2:30 a.m. Mountain Time on Sept. 7.

The female lion was lactating, suggesting she may have cubs in the vicinity. Staff searched the area on Sept. 7 and the search for cubs resumed Sept. 8 using trained dogs. If cubs are found, Game and Parks will attempt to place them in zoos.

The Iowan faces a maximum fine of $1,000 and $500 in liquidated damages for taking game in a closed season. Ponderosa WMA is located in the Pine Ridge Unit, where the mountain lion season is closed.

“The law is very clear. People may not shoot a mountain lion simply because they are afraid of it,” said Craig Stover, law enforcement administrator for Game and Parks. “They have to meet certain criteria. The law states that ‘any person shall be entitled to defend himself or herself or another person without penalty if, in the presence of such person, a mountain lion stalks, attacks, or shows unprovoked aggression toward such person or another person.’ ”

Landowners also may kill a mountain lion if the lion is in the process of stalking, killing or consuming livestock on their property.

“Anytime a mountain lion is shot, we do a full investigation into the circumstances,” Stover said.

Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for more information on mountain lions in Nebraska.


About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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