Requirements for Hunting Mountain Lion in Colorado
Mountain Lion Education Certificate
You are required to complete the exam to purchase a mountain lion hunting license and hunt mountain lions in Colorado.
- Guides, outfitters, and houndsmen are encouraged to take the course and exam.
It is illegal to obtain a mountain lion license or hunt lions without a mountain lion education certificate issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), attesting to successful completion of CPW’s Mountain Lion Education and Identification Course.
Hunters must carry the certificate while hunting lions.
Important Exam Information
To take this exam, you must have a Customer Identification Number (CID). If you choose to take the "practice" version of the exam, you do not need a CID number.
- If you have purchased any license from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, your CID number is printed on it.
You will be asked to enter your CID number on the "About You" screen. This is necessary for matching of your CID number with your lion education certification number—the number you will be given after passing this exam—in the licensing system so you can purchase a mountain lion license.
No CID? Lost Track of it?
If you do not already have a CID number, or have lost track of it, please contact any Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices, or call the main number, 303-297-1192, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MST.
Inspection and Seals
Hunters must contact a CPW office within 48 hours of a lion kill and give their name, CID number, date and unit of the kill, and sex of the lion.
If you get voice mail, leave a message with the information.
Within five days of harvest, hunters must personally bring their lion to a CPW office or officer for inspection and seal.
- A mandatory check report must be completed during inspection
- Inspections and seals are free
- Seals must stay attached until hide is tanned
- Hides cannot be frozen
- Lions or parts cannot be taken out of Colorado unless inspected and sealed
- Lion hides or heads without seals become state property
Tooth Collection & Why CPW Needs This Information
Colorado Parks and Wildlife requires hunters to allow collection of a small tooth located just behind the lion’s upper canine.
The tooth will be analyzed to determine the lion’s age. Hunters can help by making sure the jaw is propped open with a stick before rigor sets in and not having the carcass frozen during inspection. The animal’s age will be posted on the website 6 months after lion season ends.
Ages will be posted by seal numbers, so hunters should write the number down to check the age of their animal. For privacy reasons, hunter's names are not posted.
For results, see the Tooth-age Data page. License Information
You must have a mountain lion license and carry it when hunting. A Colorado mountain lion license is an annual license for the April 1- March 31 license year. You can buy licenses online or by calling, 1-800-244-5613. Credit cards accepted for phone or internet purchases. Licenses also are sold at CPW offices and license agents.
Field Dressing a Harvested Mountain Lion
Watch this helpful video to learn how to field dress and prepare your harvested mountain lion for a taxidermist.
Reduce Potential Exposure to Lead in Game Meat
A recent study in North Dakota has raised concerns about the potential risk of exposure to lead associated with eating wild game harvested with lead bullets. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife provide recommendations to minimize exposure to lead in wild game.
Read more lead information and recommendations.
From the field to the table, ensuring your next harvest is safe for your family is important. Switching from lead bullets may be an option that’s right for you. Science tells us that ingesting lead can cause potential health problems over time.
Get the Lead Out
- Use lead-free shot or bullets.
- Choose a firearm with lower-velocity bullets, so the bullet fragments don’t scatter as far into the wound. Liberally trim and discard meat damaged by the bullet when you process an animal.
- Clean your meat grinder between each animal. Lead is soft and can go through your grinder, contaminating an entire batch of ground meat. If you don’t grind the meat yourself, speak with your commercial processor about their equipment cleaning process between animals.
- Avoid eating game meat from animals harvested with lead bullets if you are pregnant. Children younger than 6 should also avoid it.