Lion Chronicles 2005 - Continued
1 of Lion Chronicles 2005
We were lucky that we had no injuries and
a fine trophy. After the skinning we headed back to the goat
kill. I had to chop the head of off the billy with my hatchet
as it had warmed up to 5°. A successful hunt with two fine
It was too late to get back to the B-C Ranch that night, so
we spent another sub-zero night in the nylon freezer. The
next day I had to head back to Washington to my second job,
horseshoeing. On the way home I checked in with Karla, my
wife. Wouldnt you know it; I had drawn the Washington
hound hunter permit.
This hunt had a quota on it and as soon as that quota was
filled the hunt was over. Well, I got on the phone and called
all of my clients, explained the situation and postponed my
appointments, hot damn I was getting to go chase more mountain
I got home about midnight and was up at 5:00 to go hunting.
This day I took Roscoe, my old Walker hound, and Bonnie. I
live in Northeast Washington and after nine years of no mountain
lion hunting, the mountain lion population is high. I left
my house and walked over Pisgah Mt., which we live at the
base of. Roscoe struck a track three miles from the house
and the race was on.
They finally caught the mountain lion in Scotia Canyon above
the Chain lakes. This area is typical habitat for a mountain
lion. Its steep and rugged country. The mountain lion
Roscoe and Bonnie had treed was a big one. I was using the
same revolver and the same load as three days previously,
only this time I made a better shot and dropped him clean.
Upon skinning, I found that this mountain lion had been
shot in the jaw at some previous time and had only one top
canine tooth left. It sure didnt affect his hunting
ability; he was fat as a tick. Other than the missing teeth
he was a healthy five-year-old mountain lion. He scored 14
¾. If he hadnt been shot in the jaw Im
sure he would have made the Boone and Crockett Scorebook.
Washington is a two mountain lion tag state, but I had to
wait until after January 1 before I could be issued another
permit. Scouting no matter what animal you are hunting is
essential and fun. I called the local conservation officer
and he told me about some areas with cougar sightings up north
on Winchester peak. This is good Whitetail
winter range and there were two mountain lions working this
area, probably a breeding pair. I was pretty certain that
they would stay in the area. I just had to wait and hope the
quota did not fill up before I received my second permit.
My wife was happy that I was back to horseshoeing. Hunting
mountain lions without paid clients doesnt pay the bills.
Karla called me on a Friday afternoon with bad news for the
mountain lions, but good news for my dogs and I. I had my
second mountain lion hunting permit.
I loaded up Sally and Mindy, and off to Winchester Peak we
went. We hunted hard all day but we couldnt find any
fresh sign. I decided to side-hill around above a cattle ranch
where I had permission to hunt. Sally and Mindy opened up
and the chase was on again.
I was on snowshoes and the going was tough and slow. The
dogs were out of hearing range and in the heavy timber. I
was starting to run out of daylight and I was pushing hard
to catch up. I finally heard the dogs down below in a deep
draw barking treed. All right, I knew I was going make before
The mountain lion was treed way up in a huge Douglass Fir
with only a frontal shot available. I was using my .357 again
and I was wishing that I had a .45 with me or at least some
good heavy semi wad cutters as I had lost some confidence
in those hollow points. After hooking up the dogs I laid
back in a good Elmer Keith position, shooting between my knees
and let her rip. Down came the mountain lion, and off it
goes dragging a front leg. Id busted a shoulder on the
mountain lion. I unhooked the dogs and away they went over
a small ridge, where all hell broke loose. The snow was three
feet deep, but I had to get there fast before I had torn up
Sally and Mindy had treed the mountain lion in a dead Lodge
pole that was laying horizontal five feet of off the ground.
I thought what a great picture that would make so I moved
in to fifteen yards and tried to take a picture of a very
pissed off mountain lion. The only thing that saved us was
that broken shoulder. The mountain lion couldnt swat
at the dogs without falling of off the tree. I finally got
my picture, but what to do. I had to kill this mountain lion
clean or it would fall on top of my dogs and wed have
one big mess. So, I lined up with the shoulder and up to the
spine, said a prayer and squeezed her off. Down it went; dead
before it hit the ground with the dogs right on top, chewing
her up. This was a prime, healthy female mountain lion about
seven and a ½ years old. She was one of the biggest
females I have ever seen.
What a mountain lion hunting season. Id had more fun
than a twelve-week-old hound pup with you favorite house slippers.
My hound dogs made me proud and were great companions on some
exciting adventures. Together wed taken two mountain
lions for our hunters and three Mountain Lions for myself
Middle Fork Outfitters offer Mountain
Lion Hunts in a true wilderness setting with a high chance
of success. If you want some stories about mountain lion hunting with clients go to our Middle Fork Chronicle pages and enjoy the adventure.
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1 of Lion Chronicles 2005