Hunting and pursuing cougars in Utah
2019–2020 Utah Cougar Hunting Guidebook
The current Utah Cougar Guidebook summarizes the laws and rules that govern furbearer hunting and trapping in Utah. The guidebook is designed to be a convenient quick-reference document for furbearer hunting and trapping regulations. You can use the references in the guidebook to search for the detailed statute or administrative rule that underpins the guidebook summary.
View guidebook updates
— Important changes and corrections made after the guidebook was printed.
Notice of additional hunting season
Change to the 2019–2020 Utah Cougar Proclamation of the Wildlife Board for the Taking of Cougar. This order opens a "spot-and-stalk'" cougar hunting season for Fall 2020 with the following restrictions: :
- The cougar permit is restricted to "spot-and-stalk" hunting only; dogs may not be used to pursue or harvest a cougar under this permit.
- Season dates shall open on August 1, 2020 and close on December 31, 2020.
- A hunter may use any legal weapon to harvest a cougar with a "spot-and-stalk" permit.
- "Spot-and-stalk" cougar permits may be purchased for a fee of $30 at any Utah Division of Wildlife Resources office, license agent or online.
- A hunter may only purchase one cougar permit and may only harvest one cougar with the permit.
- A hunter may acquire one additional cougar permit of any kind (e.g. harvest objective or limited entry) in addition to a "spot-and-stalk" cougar permit.
- The "spot-and-stalk" cougar permit is valid on any unit listed in the current Cougar Guidebook approved by the Utah Wildlife Board.
- The three-day waiting period to begin hunting is waived for this "spot-and-stalk" cougar permit.
- Cougars harvested during this "spot-and-stalk" season, using a "spot-and-stalk" permit, will not be counted toward unit quotas.
- A hunter must report and check-in any cougar harvested to a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources office within 72 hours of harvest.
Hunters must follow all other laws governing license and permit eligibility and the take of cougar. Drought and heavy winter conditions in 2017 through 2019 resulted in significant declines in mule deer populations. On certain units, mule deer population recovery has been impeded by high cougar populations. This additional cougar season is necessary to comply with statutory requirements to provide additional cougar hunting opportunities during fall big game hunting seasons and to take actions that support mule deer population recovery. This change is effective immediately.
Change to the 2019–2020 Utah Cougar Proclamation of the Wildlife Board for the Taking of Cougar. I, Michal Fowlks, by authority granted in Section 23-14-8 of the Wildlife Resources code of Utah declare an emergency amendment to the 2019–2020 Utah Cougar Guidebook. The following has been amended:
- Chalk Creek: AMEND the harvest objective to 30 and reopen the unit.
- Ogden: AMEND the harvest objective to 24 and reopen the unit.
- Beaver, West: AMEND Beaver, Mineral Mountains to consolidate with the Beaver, West unit. Reopen Beaver, West unit with harvest objective of 14.
- Box Elder, Desert: AMEND the harvest objective to 18 and reopen the unit.
- Cache: AMEND harvest objective to 38.
- Nine Mile, North: AMEND harvest objective to 38.
- Book Cliffs, East: AMEND harvest objective to 44.
- Morgan-South Rich: AMEND split unit to allow for a total harvest of 23.
- Beaver, East: AMEND split unit to allow for a total harvest of 23.
- Monroe: AMEND split unit to allow for a total harvest of 23.
- Plateau, Boulder: AMEND split unit to allow for a total harvest of 24.
Drought and heavy winter conditions in 2017 through 2019 resulted in significant declines in mule deer populations. On certain units, recovery of mule deer populations has been impeded by high cougar populations. The units with emergency permit changes have exhibited deer population declines of 15% or greater and have either already filled their harvest objective for cougar or are expected to based upon previous harvest success. Reductions in cougar populations on these units and at these levels will facilitate mule deer herd recovery while providing sustainable management of both predator and prey populations.
This change is effective immediately and will remain in effect throughout the 2019–2020 Cougar hunt seasons.