River Bend in Montana
Photo of lion warning sign in park.


Encourage Montana FWP to reduce hunting quotas until they have better mountain lion population estimates.

Montana has some of the highest mountain lion harvest rates in the country and they continue to further elevate these limits. The justification for increasing the number of mountain lions that could be shot is based on hunter ability to kill lions rather than sound data. Increasing hunting quotas can cause population decline, disrupt lion social structure, and ultimately lead to greater conflicts between livestock operators and mountain lions.

But it's not too late! With your help, we can help reduce hunting quotas. Contact MFWP and let them know that you disagree with increasing quotas, especially for females.

  • Return to the portal page for Montana State.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Montana.

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  • How you can take action to help!


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Help Reduce Montana Mountain Lion Harvest

In 1998, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks raised mountain lion quotas to the highest number of mountain lions ever harvested in one state since bounties were abolished. Montana increased their harvest from 159 lions in 1988 to 776 in 1998.

After much public outcry, in 1997 Montana FWP started a 10-year research project to study how hunting affected mountain lion populations. After radio-collaring 121 individuals (24 females, 11 males, and 86 kittens), the researchers were able to glean information on habitat use, reproduction, mortality, dispersal, and population growth.

FWP's most significant finding was that hunting has a major effect on mountain lion populations. Project biologist DeSimone explained that "people thought you couldn't really overhunt lions because the animals were too elusive, but in our study area, we found that hunting is the number one factor affecting mountain lion distribution and abundance." This research led to improvements in the hunting permit system, but it hasn't stopped FWP from increasing their harvest rates. FWP needs to heed the warnings from their own biologists as well as the public and downgrade their hunting quotas.

Our best chance to slow the killing is to ask the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to do the right thing and reduce the hunting quota for mountain lions. There is no scientific or biological basis for continuing to hunt mountain lions in such high numbers.

Even more important, write a message to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, asking them to consider your opinions. Please, write today! There is no time to waste.

Mail your letter to:

    Wildlife Biologist
    Bob Inman
    1420 East 6th Avenue
    P.O. Box 200701
    Helena, MT 59620-0701

Or send an email to:

    (406) 444-0042

Ask that your comments be forwarded to the Director and all of the Commissioners, and be made part of the official record.

Please send a copy of your letter to Mountain Lion Foundation, PO Box 1896, Sacramento CA 95812, or email a copy of your letter to LCullens@MountainLion.org. We will make sure that your letter reaches all of the Commissioners, as well as the Governor, who appoints the Director of FWP.

To contact the commissioners directly go to:


And attend the upcoming commission meetings.

Please be respectful, anger and outrage is understandable, but discourteous communications are not generally constructive and reflect poorly on advocates for wildlife and the conservation community.

Graph of human-caused lion mortality in MT.

Click here to view our Activist Guide...

Becoming a Mountain Lion Activist

There are lots of opportunities to take action!

Are you new to mountain lion activism? You want to change your local environment to improve it for cougars... but you don't know how to start. You may feel like you are all alone... but it takes just one person to change the attitudes and lifestyles of hundreds of others. You don't need to belong to a group. It doesn't take special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about cougars to want to help them survive. You've already done the hard part, now let us help you with the next step.

Managing the Big Cats

08/27/13 Guest Commentary from Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News

In this reposting of a Methow Valley News article, journalist Ann McCreary discusses the latest cougar research in Washington and how it's reshaping management of this often misunderstood cat. Biologists are learning that killing more mountain lions can increase conflicts with people. The long-ignored social structure and territorial habits of lions are key factors. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are striving for a more science-based approached to creating lion policies in the state.

ON AIR: Gary Koehler on Applying Science to Attitudes

01/21/12 An Audio Interview with Julie West, MLF Broadcaster

In this edition of ON AIR, MLF Volunteer Julie West interviews cougar biologist Gary Koehler about his experience with mountain lion and human populations in Washington. Koehler sheds light on the difficulty of applying scientific research about lion behavior to human attitudes and management.

Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Commonly abbreviated as: MFWP

Martha Williams, Director

Main Office:
1420 East 6th Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
(406) 444-2535

Wildlife Management Section Chief
Quentin Kujala

Main Office:
1420 East 6th Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
(406) 444-5672

Please write to the director and express your concern for mountain lions in Montana.

Ask them to stop increasing mountain lion hunting quotas.

Thank MFWP when they take steps to protect our state's mountain lions.