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Mountain lion

Mountain Lion Hunting

Has Youth Season
ND Resident Only
The dates listed below are tentative until the season's proclamation is signed.

Season Dates

Season Dates
Season Hunting Units Opens Closes Season Dates Status
Regular Season  Zone 2 Tentative
Early season Zone 1 Tentative
Late Season Zone 1 Tentative

License Requirements

General Requirements

Except for residents under 16 years of age, a furbearer license is required to hunt or trap furbearers.

Nonresidents may not take furbearers, except they may hunt fox and coyote if they possess a furbearer and nongame license. Exceptions: Residents of a state that allows North Dakota residents to trap within that state, may purchase a nonresident reciprocal trapping license to trap in this state. Nonresidents having this license may not take bobcats, mountain lions, river otters or fishers.

Hunters and trappers are required to purchase licenses, except any resident, or member of his or her family permanently residing with him or her, may hunt small game, trap or use cable devices during the open season without a license upon land owned or leased by him or her, but otherwise is governed by seasons, limits and all other regulations.

Residents do not need a license to take unprotected species of wildlife (prairie dogs, rabbits, skunks, ground squirrels). Nonresidents hunting only unprotected species of wildlife need only a nongame license.

Residents must possess the following licenses:

  • Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
  • Furbearer License (not required of residents under age 16), or
  • Combination License (includes Small Game, General Game and Habitat, Furbearer, and Fishing licenses)
  • Military - Upon presentation of valid leave papers and a valid North Dakota operator's license, a resident who is on leave and is an active duty as a member of the United States armed forces or the United States merchant marine may hunt small game, fish, or trap during the open season without a license.

Nonresidents must possess the following licenses:

  • Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Fishers, River Otter - May not be taken by nonresidents.
  • Badger, Beaver, Mink, Muskrat, Raccoon, Weasel - May only be taken with traps or cable devices by nonresidents whose home state has a reciprocal trapping agreement with North Dakota.
    • Required licenses:
      • Nonresident Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
      • Nonresident Reciprocal Trapping License
  • Coyote, Fox (Red and Gray)
    • Required licenses:
      • Nonresident Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
      • Nonresident Furbearer and Nongame License (to hunt) or Nonresident Reciprocal Trapping License (to take with traps or cable devices)


Species Specific Regulations

Mountain lions may only be hunted by North Dakota residents. The limit for mountain lions is one animal per hunter. Any mountain lion, other than kittens (kitten is defined as a mountain lion with visible spots) or females accompanied by kittens, may be harvested during the season. Hunters must contact the local game warden or Department field office to report their harvest within 12 hours and make arrangements to have the mountain lion tagged. The entire mountain lion, including the head, must be presented for inspection and tagging. Legally taken animals will be returned to the hunter following analysis so that the pelt may be removed, but the carcass shall remain the property of the Department. The use of traps or cable devices (snares) to take mountain lions is prohibited. The state will be split into two management zones; Zone 1 and Zone 2. Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border. Zone 2 is the remainder of the state not described as Zone 1. Each Zone 1 season will have harvest limits. Once these harvest limits are reached, each respective season will close immediately. The Department will inform the public of each closure through the media. Mountain lions taken by USDA Wildlife Services, the Department, private landowners in defense of livestock, road-killed animals, mountain lions incidentally taken by traps or cable devices, animals taken for human safety issues and those taken on Indian land will not count against any harvest limit.

Zone 1 early-season – Mountain lions may be harvested using firearms and archery equipment. Harvest may be no more than 8 mountain lions. 

Zone 1 late-season –  Mountain lions may be harvested using firearms, archery equipment, and pursuing with dogs. Harvest may be no more than 7 mountain lions or 3 female mountain lions, whichever comes first.

Zone 1 conditional season – If the harvest limit for the early season is not reached on or prior to November 22, and after the late season has been closed (due to harvest limit being reached) for 5 consecutive days, the early season will reopen until the Zone 1 early season harvest limit is reached or until March 31. If the late season closes after March 25, there will not be a Zone 1 conditional season.

Zone 2 – Mountain lions may be harvested using firearms and archery equipment. Beginning November 23, mountain lions may also be harvested by pursuing with dogs. There is no overall harvest limit for Zone 2.

Report a Mountain Lion Sighting