Best Mountain Lion Hunting States


North American native mountain lions are great predators in the United States; their population is approximately 30,000. The big game mountain lion has many other names such as cougar, panther, puma, catamount, etc.

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It is one of the big challenging games in North America and is often regarded as America’s lion. You can visit our blog, The Challenging Big Game-Cougar, to know more about cougar hunting and behavior.

This blog is about the population and distribution of mountain lions in different states of the United States of America. Before discussing which states are best for mountain lion hunting, you must know about

When and Where to Hunt Mountain Lion:

The cougar hunting season starts in August and lasts till February.

Cougar has a broader range of habitats and is present in open lands, steep canyons, forests, and deserts.

Best Mountain Lion Hunting States:

Here is a list of the best states for mountain lions hunting,

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Utah


Grand Canyon State has 2,000-3,000 mountain lions, which are present in the rocky areas, so most of the hunting is done on dry land. Be sure that you take highly trained dogs with you. In Arizona, the mountain lion hunting season runs year around.

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Arizona has specific rules for cougar hunting that you can’t hunt kittens and females, and the bag limit is no more than one cougar per day.


Idaho has a widespread population of about 2,000 mountain lions, and this state is known to have more liberal laws than all the western states. The annual hunting limit is 400-600. The season starts in August and ends in June or March, depending upon the unit.

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Electronic calls and hound hunting is legal in this area, but they might close for some time in specific areas.


The state with one of the largest mountain lion populations. In the 1970s, California wildlife management declared mountain lions endangered, but now, due to efforts like controlled hunting, California has 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions.


Colorado is the prime mountain lion state, with a population of 3,000 to 8,000. The state is the perfect habitat for this ferocious predator. A pro tip to make the best of the mountain lion in Colorado is first to check the rocky mountains regions.

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The cougar hunting season in Colorado starts in November, but for hunting mountain lions, you must fulfill specific standards set by Colorado wildlife management; you must pass a mountain lion hunting test, an online course, and an educational card and habitat stamp is also necessary.

New Mexico:

New Mexico only allows controlled hunting practices to protect mountain lions; the state has approximately 4,000 mountain lion populations that thrive in the hilly regions of the state.

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The state allows electronic calls and hounds hunting, and the season runs round the year till the quota meets. Remember that your tag expires every March, and you have to renew it before going to the hunting areas.


Montana mountain lion hunting season starts in September but makes sure you apply for the permit in August. The state wildlife department makes it clear that the state is suitable habitat for mountain lions, so they are widely spread all over the state, and the approximate population of cougars in Montana is 2,000 to 3,000.

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There was a time when the Wyoming mountain lion population was stable, but now the population has dropped. The state wildlife management is trying to control hunting till the population becomes stable again.

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The best season runs from September to March and the best time to hunt is one hour before sunset and one hour after sunset.


The state allows restricted and limited hunting and has a population of about 25,00 mountain lions. The mountainous regions, as well as swamp areas, are the preferred habitats of cougars. Legal mountain lion hunting season in Utah starts in November and runs till May.

Pack your hunting essentials and select the state as suitable for you to apply for a permit and enjoy the big game mountain lion hunt.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>