March 18, 2011

First mountain lion tagged in reservation hunt

First mountain lion tagged in reservation hunt
Arnegard man takes first of five-cat quota on Fort Berthold

For years up until 2004, the existence of mountain lions in western North Dakota was denied even though horses were mauled, tracks were found and people sighted them.
Now, hunters, ranchers and home owners are seeing numerous cats in various places and hunter Richard Johnson of Arnegard claims there are “lots of lions” out in the hills. He suggested there is evidence of a greater population of the animals in the western third of North Dakota than most people may realize.
North Dakota Game and Fish nor Three Affiliated Tribes Game and Fish have a population estimate, but N.D. Game and Fish has gone on record to say the population has been increasing in recent years.
Johnson shot and killed the first of five cats in a five-carcass quota that will end on March 27. He spent approximately a month before filling his tag with a 70-pound female, shot in Dunn County near the Lostwood Bridge southwest of Mandaree.
According to Antoine Fettig biologist with the Three Affiliated Tribes Game and Fish Department, Johnson shot the lion on Feb. 27 after spending about a month in search of a cat. He partnered with John Weinand of Hazen, who has hunted lions on Fort Berthold in the past.

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