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WDFW - Licensing Division
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501-1091


Cougar Management Removal Permit Program

2016 Cougar Management Removals

Thank you for your interest in this program. After review of the complaint data and associated response to those complaints, the Department has determined at the present time no GMUs warrant the need for cougar conflict management removals (PSCR) for 2016. Please check again for the next opportunities and updates for the 2017 time period.

Permit issuance procedure

  • To be eligible for a cougar management removal permit (permit), the participant must be a Washington resident dog hunter (i.e., owns and hunts with dogs that are capable of detecting, tracking and treeing a cougar) who possesses a valid big game license with cougar as a species option. The permit holder must use dogs while participating in a cougar management removal.
  • Individuals eligible for participation in a cougar management removal will be randomly selected from the participant list.
  • This is a public safety cougar removal administrated by a WDFW designated coordinator. Individuals on the participant list will be contacted on an as-needed basis to conduct removals in portions of GMUs. Not all individuals on the participant list will be contacted in a given year.

Season, Quotas, and Participation

  • Cougar management removal(s) would be conducted between Feb 15 and March 31, 2016 in selected areas of game management units designated by the director to address a confirmed human-cougar safety incident, or confirmed livestock or pet depredation.
  • Cougar management removal(s) will be based on a harvest guideline system established in WAC 232-28-297, where permit holders may hunt cougar until the hunt area harvest guideline has been met and the director has closed the cougar late hunting season or March 31, whichever is first.
  • It is each cougar hunter's responsibility to verify if the cougar hunting season is open or closed in hunt areas with a harvest guideline.  Cougar hunters can verify if the season is open or closed by calling the toll free cougar hunting hotline (1-866-364-4868) or visiting this website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/cougar/. The hotline and website will be updated weekly beginning January 1, 2016.
  • No more than four total individuals may participate per cougar management removal, including the permit holder(s). Only the permit holder, whose name appears on the permit, may take a cougar.

Hunt Areas

  • Cougar management removals will occur in a portion of the Game Management Units (GMUs) identified each year. Hunting cougar with the aid of dogs outside of the removal area is unlawful.

General requirements

  • A valid big game hunting license which includes cougar as a species option is required to hunt cougar.
  • It is unlawful to kill or possess spotted cougar kittens or adult cougars accompanied by spotted kittens. Individuals selected for a cougar management removal(s)permit may take one cougar per permit.
  • Any person who takes a cougar must notify the department within twenty-four hours of kill (excluding legal state holidays) and provide the hunter's name, date and location of kill, and sex of animal. The raw pelt of a cougar must be sealed by an authorized department employee within seventy-two hours of the notification of kill. Any person who takes a cougar must present the cougar skull, in such a manner that teeth and biological samples can be extracted, to an authorized department employee at the time of sealing.

For more information contact: Wildlife Program – Wildlife Conflict Section, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501, or (360) 902-2515, or by e-mailing at wildthing@dfw.wa.gov