MOUNTAIN LION: The cougar is the largest cat in Nevada and the second largest in the America's, next to the Jaguar. The cougar has been classified as a game mammal since 1965.
Record book minimum score is 13 8/16. The measurement of the length and width of the skull added together. For this reason one should not shoot a trophy lion in the head. Broken skulls cannot be measured.
Adult lions range from six to eight feet in length, from tip of nose to tip of tail. Males average from 130 to 150 lbs. Females average just under 100 lbs. The heaviest recorded lion weight was in Arizona in 1917 and weighed 276 lbs. after the offal had been removed.
The highest densities are found where mule deer are plentiful. Cougar populations increased with the mule deer population. When deer populations dropped in the 1990's, lion populations held at the highest levels due to other prey species that were not available before the 1980's. This is due to increased populations of Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Pronghorn and wild horse numbers becoming more common in lion habitat.
Average lion harvest each year in the 1990's has been 136 cats, in the 1980's it was 87 cats, and in the 1970's it was 49 lions per year. White Pine, Elko and Lincoln Counties account for over 55% of the state wide harvest. While Washoe, Nye and Lyon produce 34% of the record book entries.
Success rate over a 21 year period is 17.4% with the average hunter spending 5.8 days hunting. Successful hunters spending 3 days and unsuccessful hunters spending 7 days.