Mountain Lions!

Bullshot

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Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
704
Location
Two days into the rising sun
With time to kill before the New Mexico draw.... and still weeks or months for other states, can anybody help pass the time with cool mountain lion stories... aggressive encounters.... odd sightings... hunt stories...even recipes. Everything is always grizzly this or grizzly that.. time to up the ante with some lion tales, even if you have to lie about that time you fended one off with a spoon or something...

I've got.... nothing. Just tracks of ghosts. Except for that time with the spoon I mentioned..;)
 

MTTW

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Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
531
Location
Montana
With time to kill before the New Mexico draw.... and still weeks or months for other states, can anybody help pass the time with cool mountain lion stories... aggressive encounters.... odd sightings... hunt stories...even recipes. Everything is always grizzly this or grizzly that.. time to up the ante with some lion tales, even if you have to lie about that time you fended one off with a spoon or something...

I've got.... nothing. Just tracks of ghosts. Except for that time with the spoon I mentioned..;)
Wait, you spooned a mountain lion?
 

FoodIsMemories

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Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
723
Location
SW MT
Only tracks of ghosts as well. My “cross-eyed” bow hunting buddy was in the breaks, cow calling and had to shoot one one time. He caught the glimpse of movement ahead thankfully and loudly yells Hey Cat! Hey Cat! But it kept taking slow steps at him.. he hooked up the release and got ready, still yelling Hey Cat! It finally come running toward him and he drew put it on and let it fly and when the cat landed in front of him it was at his feet, with an arrow still through its neck and out the body.. he got drug through hell from FWP and it took him hours dealing with the legal mess but ultimately, he called THEM. He didn’t hide anything, and was cleared of any wrong doing. He’s not proud of the picture so I couldn’t get it and he probably wouldn’t appreciate the story being public lol.. after that the wardens on fort peck know him by name…
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,236
Location
SW NM
Been fortunate to see many in my life, hiking ,hunting ,as a Park Ranger, and driving around.

One close encounter blacktail hunting Big Sur, like face to face ,it seemed , close. Young one, ran off. Had my rifle on it the whole time.

Watched a lion take down a buck next to the kiosk @ a park entrance, next to a campground. Dragged it across the lawn in the open, across the road, around behind the office. No one but me saw it. Full campground too. LOL
 

Irishman

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Jul 27, 2017
Messages
176
Location
Kalispell, Montana
I've had two encounters while bowhunting. On both occasions I had elk bugling when a mountain lion came in. The first one came running slowly over the tops of blowdowns straight to me. It was about 10 feet away and I growled at it and it took off. The second occasion was a couple of years later. I had a bull bugling just over the ridge. Next thing the whole herd went across the top of the ridge from my left to right about 30yds away. Then a huge mountain lion shows up following the elk. The lion stopped and looked at me. I thought it was pretty cool seeing it. After about a minute I figured it needed to move on, so I waved my arms. Then I shouted at it. Then it started flicking its tail in the air, and from watching the house cat do that, I knew it wasn't a good sign. I drew back the bow and figured I'd take about 5 steps towards him, and if he didn't move off I'd shoot. Luckily he walked off. However, from then on I was wondering where he was, so I gave up on the elk hunting that evening. I was dressed in a brown shirt, had elk scent, and was bugling, so he may have been confused.
 

Randi

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Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
549
They seem to be increasing in numbers in Texas, especially in West Texas. Horses reacting to them is the only reason I have seen some of them. When backtracking one day, I noticed one had followed us and neither the horse or I knew it. We have also hunted them, which can be a very exhausting hunt.

I had far more encounters and more dangerous encounters with "Manther's" both in college and at rodeos. One fellow would just not leave me alone until I told him. "you do realize your old enough to be my father and if you want me to, I will introduce you to him, as I am sure he would like to meet you"
 

Oak

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Dec 23, 2000
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14,386
Location
Colorado
18 years ago I was sitting next to a cattle tank on a pancake of an antelope flat in Wyoming with @BuzzH and our friend Doug, each of us glassing in a different direction for antelope. The 6" prickly pear were the tallest vegetation for miles. I think they thought I was smoking something when I said, "I've got a mountain lion," but sure enough, there was a lion wandering across the plain. Buzz and I found lion tracks in a wash a couple of miles away a day or two later while he was stalking a buck. Not sure if it was making a living out there or just passing through.

Here's a pic of the direction I was looking when I saw it that gives an idea of just how wide open it was.

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And a gratuitous pic of the buck I killed shortly after seeing the lion. ;)

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gouch

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Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
775
Location
SW Oregon
There used to be a dam on the Rogue River and the area behind that dam was called Kelly's Slough. That was my favorite place in the whole world. On the road just downstream from the dam was a pullout where people would stop to watch the salmon go up the fish ladder. One day we were fishing in the slough from my canoe when we hear a girl squealing and screaming up in that pullout which got our attention. There was a teenage boy and girl up there doing things teenage boys and girls like to do. He was grabbing and tickling her, and they seemed to be having good time. All that squealing sounded enough like a rabbit in distress that it caught the attention of a huge cougar up the hill behind them. That cat came barreling down the hill at full speed straight for those kids. The road and the pullout combined was around 40 ft wide with a 10 ft. high rock on the uphill side. The cougar got to that rock and stopped on top of it. He stood there for a couple of minutes watching the two teens, then turned and walked off. Those two never had a clue how close they were to becoming cat poop.
 

