Black Bear, Mountain Lion Seasons Open

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Black bear and mountain lion seasons opened in most Idaho game management units August 30, with others to open September 15. They close at various dates, and in some units lion seasons close after a certain number of female lions have been killed. To learn which units are closed, check the Fish and Game website or call 1-800-323-4334.

Second bear and lion tags are available for nonresident hunters in part of units 10 and 16 and all of units 12, 16A, 17, 19, 20, 20A, 26 and 27. Units 10 and 12 are part of an ongoing study to see if reductions in the number of bears and lions will help build elk herds. In the other units, the price of nonresident bear and lion tags is reduced to $31.50. The prices were dropped to encourage harvest in these units, which have a surplus of bears and lions and where nonresident harvest has been traditionally low. The daily bag limit on bears and lions in these areas is two.

Resident or nonresident hunters may buy a deer or elk tag at nonresident prices out of the pool of unsold nonresident tags. The deer tag may be used to tag a deer, black bear or mountain lion.

Bait is allowed in most units for hunting black bears only. The required $11.50 permit is available only at Fish and Game offices.

Bears and lions may be hunted with hounds if the resident hunter has the $11.50 permit. There are a limited number of nonresident permits at $128.50 but they have sold out for this year. The permit is required for any owner of pursuit dogs, anyone in control of dogs during a hunt, or anyone who harvests a black bear or mountain lion with the use of dogs. Clients of outfitters who have a permit are not required to get a permit of their own.

The law requires hunters to remove and care for the meat of bears, but not mountain lions.