Caribou Gear

Lion Hunter's Nightmare

IdahoNick

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
562
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?
@Lyfter1013 thanks for the well-wishes....and that is a good question and hotly debated among houndsmen. I do not want to get anyone stirred up, but will say my opinion since you asked and the subject is so esoteric.

Many houndsman preach that female lions should never be shot. However, I have yet to meet one who hasn't either shot one or had one shot over his or her dogs. There is always some excuse to justify it, as well, which I think disrespects the animal: "It was for a client." "It was for my dad." "We only had a couple days to hunt." ... "yada yada yada ... it wasn't a "worthy" trophy but we did it anyway...but no one else should ever do it." ... like Gov. Newsom and his shutdowns... in all seriousness, I appreciate the passion the "never ever kill a female" guys have for conservation of lions to run, but I feel it may be misplaced...I'll touch on my perspective and the science that I think is important to note.

I haven't killed a cat in many years, like a decade, and it was a nice tom. I have had friends and family kill lions, mostly toms but not all, during the last ten years over my hounds. While I do not have a personal desire to kill another cat if it is not big, I do not have a problem with female harvest morally or conservation-wise. A balanced harvest is good, but hunters just have to be aware of the area the cat is living in and if it has kittens. You cannot know for sure unless the female is with a tom getting bred. You can reduce chances by knowing the females in the area. I take close-ups of their faces and you can zoom in on their noses and see pigmentation differences, like fingerprints. (Like for example... the female with the flattened left canine and three small spots on the left side if her nose has kittens or sub-adults.) I like doing this anyway because it is neat to know who is who and where they've been. I can look at photos and zoom in a see cats caught 3-4 years in a row.

A counter argument for those who say never ever shoot a female lion is that male mountain lions, like African lions, commit infanticide. There are a couple studies out of British Columbia that can be Googled that are really interesting. Females with kittens were found to be secluded, higher up and eating less-desirable game (as evidenced in feces) in order to avoid roaming male lions trying to establish dominance over an area. I believe in a balanced harvest, which includedsmales, but the idea that only shooting old, dominant toms as a means of keeping the lion population as high as possible while still allowing harvest goes against science. This is the same reason in Africa that almost all countries who have wild lion hunts do not allow the taking of pride males because immediately a new cat takes over and kills all of the young. Mountain lions do not have prides or the same type of social structures as the African variety, but there is enough evidence that new dominant toms replacing recently deceased dominant males kill kittens in their territory.

Long story short: I did not shoot it and would not personally because I have a good lion and I like them alive so I can catch them again. I do not believe it is immoral to kill a female lion any more than a sow bear or doe whitetail. And I would never look down on someone killing what they want within the law. If I knew that particular female, had caught it several times in a few weeks and had never seen evidence of kittens ( I hunt and cut tracks by walking so I get to know what is tucked away in there pretty well through a winter), I would possibly let my soon-to-be 10-year-old daughter kill it when her birthday comes if the tom quota is closed. (My area has a tom quota and a female quota...this is a recent change...long story with IDFG on that). If it had been a monster tom, I would have let it go, gotten my dog to the vet (dogs come first) and then ran it the next day and killed it (me or a buddy...likely a buddy who has been a bunch)... or it would have left the roadless area I hunt, crossed a road and got cut and caught and hammered by another houndsman.
 
Last edited:

IdahoNick

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
562
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!
Thank you for the kind words.
 

IdahoNick

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
562
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.
Yes they are tough....way tougher than their human hunting partners for sure. I learn alot about resilience from them.
 

IdahoNick

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
562
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!
Yes...bird dogs get these tears and I agree that it can be barbed wire or random stuff...metal or sharp stick coming of a blowdown.
 

EYJONAS!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
3,864
I can't wait to see some photos of him back out at the tree! The dogs baying photos are just as good or better than the pic of the sleeping Tom in the tree.
 

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,188
Nick since you brought it up... How important do you think it is for a young dog learning to have a cat or bear killed after he or she trees it, (or is part of the group at the tree)? Does chewing on the dead carcass cement the desire or is just barking at one in the tree enough?
 

IdahoNick

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
562
Your dog is a badass!!! My Great Dane got between me and a coyote one evening and got torn up bad, but the coyote got torn up worse.
Thanks John.... Great Dane's a cool dogs. I can see one whipping a coyote.
 

