Wildlife Conservation photo

Authorities in South Dakota are debating whether to let a ranch hand keep a mountain lion he shot out of a tree, or ticket him for it.

From this story on therepublic.com:

South Dakota wildlife officials are deciding whether a Harding County ranch hand can keep a mountain lion he killed while working on another rancher’s land, in a complicated case that has the president of the state Wildlife Federation wondering if the shooter should actually get a ticket. Shannon Secrest of Buffalo told wildlife officers he discovered the lion in a tree last November when his dogs began barking. He shot and killed it, and reported the incident to the state Game, Fish and Parks Department. Secrest now wants to mount the big cat for display, but officials are trying to iron out several matters in the complicated case including whether Secrest properly killed the cat out of season.

Secrest had a lion permit that is good throughout the year for landowners on their own property and for lease holders on property they lease. Using that permit, landowners and lease holders can keep animals they shoot. However, the .22-caliber rifle Secrest used is a lighter caliber not allowed for lion hunting in South Dakota. There also were dogs involved, though Secrest said he was not using them to hunt lions, the Rapid City Journal reported. The use of dogs is prohibited for lion hunting in South Dakota.There also are other questions in the case, including whether the cats posed a threat to livestock that Secrest grazes on landowner Clark Blake’s property

Thoughts? Should he be able to keep it, or should he get a ticket?