CT Mountain Lion Law

Last week’s news of a mountain lion being struck by a car in Milford got me thinking about Connecticut mountain lion law.  This subject touches a little close to home. Several years ago, a neighbor told me he saw a mountain lion about two miles from my home in East Granby.

Another friend has reported seeing one in Suffield.


Connecticut regulations contain 3 references to mountain lions. All of the regulations are designed to protect them. Here they are in no particular order:

There shall be no open season on Hungarian partridge, northern and southern flying squirrel, mink, moose, muskrat, beaver, otter, Canada lynx, harbor seal, pine marten, Indiana bat, black bear, fisher, bobcat and mountain lion (felis concolor). Conn. Agencies Regs. § 26-66-3

No person shall purchase, sell, offer or expose for sale, or possess the raw skin, raw pelt, or carcass of any bobcat, black bear, pine martin, Canada lynx, or mountain lion (Felis concolor) unless such skin, pelt or carcass was legally acquired in this state or any other state or country. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 26-78-1

There shall be no open season for trapping snowshoe rabbit (varying hare), cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, European hare, porcupine, red squirrel, woodchuck, Canada lynx, pine marten, black bear, bobcat, mountain lion (felis concolor), Indiana bat and harbor seal. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 26-66-7

4 thoughts on “CT Mountain Lion Law

  1. Our legal code is behind scientifically. The mountain lion is now classified as Puma concolor rather than part of the felis genus (which includes housecats). US Fish and Wildlife Service Species Profile.
    As mountain lions are, as far as I know, unable to run for elective office, it is doubtful this mis-classification will have any adverse effect on the cat.

    Perhaps with the “jobs” special session upcoming this can be corrected.

  2. Very interesting. Considering the recent statements by wildlife officials in this state that the mountain lion is not a resident species and exists, if at all, only as escapees from the pet trade, I am shocked that Sasquatch is not listed amongst those mammals above in the lists. If it were, at least the inclusion of mountain lion in Connecticut law three times would make much more sense in light of the state’s recent assertions of its extirpated status despite a male road kill that was not neutered nor declawed.

  3. I’m much more curious about State liability. The extreme nature of the DEP’s denials about the rare but obvious presence of the animals, many of which are mere assertions that lack any shred of evidence (see, e.g., the fully clawed, unaltered, skinny escaped alleged “pet” argument re Greenwich) has drawn considerable (unintended) attention to the DEP itself that might indicate some political element to their stridency. Does mountain lion existence obligate the state to protective measures that are deemed too expensive to undertake? Does acknowledged existence enhance the prospect of large damage awards against the State?

  4. I, and a co-worker, have seen an Eastern Mountain Lion on several separate occasions near Bradley Int’l Airport. In contacting the DEP, I was advised that the species no longer inhabited Connecticut. I guess he must have run down here from Agawam or another bordering Mass. town. It was certainly no misidentification, which seems to be verified by those in East Granby or Suffield that claim that they saw it.

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