Mountain Lion Regulations

What You Need to Know About Missouri’s Mountain Lion Regulations

  • All wildlife in Missouri is protected under the provisions of the Wildlife Code (see “Details From the Wildlife Code” below).
  • However, the Code provides for the taking of wildlife during prescribed hunting and trapping seasons and under other circumstances, such as when wildlife is causing damage to property.
  • Whenever a mountain-lion killing is reported, Conservation Agents investigate the incident to determine whether the killing was necessary.

Mountain Lions May be Killed Under Certain Circumstances

Although there are no hunting or trapping seasons for mountain lions in Missouri, the “Owner May Protect Property; Public Safety” rule specifies that mountain lions may be killed under certain circumstances:

(6) Mountain lions may be killed without prior permission if they are attacking or killing livestock or domestic animals, or if they are threatening human safety. Any mountain lion killed under this rule must be reported immediately to an agent of the Department and the intact mountain lion carcass, including pelt, must be surrendered to the agent within twenty-four (24) hours.

Enforcing Mountain Lion-Related Regulations

The growing appearance of mountain lions in Missouri is certainly a polarizing issue. Many citizens fear for their personal safety, as well as that of their pets and livestock. On the other hand, some citizens demand unconditional protection of mountain lions. The Department does not condone the indiscriminate killing of mountain lions, but we understand the need to allow people to protect livestock and human safety if they are threatened. Anytime a mountain lion is killed in Missouri, Conservation Agents conduct a complete and thorough investigation of the incident. Conservation Agents will consider the totality of the circumstances of each individual case to determine whether the killing was necessary.

Details From the Wildlife Code of Missouri

3 CSR 10-4.110 General Prohibition; Applications

(1) No bird, fish, amphibian, reptile, mammal or other form of wildlife, including their homes, dens, nests, and eggs in Missouri shall be molested, pursued, taken, hunted, trapped, tagged, marked, enticed, poisoned, killed, transported, stored, served, bought, sold, given away, accepted, possessed, propagated, imported, exported or liberated to the wild in any manner, number, part, parcel or quantity, at any time, except as specifically permitted by these rules and any laws consistent with Article IV, sections 40-46 of the Constitution of Missouri.

3 CSR 10-4.130 Owner May Protect Property; Public Safety

(1) Subject to federal regulations governing the protection of property from migratory birds, any wildlife except deer, turkey, black bears, mountain lions and any endangered species which beyond reasonable doubt is damaging property may be captured or killed by the owner of the property being damaged, or by his/her representative, at any time and without permit, but only by shooting or trapping except by written authorization of the director or, for avian control, of his/her designee. Wildlife may be so controlled only on the owner’s property to prevent further damage.

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