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SD agency sets mountain lion hunting season

ABERDEEN (AP) -- South Dakota wildlife officials have set the hunting season for mountain lions.

The Aberdeen American News reported the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted unanimously open the mountain lion season from Dec. 26 to March 31, 2014.

The 2014 season would allow for a statewide harvest limit of 75 mountain lions or 50 females. If the limit is not met by the end of the season, it could be extended by special resolution.

A public hearing on the plan is slated Oct. 3-4 in Spearfish.

The number of mountain lions allowed to be harvested in 2013 was 100, or 70 female cats.

South Dakota hunters last year killed 61 mountain lions, including 35 female cats. Officials say 4,351 mountain lion licenses were issued last season.

Wildlife officials said adopting the 75-lion limit for 2014 would place the estimated population in 2015 at 110 cats.