Eds: APNewsNow.RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- The 2014 mountain lion hunting season in South Dakota is off to a slow start.
Only four lions have been killed during the season that began the day after Christmas. In the 2013 season, four lions were killed on the first day.
State Game, Fish and Parks regional supervisor Mike Kintigh says the slow start likely reflects a smaller population of lions in the western Black Hills, which he says is the goal of the hunting seasons that began in 2005.
Game, Fish and Parks conservation officer Mike Apland says there are other likely reasons for the decline, including fewer hunters and poor hunting conditions.
The season will last until March 31, or until a total of 76 lions or 50 females are killed.