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Mountain Lions

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPodunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
I've never killed or even hunted one, nor really had a big desire to do so, but wanted to start a post to see if I could generate a little interest. And, a friend of mine helps guide lion hunters, and was in on the kill of a big tom last week, so it has piqued my interest. At least for now.

From what I've been told, right here where I live has one of the highest lion populations in the country. Last summer, when it was so dry, a lion was seen on a local golf course. Most stay in the mountains or canyons and out of sight, but I guess this one was pretty desperate. But, I digress.

From what I can tell, here's how lion hunting works around here. The three main ingredients are a healthy lion populaton, fresh snow, and a good pack of dogs. I guess one should throw in a licensed hunter and several others to help do the tracking as well.

Any way, we had a light snow last week. My friend works with a local lion guide who has a good pack of dogs. Apparently, the guide also had a hunter lined up for a hunt. So, the morning after it snowed, they drove the back roads looking for fresh tracks. They found tracks of five different lions, several of which ran right through a forest service camp ground. They settled on a good sized track, and let the hounds loose.

The hounds treed the cat, the hunters and guide followed the hounds, and the hunter shot the cat out of a tree. My friend said it weighed between 150 and 175 lbs, and described it as a big cat. The hunter used a .243 to kill it. He also had pictures, and it looked like a very big cat to me.

I also learned that Colorado sells over the counter lion tags. I'm not sure what the cost is, but it's probably not that much for residents. And, since I'll be retired this time next year, and live close enough to take off on short notice, I'm thinking that maybe I'll try one of these hunts. It should be fun, and a lion mount would sure be nice.

Also, from what I can tell, the biggest hurdle for an out of state hunter is to be able to get yourself out here on short notice. Once a fresh track is located, there's not a lot of time to waste.

And, one last note for my good buddy Linefinder. The campground where some of the tracks were seen is the same one near where we saw several does in November 2011. You may remember we were trying real hard to put horns on one of the does only to finally figure out it was an inconeniently placed weed sticking up in exactly the wrong place. And no, we did not shoot it.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Nevada sells over-the-counter tags, too, and I do keep one on me year-round, though the way I plan to see one is purely by accident. I do some coyote calling out here once in a blue moon, and merely hope that one day, it'll be lion instead of a coyote.

    The mountain lion tags out this way run $29 for a resident.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I have no burning desire to shoot a cat like that unless they would be getting too numerous and became a threat to live stock, game, and/or people. My cousin, who by the way is female, was in a deer blind once on their ranch up at lampassas Texas and a mountain lion came and played around at the feeder for about 20 minutes. She said she had no desire to shoot it and enjoyed the show. Then it was gone as fast as it appeared. There was no problem in the area with Livestock or game disappearing so they didn't pursue it. But i always thought this was rather interesting.

    BTW, y'all know I'm no Bunny Hugger, but by the same token, if I don't have any use for an animal being dead, I will let it live. Only when something becomes a problem or a real threat will I shoot it, unless it's game that I like to hunt. And I hunt mainly for meat so it better be good to eat.

    But I will add, each to his/her own. If this is your bag, have at it and more power to you.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    If I was 50 I'd like to try that.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    If I was 50 I'd like to try that.

    Ned, if you can duck hunt, ain't no kinda hunting beyond you, LOL!!! Go for it if that turns your crank!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Podunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    I have no burning desire to shoot a cat like that unless they would be getting too numerous and became a threat to live stock, game, and/or people. My cousin, who by the way is female, was in a deer blind once on their ranch up at lampassas Texas and a mountain lion came and played around at the feeder for about 20 minutes. She said she had no desire to shoot it and enjoyed the show. Then it was gone as fast as it appeared. There was no problem in the area with Livestock or game disappearing so they didn't pursue it. But i always thought this was rather interesting.

    BTW, y'all know I'm no Bunny Hugger, but by the same token, if I don't have any use for an animal being dead, I will let it live. Only when something becomes a problem or a real threat will I shoot it, unless it's game that I like to hunt. And I hunt mainly for meat so it better be good to eat.

