Few hunts are as exciting as chasing mountain lions with well-trained hounds! New Mexico has no shortage of lions and they can be hunted year-round. Cougars are found from the low, 5,000’ elevation juniper country to the 10,000’ high, pine and fir-covered mountains, the same as bears. A mature tom can have a home range that covers up to 200 square miles. Snowy conditions are the best for hunting cougars. Many hunters that want to snow hunt are on standby. When a good snowstorm hits, we alert the hunter that we’ve begun looking for tracks. If we come across a fresh track, we’ll alert the hunter, and he travels to the hunting area. Dry ground hunting is the true mark of a good houndsman. The hunt is more challenging, and the harvest seems that much sweeter. Big Horn Outfitters offers both types of hunts.
New Mexico is divided into 18 cougar management zones, enabling NMDGF to better manage regional cougar populations. Each zone has two harvest limits:
1) the total number of cougars that may be harvested (total limit); and
2) the number of female cougars that may be harvested (female limit).
Harvest limits for each cougar management zone are listed annually in the hunting proclamation. Cougar management zones will close, and hunting will cease when harvests reach 90% of the total limit, 90% of the female limit, or when the season has ended, whichever occurs first.
Big Horn Outfitters hunts lions in Zones J and K. Units 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, and 24 are contained within these zones. The cougar hunt runs year-round, beginning April 1 and ending March 31. Any weapon may be used to hunt lions. We recommend a short-barreled rifle like a Remington Model 7 or even an AR-type rifle. Shots are generally at close range, so if you bring a scoped rifle, bring one that has a low power scope, such as a fixed 4-power, or a variable scope with a low bottom end, like the popular 3-9 power scopes. You may choose to hunt with a handgun. Bring one chambered in .38 Special or larger.
Lion tags can be obtained over the counter from licensed vendors, from NMDGF offices, over the phone at 1-888-248-6866, or online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. If planning to hunt within 14 days of online or telephone purchase, hunters may be required to obtain tags at a license vendor or NMDGF office, unless the E-Tag option is chosen. Cougar licenses must be purchased two calendar days prior to hunting. The bag limit for lions is two. No spotted kitten(s) or females accompanied by a spotted kitten(s) may be taken.
1-on-1 5-day Mountain Lion Hunt With Dogs - $6,000.
2-on-1 5-day Mountain Lion Hunt With Dogs- $5,000 per hunter. (2-on-1 is two hunters and one guide.)