Mountain Lions

Where can I get more information about mountain lions in Nebraska?

What constitutes a confirmed sighting of a mountain lion?

Physical evidence, such as fur, tracks, scat or photos must be used to confirm sightings. Report any observations to your nearest Game and Parks office or call 402-471-0641.

What should I do if I encounter a mountain lion?

Do not approach it. Give the animal an escape route. Back away slowly, and do not turn your back or run. Raise your arms to make yourself appear larger. Pick up young children to keep them from running. If attacked, fight back with hands, stones, etc.

Has Game and Parks brought mountain lions into the state in an effort to control deer populations?


What do mountain lions eat?

Deer are the choice prey but mountain lions will also prey on elk, bighorn sheep, small game, porcupines and a variety of other species.

Have mountain lions ever attacked livestock in Nebraska?

We have yet to document a domestic animal that showed diagnostic evidence of a mountain lion attack. However, carcasses often deteriorate to a point where it is impossible to verify a cause of death. Mountain lions are known to occasionally kill or injure livestock in other states. It is legal to kill a mountain lion that attacks or attempts to attack livestock.

Have mountain lions ever attacked humans in Nebraska?

There is no documentation of that happening. Mountain lion attacks have been rare in other states but do occur. It is legal to kill a mountain lion that threatens or attacks people.

When are mountain lions most active?

Mountain lions are most active from dusk to dawn, but will also move during the day.

In what habitat am I most likely to find a mountain lion?

Mountain lions occur in a variety of habitats, but prefer rougher, wooded areas. Prey abundance, especially deer, is another essential component of mountain lion habitat.

Where do mountain lions live in Nebraska?

They live and are known to reproduce in the Pine Ridge, which has the state’s largest area of suitable habitat, as well as in the Niobrara River Valley east of Valentine. Females have been documented near Scottsbluff and the Wildcat Hills. Mountain lions can and have appeared in all areas of the state. The first kitten was documented in the Pine Ridge in 2007; reproduction has been documented there every year since then.

How did mountain lions return to Nebraska?

The first modern confirmation of a mountain lion in Nebraska was 1991. They migrated – and are still migrating – from Wyoming and South Dakota. The Nebraska population is not an isolated island population. It is connected to the greater mountain lion population that spans the Mountain West. Immigration provides genetic exchange and new individuals. There are mountain lion populations and seasons in Wyoming and South Dakota.

Are mountain lions native to Nebraska?

Yes, but they were extirpated by the 1890s.

Is it legal to kill a mountain lion in self-defense?

Yes, it is legal to kill a mountain lion that threatens people or attacks or attempts to attack livestock.

How are the proceeds from the sale and auction of mountain lion permits used?

The proceeds are used to support mountain lion research and management in Nebraska.

What is the relationship between the Commission and the Legislature regarding mountain lion hunting?

In 2012, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill that gave Game and Parks the ability to create a mountain lion hunting season. With the passage of that law, Game and Parks was provided direction from the legislature that it was time to begin managing mountain lions as game animals with a hunting season.Following the direction provided by the legislature, Game and Parks collected information to estimate mountain lion populations in the Pine Ridge and to understand the capacity of the habitat to support mountain lions statewide. With that information, NGPC felt it was time to start managing mountain lions as game animals in the state. After the 2014 seasons, NGPC will evaluate the program and harvest to make recommendations for following years, just as it does for other game species. If the legislature changes statutes, the hunting and management of mountain lions will follow any new direction provided.

What is Nebraska's mountain lion population?

Although mountain lions can occasionally be found anywhere in Nebraska, the only area with a population estimate is in the Pine Ridge. Research suggests that the Pine Ridge has habitat suitable to support 22 to 27 mountain lions. Analyses of genetic samples collected during an intensive survey in 2012 suggested about 22 mountain lions were present in the Pine Ridge at that time. The presence of mountain lions OUTSIDE the Pine Ridge has been confirmed 105 times, but one animal can account for multiple confirmations.

Is hunting mountain lions during open seasons currently legal in Nebraska?

