Two Iowa Hunters Kill 'Rare' Mountain Lion While Hunting Coyotes Because Mountain Lions Have 'No Legal Status' in Iowa

Zack Love

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed that two "lawfully licensed hunters" shot and killed a beautiful female mountain lion in Johnson County. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that the "rare mountain lion never caused safety issues for residents or livestock." Mountain lions have "no legal status" in Iowa, so there is no law against killing them.
A mountain lionPhoto byZach KeyonUnsplash

Residents and hunters have been helping the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) keep track of a female mountain lion, that weighed 116 pounds. There is no need for further tracking of this mountain lion. It has been eliminated by two Iowa hunters looking for coyotes.

KCRG-TV9 reported that "the mountain lion was shot by two lawfully licensed hunters who were out at night calling for coyotes west of Swisher."

Iowa DNR said "it had been aware of the mountain lion prior to the shooting, but she was seldom if ever seen by people in the area and never caused safety issues for residents or livestock." (Source: KCRG-TV9)

Field & Stream: "Two Hunters in Iowa Bag Rare Mountain Lion While Hunting Coyotes"

Field & Stream reported that two hunters searching for coyotes bag a "rare mountain lion" (in their direct words). The sources are linked throughout this article for any skeptics.

According to Field & Stream, when a mountain lion comes into Iowa, it is "likely dispersing individuals from resident populations of neighboring states such as Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota." To a lawfully, licensed hunter, they are fair game. (Source: Field & Stream)

This female was seen on various hunting cams, and the photos (as seen below in July 2022) were shared with the Iowa DNR. It was taken out over the weekend of February 3-5, 2023.
Mountain lion in IowaPhoto byIowa Dept. of Natural Resources

Mountain Lions Have Long Been 'Extirpated' from Iowa

According to Field & Stream, the mountain lion is "native to the state but was extirpated (meaning the population was "wiped out" in the state) before the era of modern wildlife management."

The Iowa DNR says, “Mountain lions have no legal wildlife status in Iowa. That means that they can be taken and possessed by anyone at any time as long as legal methods and means are used to take the animal.” (Source: Field & Stream)

Since mountain lions are rare in the state of Iowa, why doesn't Iowa take a more proactive approach to its wildlife management of this animal?

Other states do this. For example, in Alabama, there are no known bears that live in the state, but sometimes a bear will come over from Georgia. People are encouraged to let it be.

Should states like Iowa do something more to protect rare mountain lions that are not affecting humans or livestock?

Sounds like they could do better to foster native animals that have been extirpated.

Please share this article on social media so others can be informed.


KCRG Staff. "Iowa DNR confirms mountain lion shot, killed in Johnson County." KCRG News. 3 February 2023.

Marshall, Sage. "Two Hunters in Iowa Bag Rare Mountain Lion While Hunting Coyotes." Field & Stream. 6 February 2023.

From the Author: The Facts are Above. An Opinion is Shared Below

As stated, all sources have been cited for the facts in the article above. It is not the author's opinion that the mountain lion reported on was "rare." It was a quote by Field & Stream.

Please note that the author is not against hunting, and is for effective wildlife management.

Opinion: Allowing a "native" species to be wiped out of a state is not responsible for wildlife management, in my opinion. However, each state has the right to do what they wish with its wildlife and resources.

The author supports the 2nd Amendment, has hunted in the past and has written other articles on hunting. The author does not support the senseless elimination and "extirpation" of all predators in their natural environment. There are states where feral hogs are breeding at a rate that is damaging natural ecosystems in states like Texas.

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Zack covers interesting and inspiring news stories that impact local communities. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA.

Huntsville, AL

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