IdahoNick

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
562
Nick since you brought it up... How important do you think it is for a young dog learning to have a cat or bear killed after he or she trees it, (or is part of the group at the tree)? Does chewing on the dead carcass cement the desire or is just barking at one in the tree enough?
Good question...and I am by no means an expert. I think seeing the game fall dead out of the tree and chewing on them helps pups fire and get excited. For me it a balance. A good year for me is 20 cats, a low year I catch 10. Usually a buddy or family member kills on average a cat a year over the dogs. Probably a good middle ground of dogs getting a reward and keeping lions on the mountain to run.
 

stew

New member
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
24
Good question...and I am by no means an expert. I think seeing the game fall dead out of the tree and chewing on them helps pups fire and get excited. For me it a balance. A good year for me is 20 cats, a low year I catch 10. Usually a buddy or family member kills on average a cat a year over the dogs. Probably a good middle ground of dogs getting a reward and keeping lions on the mountain to run.

I realize this question was directed to idaho nick and was going to stay away from this thread but thought would say a few things every one does things different.
Been following cats around for 30 plus years. IMO shooting a cat out really does nothing and is more for the people then the dogs, have had dogs never see anything
killed and would still go and tree away, also have had dogs see something shot and could care less. Dont beleive in jumping and re running cats either, can be very hard
on the cats and possible the dogs, have seen a change over the years on cats behavior from this being done by others, and it causes problems.
Glad the dog is ok im also not a fan of barbed wire and have seen some nasty cuts from it.
 

rtraverdavis

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
2,666
Location
OREGON
@Lyfter1013 thanks for the well-wishes....and that is a good question and hotly debated among houndsmen. I do not want to get anyone stirred up, but will say my opinion since you asked and the subject is so esoteric.

Many houndsman preach that female lions should never be shot. However, I have yet to meet one who hasn't either shot one or had one shot over his or her dogs. There is always some excuse to justify it, as well, which I think disrespects the animal: "It was for a client." "It was for my dad." "We only had a couple days to hunt." ... "yada yada yada ... it wasn't a "worthy" trophy but we did it anyway...but no one else should ever do it." ... like Gov. Newsom and his shutdowns... in all seriousness, I appreciate the passion the "never ever kill a female" guys have for conservation of lions to run, but I feel it may be misplaced...I'll touch on my perspective and the science that I think is important to note.

I haven't killed a cat in many years, like a decade, and it was a nice tom. I have had friends and family kill lions, mostly toms but not all, during the last ten years over my hounds. While I do not have a personal desire to kill another cat if it is not big, I do not have a problem with female harvest morally or conservation-wise. A balanced harvest is good, but hunters just have to be aware of the area the cat is living in and if it has kittens. You cannot know for sure unless the female is with a tom getting bred. You can reduce chances by knowing the females in the area. I take close-ups of their faces and you can zoom in on their noses and see pigmentation differences, like fingerprints. (Like for example... the female with the flattened left canine and three small spots on the left side if her nose has kittens or sub-adults.) I like doing this anyway because it is neat to know who is who and where they've been. I can look at photos and zoom in a see cats caught 3-4 years in a row.

A counter argument for those who say never ever shoot a female lion is that male mountain lions, like African lions, commit infanticide. There are a couple studies out of British Columbia that can be Googled that are really interesting. Females with kittens were found to be secluded, higher up and eating less-desirable game (as evidenced in feces) in order to avoid roaming male lions trying to establish dominance over an area. I believe in a balanced harvest, which includedsmales, but the idea that only shooting old, dominant toms as a means of keeping the lion population as high as possible while still allowing harvest goes against science. This is the same reason in Africa that almost all countries who have wild lion hunts do not allow the taking of pride males because immediately a new cat takes over and kills all of the young. Mountain lions do not have prides or the same type of social structures as the African variety, but there is enough evidence that new dominant toms replacing recently deceased dominant males kill kittens in their territory.

Long story short: I did not shoot it and would not personally because I have a good lion and I like them alive so I can catch them again. I do not believe it is immoral to kill a female lion any more than a sow bear or doe whitetail. And I would never look down on someone killing what they want within the law. If I knew that particular female, had caught it several times in a few weeks and had never seen evidence of kittens ( I hunt and cut tracks by walking so I get to know what is tucked away in there pretty well through a winter), I would possibly let my soon-to-be 10-year-old daughter kill it when her birthday comes if the tom quota is closed. (My area has a tom quota and a female quota...this is a recent change...long story with IDFG on that). If it had been a monster tom, I would have let it go, gotten my dog to the vet (dogs come first) and then ran it the next day and killed it (me or a buddy...likely a buddy who has been a bunch)... or it would have left the roadless area I hunt, crossed a road and got cut and caught and hammered by another houndsman.
Really interesting stuff. Thanks for taking the time to explain all that. I’m glad you’re dog is alright, and I’m impressed by your care and dedication to make sure that was the case. The more I learn about chasing lions with hounds, the more I want to do it.
 
Wild Alaskan Salmon Seafood

Forum statistics

Threads
96,861
Messages
1,469,607
Members
30,469
Latest member
AlexT.
Top