The Black Hills mountain lion season may be over but at least one lion and her kitten are missing from the final tally of 61 kills.
A female lion shot on Feb. 1 in Pennington County won't be added to the list until a judge rules if she was killed legally, Mike Kintigh, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks regional supervisor, said Tuesday.
Three eastern South Dakota residents are charged with misdemeanor hunting violations in connection with the lion's death, according to Pennington County deputy state's attorney Josh Hendrickson.
Licensed hunters James Jucht, 71, of Sioux Falls and David D. Terveen, 63, of Emery are accused of illegally shooting the lion in the Hill City area after it was treed by hounds controlled by Wade J. Musick, 41, of Mitchell, according to Hendrickson.
Hendrickson said that after the dogs treed the lion, Musick notified Juncht and Terveen, who shot the lion, which also had two kittens.
The use of hounds was only permitted on a limited basis within the boundaries of Custer State Park during the 2013 season.
An anonymous person used the Turn In Poachers program to alert the GF&P about the hunting violation. Conservation officer Blair Waite found the three men, cited them for hunting violations and confiscated the lion.
"The lion had two kittens," Kintigh said. One kitten was located the same day and later taken to a zoo.
It took several days to find the second kitten, but it was in such poor condition that it was euthanized, Hendrickson said.
Terveen and Jucht were charged with a big game violation. The charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Musick was cited for illegally hunting with dogs during mountain lion season, a Class 2 misdemeano,r punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. A dispositional conference for Musick is scheduled for next week.
At a preliminary hearing last Friday, magistrate Judge Heidi Linngren continued Terveen's and Jucht's cases until April 19.