RAPID CITY - Despite an increase in the number of lions that could be killed, the Black Hills lion season has ended well short of the limit.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the number of lions killed this year also falls below 2012's numbers.

As of Saturday afternoon, 60 lions had been killed.

Lion advocates fear the reduced number this season is a sign that the cats have been decimated by too much hunting pressure in recent years.

But lion hunter Steve Bulle, of Hayward, says there is no sign of a decreased population. He says the lower kill number is because of snow conditions making it hard to track lion and fatigue among some hunters.

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