    But I will add, each to his/her own. If this is your bag, have at it and more power to you.

    I've read as well as been told from several sources that mountain lion is very good to eat. Don't know if it's true, as I've never tried any.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I've read as well as been told from several sources that mountain lion is very good to eat. Don't know if it's true, as I've never tried any.

    Yeah Jerry, I've heard that too. But guess I'm just not hungry enough yet to try it. I heard the same thing on here about wolf. I think I will stick to Deer, hogs, squirrel, and Rabbit, until that is I get Hungry, :rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Podunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Yeah Jerry, I've heard that too. But guess I'm just not hungry enough yet to try it. I heard the same thing on here about wolf. I think I will stick to Deer, hogs, squirrel, and Rabbit, until that is I get Hungry, :rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:

    The humor escapes me.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    The humor escapes me.

    The Humor is, I am NOT Hungry enough to eat Cats and Dogs!!! YET
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Podunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    The Humor is, I am NOT Hungry enough to eat Cats and Dogs!!! YET

    But you'll eat a fermented duck egg that contains a half developed ducking in it?

    Gotcha.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Ned, if you can duck hunt, ain't no kinda hunting beyond you, LOL!!! Go for it if that turns your crank!
    I've been to Co 20 yrs or so back and I had some issue with high altitude about 11,000 feet,
    went away as soon as we descended a short ways.

    I know that sounds dumb since I often did not wear my oxygen mask flying, but,
    there was some cockpit pressurization.

    Then Mike there is the following the dogs in that terrain.

    Nope, I'm a sea level being.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Yeah Jerry, I've heard that too. But guess I'm just not hungry enough yet to try it. I heard the same thing on here about wolf. I think I will stick to Deer, hogs, squirrel, and Rabbit, until that is I get Hungry, :rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:

    Never eaten Mountain Lion (notice I didn't say "Couger" :tooth:), but have eaten Bobcat years ago. I worked on a Bobcat research study in my undergraduate years, and we trapped several hundred on the Savannah River Nuclear Project south of Augusta, Georgia. Our Wildlife Professor absolutely loved Bobcat about any way it could be cooked. We had cookouts with all the Budweiser and Bobcat you could consume a number of times!
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Podunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Never eaten Mountain Lion (notice I didn't say "Couger" :tooth:), but have eaten Bobcat years ago. I worked on a Bobcat research study in my undergraduate years, and we trapped several hundred on the Savannah River Nuclear Project south of Augusta, Georgia. Our Wildlife Professor absolutely loved Bobcat about any way it could be cooked. We had cookouts with all the Budweiser and Bobcat you could consume a number of times!

    Did you like it?
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member God's countryPosts: 4,646 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    I've been to Co 20 yrs or so back and I had some issue with high altitude about 11,000 feet,
    went away as soon as we descended a short ways.

    I know that sounds dumb since I often did not wear my oxygen mask flying, but,
    there was some cockpit pressurization.



    Then Mike there is the following the dogs in that terrain.

    Nope, I'm a sea level being.

    Keeping up with the dogs would be a factor for all but the more fit of us flatlanders.
    When I used to hunt CO every year it took me at least 24 hours to get acclimated.
    on being a sea level guy. We used to go to Sleepy Cat lodge the last night before we went in for a steak dinner and a few drinks. I met one of the locals and we remembered each other from year to year. He introduced me to his dad who rode the power lines for the electric companies.
    He and his wife always went to AZ for the Winter. But last time I talked to him he was afraid if he went he would have trouble with the altitude when they came back. Don't know how that worked out but I imagine if I get to go again it may be an issue.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,403 Senior Member
    I would love to go hunt a mountain lion, dont know if I would want to mount one though....................
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I would love to go hunt a mountain lion, dont know if I would want to mount one though....................

    :spittingcoffee:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    But you'll eat a fermented duck egg that contains a half developed ducking in it?

