LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters have until Sept. 28 to apply for a 2019 mountain lion permit. Up to 640 permits will be issued via lottery by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, which has received 435 applications as of Sept. 23.
Hunting will be allowed only in the Pine Ridge Unit of northwestern Nebraska, which has an established population that can sustain a harvest. Hunters may apply for a permit in either of two subunits: the South Subunit (south of U.S. Hwy. 20) or the North Subunit (north of U.S. Hwy. 20). A person may not submit more than one application per calendar year for a mountain lion permit.
A drawing will allocate as many as 320 permits to each subunit, and only Nebraska residents can receive permits. As of Sept. 23, Game and Parks has accepted 242 applications in the South Subunit and 193 in the North Subunit.
Public land will be open to hunting in the South Subunit, but public land will be closed to hunting in the North Subunit. Landowners in the North Subunit are encouraged to apply in that area, and applicants who have not arranged opportunities to hunt on private land in the North Subunit are encouraged to apply in the South Subunit.
Mail applications must be received in Game and Parks’ Lincoln headquarters by 5 p.m. and online applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 28. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply online or download an application at outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting. A $15 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted with each application.
Up to eight mountain lions may be harvested in 2019, with up to four of those being females. In each of the two subunits, once four mountain lions, or two females, have been harvested in that subunit, the season in that subunit will close.
Dogs may not be used during the mountain lion season, which will run Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2019. If the limits and/or sub-limits have not been reached in a subunit by Feb. 28, an auxiliary season, allowing the use of dogs, will occur.
A harvest will allow the mountain lion population to remain resilient and healthy, while halting growth or moderately reducing the population size. This will reduce the population density in the Pine Ridge to one similar to that of other states that allow mountain lion hunting.
To read more mountain lion hunting regulations, go to outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting.