Hunting and pursuing cougars in Utah
The Utah Cougar Guidebook summarizes the laws and rules that govern hunting and pursuing cougars in Utah.
View guidebook updates
— Important changes and corrections made after the guidebook was printed.
Page 19: The "Changes to trail camera regulations" informational box was updated to include the full Utah code and administrative rules citations that now apply: Utah code § 23A-5-307 and Utah Admin. Rules R657-5-7, R657-33-9 and R657-10-9. Additionally, the content was edited to clarify that the rule regarding the sale or purchase of trail camera (or other non-handheld device) media for the take or attempted take of protected wildlife was a 2022 Utah Wildlife Board decision.
The digital edition of this guidebook has been updated with these changes.
License fee changes July 1, 2023: The Utah Legislature approved several proposed changes to Utah's fishing and hunting license fees, which went into effect on July 1, 2023. Please see the full list of license and permit fee changes that now apply since this guidebook was published.
This is the first fee increase for Utah residents since 2014. The DWR is currently 92% self-funded through license and permit fees, and receives only limited funding from the state's General Fund, which is appropriated for specific issues that impact all Utahns.
In March 2023, the Utah Legislature made several changes to the rules regarding cougar hunting. Beginning May 3, 2023, a person may hunt cougars with any legal weapon if they have a valid hunting or combination license, provided they comply with all rules set forth in Utah Admin. Rule R657-10 (taking cougar) and in the updated digital edition of the 2023 Utah Cougar Guidebook.
These changes — as well as updates to the state's trail camera regulations — have resulted in a substantial edit of the entire guidebook. Hunters should disregard the print version of the current guidebook and refer to the digital version, posted here.
The Utah Legislature also changed the cougar regulatory cycle to run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. This guidebook covers rules that go into effect May 3, 2023 and will run through Dec. 31, 2023. Print and digital editions of the 2024 Utah Cougar Guidebook will be available in December 2023.