Posted 9 months ago
By John Axtell
LINCOLN, Neb. -A Ponca man had the winning bid Wednesday night at Nebraska’s first auction of a state mountain lion hunting permit. Tom Ferry’s bid of $13,500 came at the Nebraska Big Game Society banquet and auction at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.
Ferry and 15-year-old Holden Bruce of Franklin, the first of 101 names drawn a week earlier for permits limited to state residents, will hunt in the Nebraska Game and Parks Pine Ridge management unit during the first of two 6-week seasons next New Year’s Day through Valentine’s Day.
Ferry…whose permit also comes with Big Game Society-provided lodging and guide services…and Bruce will be able to use dogs when they go hunting. Their portion of the season has a limit of 2 lions, only one of which can be a female.
The other mountain lion permit winners, like Bruce drawn last week, will hunt during the second season, February 15-March 31…also in the Pine Ridge Unit, but they are banned from using dogs. The second season limit is also two big cats, a maximum of one female.
Proceeds from the permit auction and the fee for the resident lottery will be used by Game and Parks for mountain lion management.
There is a year-round lion season with unlimited permits and no harvest quota in the Prairie Unit, which covers essentially the entire state outside the Pine Ridge Unit, the Keya Paha Unit in north-central Nebraska, and the Platte Unit…which includes the Wildcat Hills.
There is no permanent population of mountain lions in the Prairie Unit, but lone cougars have been confirmed in all parts of the state in recent years.
Dogs may be used in the Prairie Unit January-March, but not during the rest of the year, and there is a limit of one permit per calendar year per person. Those permits are $15 and go on sale December 16.
For more information on mountain lion hunting seasons, visit www.nebraskamountainlions.org. To purchase Prairie Unit permits, visit OutdoorNebraska.org.