texas mountain lion
Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Texas Seeks Input for Banning Canned Mountain Lion Hunts

Although you can hunt mountain lions in Texas, the proposal would just prohibit canned mountain lion hunts.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department opened a public commenting period on proposals for prohibiting canned hunts and implementing trapping standards for mountain lions.

According to Monday's announcement, Texas wildlife officials drafted the proposals in response to the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which Congress passed in 2022 to list big cats as a "prohibited wildlife species" under federal law.

The act, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, outlaws the ownership and breeding of big cats like lions and tigers as pets and prohibits exhibitors from allowing the public to interact with them and their cubs.

Although officials do not have an accurate count on their populations, they say that mountain lions are neither endangered nor threatened. On TPW's website, mountain lions are listed as a "nongame species," meaning a hunting license is required but there are no closed seasons or bag limits for hunters.

In the announcement, officials say that state law does not prohibit canned hunts — which means capturing animals and then releasing them for the purpose of hunting — but the department is proposing to ban the practice for mountain lions.

Additionally, the proposed regulations regarding trapping mountain lions would require that trappers kill mountain lions within 36 hours of being caught in a trap or snare.

According to the announcement, public comments will be accepted until May 22, 2024, and they will be reviewed at a hearing on May 23, 2024. The public will also be allowed to provide testimony at that time.