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Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion in Tree

April Lion Licenses

As of Monday March 23, our Licensing vendor is experiencing significant delays in fulfillment of CPW products due to “shelter in place” orders related to COVID-19. This means they are currently backlogged in printing and mailing licenses, passes or other CPW products. 

  • In response to these delays, we will be allowing customers to use a TAN (Temporary Authorization Number) for proof of privilege for most of our products at this time. This includes April mountain lion licenses (for the 2020 spring season only). We have also temporarily extended the timeframe for which a TAN is valid from 14 days to 45 days
  • As carcass tags may not be present for lion licenses purchased after March 23, (as these customer licenses may be covered by a TAN), a printed copy of the receipt/confirmation email will be used as the carcass tag in these situations. Customers must print the receipt, carry it with them while hunting and attach it to the carcass after harvest and during transport. After harvesting, the hunter must write the sex and date of harvest, as well as sign the receipt, similar to the voiding carcass tag procedures.  

For the most up to date information on how CPW is responding to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 Response page.

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Hunters are required to check harvest limits prior to hunting using the online report.​

During active hunting seasons, hunters are required to check theAvailable Lion Harvest Limit Report for unit closures prior to hunting. Units listed as open will do so for hunting on November 18th with the available harvest limits currently shown on the report. ​

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​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 CP​​W’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 

Mountain Lion Sketch by Lyndle DunnHunters 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 

Hunting License

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.​​​​

​​Mountain Lion Season dates and fees

See the season dates and fees ​page and the ​regulation brochure

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. 

Risks are low for most people; however, you can also visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s recommendations.

Get the Lead Out

  1. Use lead-free shot or bullets. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Avoid eating game meat from animals harvested with lead bullets if you are pregnant. Children younger than 6 should also avoid it.