The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted against a South Dakota Houndsmen Association proposal to expand hounding of mountain lions in the Prairie region of the state. The practice known as hounding allows trophy hunters to use radio-collared trailing dogs to chase mountain lions and bobcats into trees or rock ledges, so that trophy hunters can shoot the cats at close range.
The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposed the proposal, which would have allowed trophy hunters to kill mountain lions with dogs on public lands throughout much of the state.
“We are very pleased to see the Commission vote in favor of protecting South Dakota’s rare and iconic mountain lions. Only a handful of these cats exist in our beautiful state and very few ever make it out of the Black Hills and onto the Prairie,” said Darci Adams, South Dakota state director for the HSUS. “Allowing hound hunting on public lands in the Prairie would harm the species’ ability to survive in South Dakota and hinder the recovery of Eastern cougar populations. The Commission’s decision is a step in the right direction to ensure mountain lions are not harmed by cruel and unnecessary trophy hunting practices.”
- Hounding is not considered “fair chase” hunting by most. Fair chase hunting is predicated upon giving the animal an equal opportunity to escape. The use of hounds provides an unfair advantage to trophy hunters who rely on hounds to do the bulk of the work in finding and baying wild cats.
- Hounding is an unethical hunting practice that causes harm to the mountain lions being chased as well as the hounds themselves. It also harms other animals, such as mountain lion kittens who may be attacked and killed by the dogs.
- Media Relations