New Mexico Now Requires Cougar Identification Course for Hunters

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Beginning April 1, New Mexico will require all cougar hunters to successfully complete the Department of Game and Fish online cougar identification class before hunting cougars.

The mandatory course is designed to help hunters distinguish between female and male cougars, with a goal of reducing the female cougar harvest. Cougar licenses can be purchased over the counter at Department offices or license vendors, or online at Licenses for the 2011-12 season are valid only with possession of a valid cougar identification course number, available upon successful completion of the online course.

For more information about the cougar identification course and cougar hunting in New Mexico, please visit, or call (505) 476-8038.


niceshot_smitty's picture

I have took the test and

I have took the test and passed with flying colors.  the test is pretty much can you tell the deferents between male and female lions and young and old.  Yes it is online takes maybe 5mins.  I just hope this is not a every year thing.  It would be best if done every 3 years maybe.   

hunter25's picture

I can see where this would be

I can see where this would be beneficial for everyone to see. As has been noted it can be very difficult to tell the difference between the younger ones. In an older tom the difference becomes much more apparent with the head size being much larger. But if size is all you have to go with it could be tough, fortunately any guides or houndsmen usually have seen dozens of them and have a very good idea just from the track before they even get a look.

AlpineClimber's picture

I hope there is an online version of the course.

I would be great to do this via a webinar type class or sesssion.  Its shameful to say, but I've harvested 2 Toms and been on several hunts and still have a hard time telling the younger Toms from a female.