Here is the story and Video of my two brothers cougar hunt and the fun they hard without me. My brother filming doesn't even like to hunt. He had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Started the morning on a rzr with snow tracks on it looking for lion tracks. We made it the the base of a very steep canyon and found fresh tracks from the previous night. So we turned the rzr around and in doing so threw a track off the passenger rear of the rzr. Then the rzr slide and busted off the entire bracket assembly. There was no way to fix it. We took the whole track off that side of the rzr and limped it back to the truck. While we were doing that a friend was on his way with hounds. We got the rzr loaded up and the dogs showed up. We put the dogs on the tracks and away they went. They had something treed after 20 minutes, so we started hiking through the snow. The dogs were 850 yards away from us. After 30 minutes of hiking the dogs are still 850 yards away!! We get to the spot they were at first and there are a million deer tracks so we figured the dogs took awhile to cut the lions tracks in that mess and never had the lion treed. After about another 35 minutes we lose gps signal from the dogs. So we head towards the last spot we had a signal. We started scaling a steep mountain hill in about 12 inches of snow. Every 5-10 minutes weíd hear a dog howl. We finally get up to one of the pups and itís standing in front of a cave.
You can see one of the dogs coming out of the cave.
Once we get to the cave all the dogs come and wanting us to go in. I enjoy caves and donít mind exploring but when there is a cougar in there itís a little different. The only light we had was a small maglite which is a little larger then a sharpie marker. So I head in the cave which is pretty big to start with. The dogs are leading and Iím running my light like crazy with my FN 5.7 in the other hand. I get back in the cave about 150 yards and things start to get narrow and sketchy. There was a very small hole that the dogs kept going to but they had a hard time getting into it. My nerves got to me and not wanting the dogs torn up or myself we backed out of the cave. We put our heads together and called it a day.
Day 2: We head to the hills again and weíve got tires on the rzr now. We cut a few different trails looking for other fresh tracks. The houndsman buddy goes up another canyon on his snowmobile looking for tracks. The rzr makes it back to the cave from yesterday and sure enough, we find fresh tracks coming out of the cave. We call the hounds and he is about an hour away. We start tracking the fresh track and it goes right down the mountain cliffs to the bottom of a steep, rugged canyon. We follow the tracks back up the canyon face and find a deer kill. It still had its front quarters and head. So we knew the lion wasnít done with it. It has been an hour by now and no hounds. We call him, text him Ė nothing. We finally here from him and he blew his belt on his sled and heís stuck in a canyon. By now itís 2:00pm and he doesnít get off the mountain til 4:30pm. Again, we called it a day.
Here is the small deer kill.
Day 3: Iíve got some work to get done so the houndsman heads to the deer kill to see what activity it has. Sure enough, there are only bones left and the bones are all busted open too. He calls me after being at work for 45 minutes. I calling in the office crew and head to the hills. We hit the road and 1 hour later the hounds are on the track headed straight towards the famous cave. Again, we lose gps signal from the dogs so we head towards the cave. 15 minutes later the dogs are out of the cave headed straight up the mountain cliffs. We get to the caves and another 15 minutes later and the dogs have a lion treed (10:00am) 450 yards away. We start towards to the dogs and we are put on the edge of a 25 ft. cliff with no place to go but back to the cave. We go to the cave and head back down the mountain. We then go up a canyon below the cliffs. We start hiking this canyon and it is brutal. Itís full of willows and brush like Alaska. We are busting through brush and crawling on our hands and knees. Itís now 12:00 and the dogs havenít moved. We are about 250 yards from them now. After climbing over trees and cliff faces covered with snow. We finally get to the bottom of the dogs and lion and find a shoot where a small avalanche has come down. On hands and knees we proceed with the 1200 ft accent. Itís 1:30, now 4 hours after the dogs have treed the lion we see them. The cougar isnít treed but they have him on the ground backed up on a cliff edge. Thinking the hounds are gonna be all cut up we hurry as fast as we can to put the lion to rest. We are now 50 yards from it and the lion jumps and heads another 40 yards up. This time it gets in a tree, luckily. So we scurry up the steep 60+ deg incline slipping and sliding back down. It's now 2:00, the dogs have had this lion for 4 hours. Finally, we setup the camera put the FN 5.7 and the video tells the rest of the story. The Fiveseven will kill the animal but since it burns through the animal it takes awhile. Knowing this from when a buddy shot a cat 2 weeks ago I plan to put a few holes in this Tom Cat.
We couldnít tie up the dogs so after we shot it and it came flying down the mountain, my brother was filming and took a full on linebacker hit from the 160+lb Lion that wiped him down the mountain 20 yards to be followed by 4 coonhounds that also wiped him out again. He was pretty shook up and frozen cold from the tumble. 8 seconds later the cat was at the bottom of the canyon dead.
It was a great hunt and one that makes for a good time. Not sure of the weight of the lion for sure 175lbs, but it measured 7í2Ē in length.