Mountain Lion/Cougar

Photo: IDFG

LEWISTON - The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be offering a new trial opportunity for mountain lion hunting with hounds on Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area, south of Lewiston. Starting December 2nd, hound hunters will have the opportunity to check out a key that allows them to access routes that are located behind locked gates. These routes are normally closed to protect wintering big game and other wildlife. However, during the mountain lion hound hunting season, December 2 to March 31st, hound hunters can check out a key to one of five routes in the area, shown on the map in this story. Maps can also be picked up the Lewiston Regional office.

IDFG Mountain Lion Hound Hunting route Map

Map: IDFG

Participants may reserve the key for their specified route up to two weeks in advance and can retain the key for up to 4 days at a time. Keys must be picked up in person at the Lewiston Regional Office during normal business hours. Keys can be dropped off after hours.

IDFG says the main goal of this proposal is to increase harvest of mountain lions in the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area. In order to participate, each hunter must have a valid hunting license, valid lion tag(s) and a valid hound hunter permit.

Access behind gates is limited to only the routes designated on the map. Off road use is not permitted and will result in termination of participation in the program, says IDFG.

ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles will be the only vehicles permitted on the routes to reduce road and resource damage. A mandatory effort report is required and must be turned into the Lewiston Regional Office within three days of returning the key.

The effort report is in addition to the typical lion harvest check in. Idaho Fish and Game will use data collected this season to determine the future of this trial program. Anyone seekign more information can call 208-799-5010.