Ben Long

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Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
1,264
Location
Kalispell, MT
I've got a few of my own and interviewed several others. One that comes to mind was my late friend John Frederick, longtime "mayor" of Polebridge, Montana. He had a big shepherd/golden retriever cross named Bear. (Why you would name a dog Bear in Polebridge I never understood, but nevermind.) When you rubbed Bear's head, you could feel four fang holes in the dog's skull. All healed up but very palpable. John and Bear were cross country skiing on a dark, very snowy day. John saw what he thought was another dog walking up the logging road, but it was a lion. All very close range. The dog and the lion bumped nose to nose and the cat jumped on Bear, biting its head. John ran up and started jabbing the lion with his ski pole. The cat spit out the dog and hissed at them as they retreated. The dog healed up. The cat bit the skull lengthwise, not across, the brainpan, which I think made the difference. There's one lion story for today. Maybe more tomorrow.
 

LuketheDog

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Joined
Nov 29, 2015
Messages
3,336
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
The most recent one...Two seasons ago I spotted a big muley crossing a clean snowfield and bed down above me in a burn, so I hiked up there to get after him. When I found the deer's tracks there were fresh lion tracks on top of his, and when I got to the buck he was standing and very fixated on something else below him on the hill instead of me. I never saw the cat the entire time I was up there dressing the buck, gave me the willies.

If @Oak gets a gratuitous pic so do I...
E5E85BB6-D26A-407A-8E41-2D0838E4F63A_1_201_a.jpeg
 
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hank4elk

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,236
Location
SW NM
We had 2 GS alpha females. Jackie Brown & Winnie. Jackie took nothing from no one, held her own.
One dark & stormy night they both started in barking,at something from the front porch beds. Then Jackie got a growl I never heard before. Gutt deep. Kept it up. I went out in my coat with a maglight and they started barking again ,from behind me. They never left the porch. I went to the creek & suspension bridge that led to the garden,orchard and back way out of property. Flipped the switch on the bridge end lights.
There next to the compost bin 20 ft from the other end was one of the largest lions I have seen. Huge pumpkin noggin and all, crouched down, in wait.
I backed up, shut off the lights & headed into the house with the dogs. I think we were all shaking.
My usual routine involved a nightly walk out to dump the compost,with the dogs.
 

buffybr

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
822
Location
BozAngeles, MT
I didn't start big game hunting until the late '60s when I was in college and working summers in Steamboat Spgs, CO. I remember seeing a couger rug that the local game warden had on his living room wall. From then on I wanted one, and for probably 40 years I would buy a lion license, just hoping to see one while I was out deer or elk hunting.

I think that I saw my first lion in the wild one summer when I was working on a road project near West Yellowstone, MT. I saw several on the county road just below my house, and even saw probably my biggest out my kitchen window one day when he was chasing some deer on the hill behind my house. My sister lives on top of a mountain just west of Denver, and she has seen quite a few lions by her house. A few winters ago, my GF and I were playing pool with my sister at her house and we saw one walking by, not 20' from her door.

So finally I gave up trying to kill a lion on my own and I booked a hunt with JT Robbins in western Colorado. I'd be in Denver anyway for Thanksgiving, so I booked the hunt for the week after.

Colorado then required you to pass a lion identification test before you can buy a license. It was a simple test with maybe 10 questions, but every time I tried to take it, it would lock up on about question 7 or 8. I tried the test of several different computers and every time I would get to that question, it would lock up.

I finally went to a Colorado FWP Regional office in Denver, took the test on their computer, and again it locked up on question 7 or 8. It just so happened that the guy that wrote the test worked there, and he came out and again after several tries we got through the test and I was able to buy my license.

It had snowed the night before my first day out with JT, and about mid morning we cut some fresh lion tracks. JT let his dogs out and it didn't take his dogs too long to tree the cat. The dogs had him treed high on a plateau above some cliffs, so to get there we wound around some old uranium exploration two track roads that we had to cross into Utah and back.

The lion was in the top of a pinion tree which wasn't very high and JT's dogs could just about climb up to the cat. I had wanted to shoot it with my Ruger .44 pistol, but because we took so long to get to the tree, and JT's dogs were so close to it, that he asked me to shoot it with my .30-30.

One shot and a 50+ year dream came true here on the ground just under the tree, but on the edge of a cliff. The blood on my hand is mine, not the lion's. Just thin, old skin that easily tears going through the brush.
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Back on flat ground...
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And finally, here at home. His spot in front of the fireplace is just temporary until I can remodel my living room for some higher wall space.
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