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Montana seeks comments on mountain lion management strategy

Montana mountain lion management plan

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Montana wants to know what you think about its draft Mountain Lion Management Strategy. You can check out the plan here. The document identifies key mountain lion ecoregions within the state, ways to monitor the animals, harvest regulation and management. The draft strategy is a result of nearly 25 years of in-depth field research conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MT FWP).

In 1971, mountain lions were classified as a game animal by the Montana legislature. The state holds a mountain lion season annually, which runs September through April or until the quota is met.

Distribution of Montana mountain lion harvest, 1988-2015 (unshaded counties have had no harvest)

Distribution of Montana mountain lion harvest

Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

According to the agency, because mountain lions tend to roam far and wide, the strategy includes four defined lion ecoregions and within each ecoregion, a mountain lion population estimate will be determined based upon the integrated population model as well as mountain lion harvest data and ecology. Using this information, “wildlife managers will employ a statistical model to predict the effects of lion harvest on populations.” The strategy is geared towards managing and monitoring lions and outlines how MT FWP plans to do just that.

If you are interested in weighing in on the draft strategy, click here to submit your comments. Comments will be collected until 5 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2019. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss final adoption of the strategy during its February meeting.

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4 Comments

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Nicholas K. - posted 2 weeks ago on 11-30-2018 08:04:35 am
Quarryville, PA
goHUNT INSIDER

I saw a show where they were talking about eating them. They said it was almost weird how good they tasted. You wouldn't think a cat would taste like that.

Sean B. - posted 2 weeks ago on 11-30-2018 05:18:37 am
goHUNT INSIDER

$15.50 sure does make it easy! I'd definitely do the same just to have the chance to help the deer and elk populations. I've talked to a few people that have killed mountain lions but none of them have eaten the meat. Has anyone here ever tried it and know if it's any good?

Nicholas K. - posted 2 weeks ago on 11-29-2018 11:37:10 am
Quarryville, PA
goHUNT INSIDER

I am from Pennsylvania and was hunting Columbian blacktail deer in Oregon 4 weeks ago. Deer was what I was going for but when I seen that non resident could buy a lion and bear tag for only 15.50 I had one of each in my pocket. Chances of seeing a lion were slim but they make it cheap so everyone can legally take one if you see it.

Marc M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 11-29-2018 10:47:04 am
Montana
goHUNT INSIDER

The best way to manage lions is to look at deer populations, specifically mule deer. Lions have destroyed the mule deer in this state. Lions have been able to sustain themselves on elk in areas where they have decimated the deer population. Deer in these areas are unable to recover because they are too few, and there are too many lions. Montana makes a lot more revenue on the sale of deer tags vs lion tags each year, not to mention the economic boost that occurs due to these hunters in the state. FWP needs to stop catering to a handful of houndsman and lion hunters that want to be able to chase a lion every time they go out in the field. Kill more lions and promote larger deer populations.