This rule proposal is responding to and supporting a rule petition that the Commission accepted on December 15, 2023 which asks the The petition requests that the department to revisit the cougar hunting seasons and regulations rule that was passed adopted in 2020. Through a motion, the Commission gave department staff specific directions to include the following aspects in the rule proposal:

  1.  All independent-aged cougars shall count towards the total cougar mortality cap.
  2.  The cougar hunting season will begin September 1 and end March 31.
  3. The cap will be based on the best available estimates of cougar density and growth rate; currently those parameters are estimated at 2.3 cougars per 100 km2 and 1.13 intrinsic growth.
  4. All human-related cougar mortality (including harvested cougars, cougars killed to resolve conflicts, and any other form of human-caused cougar mortality) shall count toward the total cougar mortality cap.
  5. Based on the recommendation of the department cougar specialist, managers may close hunting in any Population Management Unit (PMU) prior to the cap being reached, upon consideration of factors such as disease, suspected additional mortality, or any other issue affecting the cougar population.
  6.  In PMUs that reach the 13 percent cap prior to the recreational hunting season starting, the cap will be increased to 20 percent of the population to provide hunting opportunity in those PMUs. When all known human-related independent-aged cougar mortalities in those PMUs meet or exceed 20 percent of the population, the season shall close in those PMUs. Additionally, if opened, the season shall close within 72 hours of that number being reached. This section will sunset at the end of the 2024-2025 season. 

Question title


Closed for Comments

CR-102 Rule Proposal Comment Period


Please refer to the proposed rule CR102 document

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