Deer hunters find dead mountain lion

Iowa deer hunters found a dead mountain lion with a broken snare around its neck Tuesday in Poweshiek County, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Since mountain lions have no legal wildlife status in Iowa, the hunters could have kept the carcass, according to DNR officials, but they voluntarily turned over the 119-pound male cat.

“It is not required that (mountain) lions be reported to the Iowa DNR, however we really appreciate it when they are,” said Vince Evelsizer, a wildlife biologist with the DNR. “It helps us all in monitoring their whereabouts and learning more about them.”

Iowa DNR officials say deer hunters found this 119-pound male mountain dead with a broken snare around its neck on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

Evelsizer said the DNR will do testing to potentially determine the mountain lion’s background, age and overall health.

Mountain lions are the largest of three wildcat species historically documented in Iowa, with lynx and bobcat being the other two.

Related: Iowa DNR confirms mountain lion seen in video reportedly taken in Des Moines

This year, there were no confirmed reports of mountain lions in Iowa until October. Evelsizer said it’s possible that four separate mountain lions have now been spotted, or that one or two mountain lions moved around the state and were reported multiple times. The state had six confirmed reports of mountain lions in 2019, but none in 2020.