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Lion Hunter's Nightmare

IdahoNick

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Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
548
I had a good day chasing lions this weekend that turned bad. My hound, Spike, should be ok, but 5 miles from the truck is not a great place to have a hound get his chest ripped open and skin dragging in the snow.

We cut a hot track about halfway into a 14 mile or so loop we hike in an area off-limits to snowmachines. The dogs actually winded the track from the trail, put their heads up, ran up an embankment, ran off a minute and then started howling and trailing. It was a top 4 or 5 start out of maybe 100 lions. Then they promptly crossed the lion track that had crossed 80 yards further up the trail. They went a few miles and put the lion up.

At the tree, we did not notice an issue because the dogs were treeing fine and I was working with getting a puppy to fire. We jumped the cat for a rerun and at the next tree we noticed Spike's chest was ripped open in a v pattern from the top of his chest to his brisket (pictures revealed later it was messed up at first tree). The flap of skin was 10 inches long and about 6 inches wide at the base, dragging in the snow. Spike was just barking at the cat, seemingly oblivious. There was a lot of debris stuck to his chest muscles and fat. It looked terrible but he was not losing blood in a critical way, at least externally. It could have been the cat or a sharp stick, but my gut is that it was from jumping though barbed wire in hot pursuit as they crossed a fence with tight, new wires at least twice, and once right near the tree. IMG952729.jpg 20201208_165534.jpg 20201206_154827.jpg
He never stopped baying the lion and we had to drag him away to treat him. This is typical. Another hound of in my pack once dove off of a cliff in 2014 on a tom bedded below her at the base if the cliff, fractured her ulna and tibia cleanly on one side, and still treed and held the cat on 3 legs until the others worked through the cliffs without trying to fly and got to the tree. Working dogs are just tough and it is sometimes unbelievable to watch. I think I would have rolled over and died if it was my chest opened to my ribs.

We wrapped him in game meat bags and started down the mountain. Gravity kept the flap impossible from falling out, but we were keeping dirt out of the muscle tissue. I tried carrying him multiple times, but he started to hurt after several hundred yards...then he would walk, then repeat.

After the 5 mile trek to the truck we went to the local on-call vet. Spike should make it unless something got in his chest cavity or the antibiotics do not work. They cut the whole flap off and sewed him back up Frankenstein style.

The lion was a female and released.

The vet was almost surprised I would pay so much to treat a 10-year-old dog (emergency vet...not my normal guy)... I told her that she wouldn't understand. This dog didn't just eat cheetos and chase frisbees. He has jumped in between a lion and myself on the ground right before I thought I was going to get a face full of lion paw. 20201205_114121.jpg
 
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Lyfter1013

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
393
Damn hope For a quick recovery for your dog. You said you released the lion Just curious do you generally release female lions? Is that a morale thing or are you looking for a bigger Tom? Just asking as I know nothing about running dogs for lion?
 

Hunting Wife

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Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
2,612
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Our lab had a very similar injury once pheasant hunting. We could only figure barbed wire or some piece of metal junk in the grass. You are absolutely right about working dogs!

Glad he’s on the mend. Hopefully he’ll be good as new shortly!
 

Wild Bill

Active member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
284
Location
SD
Hope your pup heals up! It never ceases to amaze me what kind of stuff animals can go through seemingly without missing a beat.
 

mevertsen

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
440
Location
Rural Nevada
I had a similar experience with a dog a few years ago. I think she ripped it open on shale. That was her first hunt after healing from having her spleen removed.

$3400 in vet bills in one dog in 2 months.
 

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,123
Hope for a quick recovery for IdahoPup. I'm surprised no drain tube in the wound. .
 

roravetz

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2015
Messages
183
Location
Denver
Thanks for sharing the story. Thats a hell of a hunting partner you have there and hopefully he will be out doing what he loves with you soon.
 

Pahoundsman

Active member
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
251
Location
Central Pa
He’ll be back jumping and treeing cats before you know it,those hounds are a 1000 times tougher than you think. I hope he has a speedy recovery and I know I don’t have to say it but keep him home till he’s healed.
 

EYJONAS!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
3,713
Prayers sent i have the uttermost respect for true houndsman. The way they are with dogs and lifestyle is just amazing to me. Nothing better than watching the team work their asses of and then a slow walk to the tree to see their catch.

Hope he recovers soon!
 
Yeti

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