    Gotcha.
    But that's still a DUCK! Not a cat or a Dog. Sorry, that's just the way I am.

    Besides Balut is NOT fermented. It is only an incubated fertile duck egg. And on top of that, I was pretty loaded when I did it. If you got me loaded like I used to get, you could probably feed me mountain lion. But I don't drink alcohol anymore for that very reason.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    I've been to Co 20 yrs or so back and I had some issue with high altitude about 11,000 feet,
    went away as soon as we descended a short ways.

    I know that sounds dumb since I often did not wear my oxygen mask flying, but,
    there was some cockpit pressurization.

    Then Mike there is the following the dogs in that terrain.

    Nope, I'm a sea level being.

    I agree, I'm sort of a flatlander too. I have been in the mountains many times, but I prefer flat land about 20 feet above the sea. But Ned, there's plenty of mountain lions here in Texas at elevations below 5,000 feet where there's plenty of oxygen.

    And Rich, I don't know the difference between a mountain lion and a cougar. I thought they were one in the same. I know we have some big cats around here, and there are not many mountains. In fact, as you know, there isn't a hill over 25 feet high between here and Mexico along the coast.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I would love to go hunt a mountain lion, dont know if I would want to mount one though....................

    As far as I know, I don't want to eat nor mount a mountain lion. Them thar things gots BIG CLaws!!! Can you imag...oh never mind!!! :silly::silly::silly:

    :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,403 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Them thar things gots BIG CLaws!!!

    I have seen bigger claws on some of the 'cougars' I have associated wi.....................oh, never mind.

    Different species.......
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • FiveSevenFiveSeven Member somewhere out westPosts: 289 Member
    But did you mount "them"?
    Only the optimists suggest that the future is uncertain. The pessimists have done the math.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    FiveSeven wrote: »
    But did you mount "them"?

    Reminds me of a book I read once, "Scream in the Bushes" by Claude Bawls...:silly::silly::silly: :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,403 Senior Member
    I apologise Jerry.
    I will go sit in the corner for a bit..........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    A lion hunt would be interesting Jerry.

    Our "neighbor" around Sargents, Jay Templeton and his son, hunts them around the Gunnison Valley with a pack of dogs. There's been times when MHS and I have been stalked by them during elk hunting. Never saw them, but have seen tracks way too big for a bobcat or lynx following our footprints......and that erie feeling where the hairs on your neck stand up.....that's happened quite a few times during the walk back to the cabin after sundown. It usually happens when either one of us are out solo.....could've just been the heebeejeebees......but one time we were together in Hicks creek and got that feeling enough that I shouldered my rifle and we continued out with my .357 in hand while MHS carried his rifle at port arms. Our tactical thinking was "close in engagement with big firepower back-up", with a lot of stopping to listen and looking at the trees. I don't think either one of us felt at ease until we got out of that draw and was trudging the last 1/4 mile to the cabin out in the open.

    Tried to check the tag on CPW/CDOW, but their site is having issues loading up right now. I wanna say it's only $45 and season dates should be right about now. From what I've read/heard about hunting them.....you need dogs or basically live in the GMU to get familiar with a particular lion's patterns since they are rather nomadic unless a female is having cubs, then she sticks to an area of food/water/shelter.

    They like abandoned bear dens and mine shafts...ready made homes to squat in for awhile. If the area has a lot of black bears like the Springs, Boulder, Ft Collins, and out west of us, there tends to be lions. Also, from what I've seen, the preferred territory seems to be the rocky and dry foothill areas like the Lockeed/Martin area by the South Platte. There's always some dumb mountain jogger around Boulder getting jumped every year it seems, as a lion tends to jump trotting deer from a tree while the deer is not paying attention.

