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New ND mountain lion season expanded 8-07

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's new mountain lion season will
allow hunters to stalk their prey for more than six months in most of
the state without worrying about a quota of cougar kills, the Game
and Fish Department says.

The season begins Aug. 31 and ends March 9 in most of North Dakota,
the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

North Dakota's cougar seasons in the two previous years both had a
statewide limit of mountain lion kills. The quota was five during the
most recent season. It ended Nov. 9 when a veterinary assistant shot
the fifth cougar, which was lurking in a drainage culvert near New
Salem in Morton County.

Regulations for the new season, which the Game and Fish Department
announced Tuesday, divide the state into two zones.

The area west of State Highway 8 and south of State Highway 1804
still has a quota of five kills. In that region, the season will end
once hunters shoot five cougars.

However, in the rest of North Dakota, the season will last until
March 9, regardless of how many mountain lions are taken. During the
last cougar season, three of the five kills were in the larger zone.

Only North Dakota residents may hunt mountain lions in the state, and
they must have a furbearer or combination license to do so.

Any mountain lion is fair game except for kittens, or adult females
accompanied by a kitten, the Game and Fish Department said. Hunters
may not use dogs in mountain lion hunts until Dec. 1.

The season's rules do not affect Indian land, where tribes establish
their own hunting regulations. Lions shot to protect livestock or
humans, those taken by state or federal wildlife agencies, and
cougars that are caught in traps do not count against any limits.
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