Yes. Mountain lions are a game animal and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission intends to manage them with a limited harvest. See the Mountain Lion Hunting Season Information Sheet.

Help Desk

Once I put a request into the Commission's Help Desk, how long will it take until I get assistance?

The Help Desk enters all requests into help desk tracking software. All entries are handled on a priority basis.

I'm having problems with my computer, what should I do?

For all computer issues, contact the Commission’s Help Desk at (402) 471-6019 or email to

I've tried resetting my own email password and it won't accept the new password I create.

Email passwords must be at least 8 characters long and meet three of four criteria including upper case letter, lower case letter, number, symbol. Also, you cannot use any part of your name. For example, if your name is Joe Smith, your password cannot be Smith8322.

Should I shut off my computer when I leave?

Computers on the STN domain should be left turned on Monday through Thursday and can be shut down before the weekend. This allows computers to receive necessary Windows updates as well as new virus definitions. These normally run any time between Monday and Thursday. It is not harmful if an employee is gone for an extended period and the computer is left on in order to receive these important updates.

What is the stone domain?

The stone domain (spelled STN) is the State of Nebraska network. Game and Parks Commission offices currently on this network include the Lincoln HQ office, Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium, Alliance, Environmental Trust, Kearney, Mahoney State Park, Platte River State Park, Nebraska Outdoor Education Center, Norfolk and North Platte. The network includes shared storage (including back-up), managed virus protection and Windows updates.

How do I reset my email password myself?

Log into Outlook web access by putting “” into your browser’s address bar. Log into your email and in the upper right-hand corner there is an options button. Click on that and choose “Change Your Password.” It will ask for your old password. Then you will need to select a new password, verify it and hit the save button. Once accepted, this is your new email password. If you log into the STN domain, this is also your computer log-in password.

I've tried three times to get into E-1 and now I think I'm locked out. What do I do?

Go to this link. You can also contact Staci Anderson in Human Resources for assistance at or call her at (402) 471-5496.

Employee Outreach Program

How do I add an event to the system?

Contact IT for information on entering an event.

Can I just show up to work at an event without registering in advance?

To receive credit and fulfill the requirements of the Employee Outreach Service Program, staff must sign up in advance online. Again, you need to have your supervisor’s approval before singing up to work an event.

Are all the events listed online?

Events will be updated throughout the year. Please check Outreach Event Listing; Registration regularly for additions and updates.

If I work at events as part of my normal job responsibilities, am I required to register for each one on this system?

Each employee must sign up for at least one qualifying Outreach Service Program event during the year. If you work at additional events, they can be documented in the online system but it is not required. Please consult with the event or program coordinator. Make sure the event coordinator knows your commitment to work at the event.

What happens if the event I am interested in is full?

Some events may have more interest than others. If that is the case, you will need to select another event.

Can I sign up for more than one event?

You are not limited to one event per year and are encouraged to work at outreach events with your supervisor’s approval.

How do I code my time for hours worked at an outreach event?

Talk to your division time keeper for accurate time coding instructions.

Does my supervisor need to approve my work schedule?

Yes. Staff should consult with their supervisor and then sign up for events on the NGPC staff page. Schedules should be adjusted to avoid overtime.

What qualifies as an outreach service event?

Events will be listed at Outreach Event Listing; Registration. All events involve the public and serve the roles of outreach, education or recruitment.

What if I have specific questions about the event or related duties?

Contact the person listed as the event organizer.

What is the deadline?

All permanent employees must complete one outreach service event each year.

If I am requested to travel, are my expenses covered?

Yes, expenses are covered according to policy.

Is this volunteer time or paid work time?

Paid work time.

How do I register for an event?

On the Outreach Event Listing & Registration page, you must create your initial account. For detailed instructions, go to Outreach Log-In Instructions.

Where is the listing of available events?

Go to Outreach Event Listing. Registration to review a list of volunteer opportunities. New events are being added all the time.

Why do I need to sign up to work at an event?

To help NGPC fulfill its mission and encourage active participation in outdoor recreation and conservation by all Nebraskans. All NGPC staff are expected to work at least one educational or outreach event during the year.