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Mountain lions in Iowa may be hunted with almost no restrictions.

In the box below you will find all the governing state statutes, mountain lion legal status, state laws, information about the state legislature, initiative and referendum processes, and the state wildlife agency, mountain lion management plans, mountain lion hunting laws, depredation laws, and other regulations as appropriate.

  • Return to the portal page for Iowa.

  • The status of puma concolor in Iowa.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Iowa.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Iowa.

  • Cougar science and research in Iowa.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Iowa Cougar Laws and Regulations

Generally, treatment of wildlife in the State of Iowa is governed by the Iowa Code – the state’s collection of laws passed by its legislature. Since our summary below may not be completely up to date, you should be sure to review the most current law for the State of Iowa.

You can check the statutes directly at a state-managed website
These statutes are searchable. Be sure to use the keyword “cougar” to accomplish your searches. The phrase “dangerous wild animal” may also be useful in your searches.


Iowa’s regulations specific to mountain lions can be found in the Agriculture and Land Stewardship Department section of the Iowa Administrative Code – the state’s collection of all its agencies' policies. The rules in this section are established by the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. The Natural Resource Commission section of the Iowa Administrative Code contains regulations on how animals may be legally hunted and trapped throughout the state. Although mountain lions are not mentioned specifically, mountain lion hunting and trapping are still governed by the state’s general regulations. These regulations are reviewed and approved by the Iowa Natural Resource Commission.

The Legislature

The Iowa General Assembly is the state’s bicameral law-making body. The lower chamber – the House of Representatives – consists of 100 members who serve 2-year terms. The upper chamber – the Senate – is made up of 50 members who serve 4-year terms. The state maintains this webpage to help you find and contact your state legislators.

The Iowa Constitution requires the General Assembly to convene annually on the second Monday of January. The General Assembly may call itself into a special session by submitting a written request signed by two-thirds of the members of each chamber to each chamber’s presiding officer. The governor may also call special sessions of the General Assembly. The state constitution does not limit the duration of either regular or special sessions.

Click here to visit the scorecard's website...

Environmental Scorecard

League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters' scorecard considers the State Legislature's environmental records since 1971. It quantifies the environmental votes of each individual legislator — an important first step in considering accountability — and provides critical qualitative assessments as well. The scorecard will help you to know your legislator before you write a letter in support of cougars.

Click here to view our Activist Guide...

Becoming a Mountain Lion Activist

There are lots of opportunities to take action!

Are you new to mountain lion activism? You want to change your local environment to improve it for cougars... but you don't know how to start. You may feel like you are all alone... but it takes just one person to change the attitudes and lifestyles of hundreds of others. You don't need to belong to a group. It doesn't take special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about cougars to want to help them survive. You've already done the hard part, now let us help you with the next step.

Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Commonly abbreviated as: IADNR

?, Director

Main Office:


Wildlife Biologist

Please write to the director and express your concern for lions in Iowa.

Thank the agency when they take steps to protect our state's cougars. When they fall short of expectations, politely ask for policy reform and more officer training.


Copyright 1988-2018. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.