DENVER (KDVR) — Former Denver Broncos player Derek Wolfe recently killed a large mountain lion. When it comes to hunting mountain lions in Colorado, there are many rules.

There are two mountain lion seasons, one is in the fall and the other is during the spring.

The fall season runs from Nov. 28, 2022, to March 31, 2023. The spring season is from April 1-31 for certain game management units.

Rules for hunting mountain lions

Before a mountain lion license can be issued, hunters are required to have a mountain lion education certificate issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Hunters will only receive the certificate after completing CPW’s mountain lion education and identification course.

Cost for a license

A hunter between the ages of 18-64 is required to buy an annual habitat stamp, which is $10.59. The cost of a license is $52.60 for residents of Colorado and $358.23 for non-residents.

Before you can hunt a specific unit, you must check the available lion harvest limit report after 5 p.m. the day before you plan to hunt to make sure the specific unit is open, CPW said.

What happens after a mountain lion is killed?

Here is what a hunter must do if they successfully kill a mountain lion, according to CPW:

  • Within five days of harvest, hunters must personally bring their lion to a CPW office or officer for inspection and seal
    • A mandatory check report must be completed during inspection
    • Inspections and seals are free 
    • Seals must stay attached until hide is tanned
    • Hides cannot be frozen 
    • Lions or parts cannot be taken out of Colorado unless inspected and sealed 
    • Lion hides or heads without seals become state property
  • Hunters must contact a CPW office within 48 hours of a lion kill and give their name, CID number, date and unit of the kill, and sex of the lion

CPW also requires hunters to provide a collection of a small tooth from the lion so it can be analyzed to determine its age.

According to CPW mountain lion data from 2021-2022, 486 mountain lions were killed in Colorado during the fall and spring hunting seasons.