Sunrise over farm in Texas Hill Country.
  Photo Courtesy of:
  Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits
Photo of landsacape.


Texas allows year round unlimited mountain lion take.

In Texas, it's always open season on mountain lions. Even though human persecution has driven them locally extinct in the eastern part of the state, Texas mountain lion hunting is allowed year-round with no bag limits. While the famously large land mass of Texas could easily support over 6,000 mountain lions, the actual population is likely much lower than that due to overhunting and human encroachment into their habitat areas. There is no official population estimate for Texas lions.

  • Return to the portal page for Texas.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Texas.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Texas.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Texas.

  • Cougar science and research in Texas.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Texas

For more detail you can explore using the links below.

The status of Puma concolor.

Though mountain lions once roamed throughout Texas, persecution at the hands of humans has driven them locally extinct in the eastern portion of the state. Fear and misinformation, as well as overhunting and habitat fragmentation were the main forces driving this extirpation. But attitudes have changed since the early 1900s and there's hope for the future.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Texas.

In the box below you will find all the governing state statutes, mountain lion legal status, state laws, information about the state legislature, initiative and referendum processes, and the state wildlife agency, mountain lion management plans, mountain lion hunting laws, depredation laws, and other regulations as appropriate.

Click here to learn more about law

The history of lions in the state.

Mountain lions are native to Texas and historically inhabited the Trans Pecos, the Hill Country, and other suitable places throughout the state. The first European settlers arrived in the Texas Hill country in the early 1800s and viewed mountain lions as a dangerous threat to their own survival as well as a predator threat to their livestock. These settlers established measures for predator control by any means possible. Predator removal was steady and unforgiving from the early 1800s until the mid-1960s. Historical records show that this persecution drove Texas to near extirpation.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Texas.

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of Texas, persecution at the hands of humans drove them locally extinct. If we support open space conservation and preserve corridors connecting potential habitat, we could reverse this situation and bring mountain lions back home to Texas. Although mountain lions may be physically capable of living in an area, human activities and attitudes could keep them from reestablishing a population there. Fragmentation, sport hunting practices, and intolerant communities can wipe out mountain lions from any area. For more data on habitat use, check out our various Science tabs.

Click here to learn more about habitat

The science of lions in the state.

There are several mountain lion research projects, run by a variety of organizations within the state of Texas. If we have overlooked any research projects, please feel free to reach out to us and let us know so we can rectify the situation.

Click here to learn more about science

Take action for lions.

Mountain Lions in are losing their habitat to human development resulting in increased stress, competition, and human/lion contact. Texas allows an unlimited number of hunting tags for mountain lions and there are no protections in place for them. On top of this human development is swallowing up remaining habitat at an alarming rate.

Click here to learn more about action