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Karen DeMatteo_Train.jpg

Karen DeMatteo and Train, a mountain lion scat-detecting dog, work in the Pine Ridge to locate mountain lion scat, which the Nebraska Game and Parks collects and analyzes to estimate population.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will accept lottery applications for mountain lion permits through Sept. 27 for the 2020 hunting season.

Hunting will be allowed only in the Pine Ridge Unit of northwestern Nebraska, which has an established population that can sustain a harvest. Hunters may apply for a permit in either of two subunits: the South Subunit (south of U.S. Hwy. 20) or the North Subunit (north of U.S. Hwy. 20). A person may not submit more than one application per calendar year for a mountain lion permit.

A drawing will allocate 320 permits to each subunit, and only Nebraska residents can receive permits.

There are a few regulation changes for the 2020 season. Public lands are open to hunt in both subunits, shooting hours are sunrise to sunset, and proof of gender must be naturally attached to the carcass at check-in.

Mail applications must be received at the Game and Parks’ Lincoln headquarters by 5 p.m. CT on Sept. 27, online applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply online or download an application at outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting. A $15 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted with each application.

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Up to eight mountain lions may be harvested in 2020, with up to four of those being females. In each of the two subunits, once four mountain lions, or two females, have been harvested in that subunit, the season in that subunit will close.

Dogs may not be used during Season 1, which will run Jan. 2 through Feb. 29, 2020. If the limits and/or sub-limits have not been reached in a subunit by Feb. 29, an auxiliary season, allowing the use of dogs will occur. Unsuccessful hunters in a subunit that does not reach the Season 1 limit may apply to convert their permit to an auxiliary season permit in March.

A harvest will allow the mountain lion population to remain resilient and healthy, while halting growth or moderately reducing the population size. This will reduce the population density in the Pine Ridge to one similar to that of other states that allow mountain lion hunting.

To read more mountain lion hunting regulations, go to outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting.

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