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SD committee backs dog use in mountain lion hunts

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PIERRE (AP) — A South Dakota House committee has endorsed a measure that would allow hunters to use dogs to hunt mountain lions outside the Black Hills.

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Current law leaves it up to the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission to decide whether hounds can be used to hunt mountain lions, and the commission only allows dogs at specified times in Custer State Park.

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to let hunters use dogs while hunting mountain lions outside the Black Hills. Lion hunting is allowed year-round outside the Black Hills.

The mountain lion season within the Black Hills started Dec. 26 and runs through March 31. It will end earlier than that if 75 total lions or 50 females are killed.

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