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OKLAHOMA LAW AFFECTING LIONS

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Oklahoma.


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.

    USE THE TABS TO THE LEFT TO EXPLORE:
  • Return to the portal page for Oklahoma.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Oklahoma.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Oklahoma.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Oklahoma.

  • Cougar science and research in Oklahoma.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Species Status


Mountain lions used to roam the state of Oklahoma, but were eradicated in the 19th century. As European settlers moved west, they killed off all of the mountain lions within the state, as well as most of the deer, mountain lions' main prey. Despite this absence, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation decided to list mountain lions as a game species with a closed season in 1957. There is currently no resident population of mountain lions, and even with hundreds of reports of mountain lion sightings, only 11 have been confirmed.

More information about their protected game status can be found in the state code (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 29, Section 5-411).

Visit the Oklahoma state website for further details.

The Legislature


Oklahoma is bicameral that is made of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each member is elected directly by the people of Oklahoma. The House consists of 101 members serving two year terms, and the Senate consists of 48 members with four year terms. Oklahoma is a predominantly Republican state.

Visit the Oklahoma State Legislature website for further details.

State Law


The state of Oklahoma has strict laws governing the how people are allowed to behave with respect to wildlife. Antelope, moose, whitetail and mule deer, bears, elk, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, wild turkeys, and mountain lions each have regulations guiding their protections. Mountain lions are considered game species, as such, they are protected from being hunted, chased, captured, shot, shot at, wounded, taken, killed, or slaughtered. The only exceptions are for mountain lions that have committed a depredation or if the person performing the activities is authorized under the Oklahoma Cervidae Act.


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...

Oklahoma Deoartment of Wildlife Conservation.

Commonly abbreviated as: ODWC

Richard Hatcher, Director

Main Office:
2145 NE 36th St
OKC, OK 73111
(405) 521-3851
ispa@state.nm.us


Wildlife Biologist
Jerrod Davis
Jerrod.Davis@odwc.ok.gov
(405) 590-2583



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

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.
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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.