The Nevada Department of Wildlife states that cougar populations are “healthy” statewide, and that lions can be found in all of the major mountain ranges in the state. Up until 1965, Nevada considered the cougar a “noxious” animal and even offered a bounty for the cat. Today, cougars are managed as big game animals through a regulated hunt season.

The state notes that the presence of locally abundant alternative prey such as elk, bighorn sheep, and wild horses seems to result in a stable to increasing lion population, despite a decrease in deer numbers beginning in the late 1980s. Since 2003, DNA in the form of muscle samples have been collected from harvested cougars, as well as the first premolar to determine age.

In 2007, legislation was proposed that declared an open season on cougars with no restriction on how, when or how many cougars could be killed and allowed aerial gunning and use of spring guns, set guns, and “other devices for destruction.” Fortunately, this legislation was defeated.

NDOW’s website acknowledges the positive role cougars play in ecosystems, stating: “Some people view Mountain Lions as detrimental to the deer population in Nevada. In many cases, their hunting activity is actually beneficial to prey animal populations.”

Nevada last updated it’s management plan in 1995.

Mountain lion season is open year-round and hounds are permitted. Hunter harvest has remained relatively stable even as quotas have fluctuated wildly (some hunt areas have seen quotas raised recently, while others have declined).

During the 2013-2014 season, hunters killed 153 lions, 62 of which were females. Another 30 cats were killed for “predator control.”


  • Support Grand Teton National Park’s Preferred Alternative for Moose-Wilson

     • The Cougar Fund
  • Citizens Molde and Voltz continue to stand up for Nevada’s Wildlife

     • The Cougar Fund
  • Let’s ‘just say no’ to Predator Killing Contests..

     • The Cougar Fund

    Editorial concerning Predator Killing Contests

  • Nevada Cougar Killed for Attacking Ducks

     • The Cougar Fund

    A landowner near Fallon killed a cougar after it attacked ducks on his property. Authorities believe long-term drought in the region is bringing cougars closer to people in search of vital resources.

  • Proceedings of the 11th Mountain Lion Workshop

     • The Cougar Fund

    Proceedings of the 11th Mountain Lion Workshop
    Integrating Scientific Findings into Management
    Hunter Conference Center, Southern Utah University
    Cedar City, Utah
    May 12‐15, 2014

  • Integrating Values and Ethics into Wildlife Policy and Management—Lessons from North America

     • The Cougar Fund

    Fox and Bekoff (2011)

    Abstract: Few animals provoke as wide a range of emotions as wolves. Some see wolves as icons of a lost wilderness; others see them as intruders. As the battle continues between wolf proponents and opponents, finding solutions that resolve conflicts while supporting the integrity of nature is challenging. In this essay we argue that we need to make room for wolves and other native carnivores who are re-colonizing areas from which they were extirpated. Strategies that foster coexistence are necessary and wildlife agencies must consider all stakeholders and invest adequate resources to inform the public about how to mitigate conflicts between people/domestic animals, and predators. Values and ethics must be woven into wildlife policy and management and we must be willing to ask difficult ethical questions and learn from past mistakes.