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Mountain lion

Hunt Species Guide: Mountain Lion


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Regulations & Maps

Regulations

Regulations for upcoming seasons are posted online throughout the year. Mountain Lion regulations are typically posted late February.

All downloads below are in PDF format. 

 

Mandatory Animal Pelt Tagging & Harvest Reporting

Hunters must call in their lion harvest within 12 hours. The hide and skull must be brought in for inspection and pelt tagging at an FWP office within 10 days

  • Harvest Reporting Line: 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453)

  • Transfer possession of harvested game animal that requires mandatory FWP inspection: Download form (PDF)

 

Plan Your Hunt Online

Launch maps, obtain legal descriptions, regulations, and statistics all in one place.

Seasons

These dates are provided only as a general reference. Check current regulations or use FWP's online Hunt Planner for specific dates.

 

2022 Mountain Lion Season Dates

Archery (without hounds)
September 3 – October 16

Fall (without hounds)
October 22 – November 27

Winter (with hounds)
December 1 – April 14

Licenses & Fees

Mountain Lion — General (without dogs)

Details: During the archery only and fall season without dogs, a General Mountain Lion License may be used in any valid LMU, even if the LMU is a Limited Special Mountain Lion License LMU during the winter season. The LMU will close when the harvest reaches a number nearest to 20 percent of the quota. In all areas, the combined archery only and fall season without dogs, male and female mountain lion harvest from all license holders will be deducted from the respective male or female mountain lion quotas or subquotas. Purchase at any license provider, any FWP office, or online. Not available to apprentice hunters.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19

  • Nonresident: $320

 

Mountain Lion — Limited Special Mountain Lion License 

Details: A Limited Special Mountain Lion License is issued through a drawing and designates the LMU within the regulations for which the license is valid. The license is valid for the entire season until the season is closed, even if quotas are filled. Apply online or at an FWP office by July 22. Residents and nonresidents pay a $5 nonrefundable drawing fee; successful applicants are required to pay the full license fee. Not available to apprentice hunters.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19

  • Nonresident: $320
     

Mountain Lion — Unlimited Special Mountain Lion License 

Details: An Unlimited Special Mountain Lion License is valid until the quotas are filled or the season is closed, whichever occurs first, and is only valid in the region, LMU or group of LMUs specified on the license except that during the archery only and fall season without dogs, an Unlimited Special Mountain Lion License may be used in any valid mountain lion management unit.. Purchase at any license provider, any FWP office, or online. Not available to apprentice hunters.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19

  • Nonresident: $320
     

Hound Training License

Details: This license entitles the license holder to use a dog or dogs to aid in chasing mountain lions and/or bobcat in all valid mountain lion hunting districts in the state, except Hunting District 282, during the hound training season from Dec. 2-April 14. A resident hunter with a valid mountain lion license is not required to have a Resident Hound Training License to chase mountain lion. This is available over the counter to resident Conservation License holders 12 years of age or older or who will turn 12 before or during the season for which the license is issued.

Fees:

  • Resident-only: $5

 

Non-Resident Hound License

Details: The 2019 Legislature created a Non-Resident Hound License (formerly known as the Non-Resident Hound Handler License). Statutes 87-1-325, 87-2-519, and 87-6-404 limit the number of Non-Resident Hound Licenses in any license year to no more than 80 (the Fish and Wildlife Commission approved only 40 for the 2022 season), authorizes the Non-Resident Hound License for personal use only, and precludes using the license to assist any other person in the pursuit of a lion for harvest.

Fees:

  • $250

Application, Drawing Deadlines & Results

Mountain Lion — General and Unlimited Special

Availability 

These licenses are available Over the Counter.

Deadline

N/A

 

Mountain Lion — Limited Special License

Availability 

This license is available via Special Drawing. Applications open June 30.

Deadline

July 22

 

Drawing Results

  • Special: Mid August

  • SuperTag: Mid July

 

Check Your Drawing Results

Harvest Quota & Reports

Mandatory Pelt Tagging & Harvest Reporting

Hunters must call in their lion harvest within 12 hours. The hide and skull must be brought in for inspection and pelt tagging at an FWP office within 10 days

  • Harvest Reporting Line: 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453)

  • Transfer possession of harvested game animal that requires mandatory FWP inspection: Download form (PDF)

 

Harvest Quotas & Subquotas

When the male or female subquota or quota is reached in a hunting district or management unit, the mountain lion season for that subquota or quota in that huting district or management unit will close upon 24-hour notice.

Mountain lion quotas fill quickly in some hunting districts or management units so hunters should check harvest closure information frequently.

 

Harvest Reports

To view annual harvest reports and more information, click here.

Helpful Information

Trichinosis in Montana Lions

Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, is a disease that people can get by eating raw or undercooked meat from animals infected with the microscopic parasite, Trichinella. Infection occurs commonly in certain wild carnivorous animals such as bear or mountain lions, or omnivorous animals such as domestic pigs or wild boar.

FWP recommends that all bear and lion meat be thoroughly cooked before consumption by humans or pets. For hunters who still desire Trichinella testing, they may send a tissue sample to the Montana Department of Livestock’s diagnostic lab

 

Mountain Lion Identification

The Mountain Lion Identification Program is a voluntary training program available to anyone who is interested in mountain lion ecology and/or who wants to hunt mountain lions.

Management & Monitoring

Mountain lions are managed as a game species in Montana.

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