    I think that's what scares me most about them....death from above, but I've never really had a problem with them. I think it would be a magical moment to see one out in the wild. Seen enough bears and coyotes, but a lion or a wolf would be a sight to behold!
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    5280 shooter II, not sure of names or actual locations, but 8-10 years ago and once or twice since then big cat hunters from out in your area have come down to my home area and gotten Plott Hounds to hunt with. The 2 or 3 who came down especially wanted our local strain of Crockett Plotts because these dogs have no "quit" in them when they get tangled up with a bear or big boar hog. It would be the same with a big cat for sure, and these Plotts are excellent trail dogs also.

    EDIT: JerryBob, can't remember if I liked Bobcat or not, but our old wildlife prof sure did!
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Podunk, Tx.Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    I don't know what kind of dogs were used in this particular hunt. All I know is that the guy with the dogs is originally from Wisconsin, Minnesota or someplace in that neck of the woods.

    Also, the lion was treed in a canyon that runs up from the campground I mentioned. There's a hiking trail that goes up that canyon, and I've hiked it several times. Once I even jumped a very surprised raghorn bull elk while coming down the trail. According to my friend, the lion was treed about halfway up the canyon and about 50 yards from the trail.

    I've hunted a lot of places in this state, and hunted alone quite a bit. I've never seen a big cat, nor even seen tracks of one. Also, as Dan stated, it's usually someone jogging or running on a hiking trail in or around a populated area who have the encounters with cats. I think this is due to the animals moving into a populated area and getting used to people. In 'wilder' settings, the big predators prefer to avoid humans, and will do so if allowed.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    The only time I've seen a big cat was when I was about 11 years old in Seadrift Texas. Now anyone around this area will tell you, there's not a hill within 50 miles of Seadrift, much less a mountain. It's flatter than a pancake. But there's big cats out on that grassy prairie. One night my sister, my cousin and I were sitting at the table. My mother was in San Marcos at school and my dad was at work. Just us and the dog and the cat. My sister looks out the window in the front yard and she almost screamed but caught hereself. Then she whispered to us to look out the window. There was a big black cat about 30 inches tall at the back walking across the yard. Now we lived out of town, at least that was out of town at that time, about 1/2 mile out on that prairie. I almost crapped my pants. It was weeks before I'd get caught out after dark after that.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,602 Senior Member
    I hunt the Cascade Mountians of Northern California. We have big cats and we're not permitted to shoot them. We usually encounter at least two per year and sometimes three. They give me the **** jeebees. The terrain is steep and brush covered and you never know where they are. We have a policy that if it chalanges you do the three S's, Shoot, Shovel and shut up. You can't hunt preditors with dogs here. Not cougar, bobcat or bear. You can't hunt over bait. Imagine what is happening to the preditor population in our woods.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • FiveSevenFiveSeven Member somewhere out westPosts: 289 Member
    A lion is about the easiest animal to tree. I've seen it done with a Jack Russell's terrier.
    Only the optimists suggest that the future is uncertain. The pessimists have done the math.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,760 Senior Member
    back before Colorado combined the deer/elk seasons I was hunting deer back up behind Central City(pre-casinos) and cut a deer track with blood in every right rear foot print. Decided to follow it up and see if it needed to be put down. After about a half mile the track was obviously being followed by a big cat. Being inquisative (and probably stupid) I continued following the track for a while until I got that very erie feeling I was somewhere I did not belong:yikes:
    Beat feet out of there, never having seen the cat but fairly certian I was very near to having a bad day.
    Sako
  • Ericb622Ericb622 Banned Posts: 31 Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    back before Colorado combined the deer/elk seasons I was hunting deer back up behind Central City(pre-casinos) and cut a deer track with blood in every right rear foot print. Decided to follow it up and see if it needed to be put down. After about a half mile the track was obviously being followed by a big cat. Being inquisative (and probably stupid) I continued following the track for a while until I got that very erie feeling I was somewhere I did not belong:yikes:
    Beat feet out of there, never having seen the cat but fairly certian I was very near to having a bad day.
    Sako

    I know of a guy that used to be well known here that killed a couple of nice cats in MT. They don't take a lot of killing. He preferred a .357/158 soft point. Btw. They taste good. Very light mild meat
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