Cougar Hunting Seasons and CMAs

Since the 2019-2020 winter cougar season, Environment and Protected Areas has been using voluntary email or text harvest reporting. This process has lead to a reduction in over-quota harvest from an average of 11 per year for the period of 2016-2018 to only 5 per year for 2019-2021.  This is a 55 percent decrease in over-quota harvest by allowing the closure of seasons on weekends and during the Christmas office closure.

If a cougar is harvested on Saturday or Sunday, or during the Christmas office closure, we ask the hunter to submit their name, sex of the cat, date of kill, and WMU the cougar was taken in via email to AEP.CougarRegistration@gov.ab.ca or by text to (780) 218-7275.

Mandatory cougar registration is still in place as it has always been. Due to staffing changes, we advise you to contact the Government office where you intend to register your harvest to ensure they are available, or to make alternate arrangements to get the cat registered.

Cougar hunting season status summary

Data updated: January 22, 2023 @ 4:26 PM

Cougar
Management
Area
Male
Quota
Female
Quota
Male Season Status Female Season Status
1 2 1 Closed Open
2 2 2 Open Open
3 3 2 Open Open
4 3 1 Open Open
5 3 3 Open Open
6 1 1 Open Open
7 2 1 Open Open
8 2 2 Closed Open
9 2 1 Closed Open
10 2 1 Open Open
11 3 1 Closed Closed
12 4 3 Closed Open
13 2 1 Open Open
14 2 1 Open Open
15 2 1 Open Open
16 3 1 Open Open
17 2 1 Open Open
18 2 1 Open Open
19 1 1 Closed Open
20 1 1 Closed Closed
21 3 2 Closed Closed
22 2 2 Closed Open
23 3 2 Open Open
24 2 1 Open Open
25 1 1 Open Open
26 2 1 Open Open
27 1 1 Open Closed
28 2 1 Open Open
29 1 1 Closed Closed
30 1 1 Closed Open
31 1 1 Open Open
32 1 1 Open Open

Fall cougar hunting season

Cougars may be hunted by holders of a Resident Cougar Licence from September 1 – March 31 in the following Wildlife Management Units:

  • 100-166
  • 200-260
  • 357-360
  • 500-504
  • 506
  • 508
  • 514
  • 518-544

From August 25 to November 30, cougars may be hunted by holders of a Resident Cougar Licence in WMUs 410, and 412 to 446.

The use of dogs is prohibited during this season, and hunters may harvest one cougar of either sex. No quotas exist for this season.

Winter cougar hunting season

From December 1 to March 31, cougars may be hunted by holders of a resident cougar licence, non-resident cougar licence, or cougar special licence in the following Cougar Management Areas:

CMA WMUs CMA WMUs CMA WMUs
1 300 12 326, 328, 429 23 344, 346
2 302, 400 13 412, 414, 416, 417, 418 24 347, 349
3 303, 306, 308, 402 14 420, 422 25 350, 351
4 304, 305 15 426, 428, 430 26 354
5 404, 406 16 432, 434, 436, 437 27 355, 445, 446
6 408, 410 17 438, 439 28 356
7 310, 312 18 440, 442, 444 29 505, 507
8 314, 316 19 352, 353, 441 30 509, 510
9 318, 320 20 334, 336 31 511, 516
10 322, 332 21 337, 338, 348 32 512, 515, 517
11 324, 330 22 339, 340, 342

Hunters must call the cougar hotline at 1-800-661-3729 (toll-free) prior to hunting each day to determine which CMAs are open.

Quotas for male and female cougars

There is a separate quota for male and female cougars in each CMA. The season in each area closes independently for each sex when the quota has been filled.

Quotas are updated periodically with the objective of a stable older age structured population. Reports are produced every three years to summarize cougar harvest and explain any changes to quotas.

For holders of a cougar special licence (outfitted non-resident or non-resident alien hunters), quotas do not apply and the season remains open for either sex until March 31.

Related information


Updated: Nov 24, 2022