From 2003-2009 SDGF&P policy deliberately reduced the elk herd to appease a handful of landowner elk damage complaints. At the start of that decision, the SDGF&P Regional Supervisor was quoted in Rapid City, stating, ” We’re going to kill as many elk as we can, in the shortest amount of time possible, until the complaining stops.”
Hunters make 80% of the Black Hills’ elk-kills; cougars 11%. Cougars can’t begin to approach the impact on elk numbers as hunters do.
First, SDGF&P reduce the elk herd to appease one group, then scapegoat cougars for their own policy when hunters complained about elk losses.
See comments by retired Black Hills’ biologist, John Wrede here, http://cougarrewilding.org/CougarNews/?p=4847
By Bob Mercer Black Hills Pioneer
MILBANK — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission went forward Friday and formally proposed the liberal changes recommended for the 2013 mountain lion season by GFP biologists, including the first modern use of hounds to pursue big-game animals within South Dakota.
Three sets of four hunters would be permitted to use dogs during special one-week seasons within Custer State Park. The hunters would be selected through a drawing.
Commissioner John Cooper of Pierre said he expects there will be some push-back.
“What we’re going to have to do with this is sell it to the public,” Cooper said.