I had a mtn lion come through chasing deer while I was in a treestand with my bow. Stopped at 20 yards staring at me. I wanted to take the shot with the bow, but she never gave me a broadside shot so the pistol was second-best option. Sure, I wish she was larger (she was about 70 pounds), but she was by herself and legal and I'm looking forwards to trying mountain lion meat!
Scouting August 25th weekend
I ran into the hunter that was attacked in my hunting unit last year and he told me the whole story. He stalked up on a big bull bedded in a meadow, ranged him at 46yds, tried to get to 30 and got much closer, but the bull got up and moved away a little, so he drew and held for 30yds (found out later it was appx. 42yds so a bad/ill-informed shot), he shot and the arrow went right under the bull's chest. Bull immediately charged him, said he knew not to run from hm so held his bow in front of himself for protection and the bull hit him running a brow tine into his arm and ripping it open all the way up to near his shoulder and picking him up on the antlers and was then shaking him around and trotted into the trees, fractured his left leg and then threw him down, he tried to play dead even in excruciating pain and the bull walked off. He looked at his arm gushing blood and took a string off a compass and tourniquet-ed it, then sent an emergency beacon signal and started walking out, 2 hikers found him and helped him - basically carrying him and 40 mins later rescue team and flight for life chopper arrived. Said he was pretty sure if he had not held his bow up in front of himself before impact the bull would have killed him right then. Also said he tried to get Div of Wildlife to give him all or some of his 24 years of preference points back, they said no. Helluva story. Took me 22 yrs of preference points and into my 23rd yr applying to draw my license.
> Game wardens investigating the attack found blood trail over 60 yds in the meadow and also on the trees and leaves where the bull had him up in the air and was carrying/tossing him around on his antlers. Really nice guy and has no ill will toward the bull, but did say he'd love to see someone get him and put him on their wall. He's had 8 arm and shoulder surgeries and they are replacing his shoulder Sept 1st. He and some friends have seen this bull in the same area over the last few weeks. I told him I'm using a 50 cal muzzleloader and carrying an ultralight .357 magnum loaded with 180 gr solids and 158gr HPs as my backup and I'm betting my guide carries a pistol too. So not too worried. Maybe I should carry a 44 mag?
Was kinda the perfect storm. Bull in the rut (mating season) and they are completely nuts then (they're a little crazy in general), hunter saw him asleep in a meadow and approached him resulting in waking him up which probably ticked him off, shot and missed right under him and the sound probably added to the bull's anger, hunter could have approached from the opposite side and been in the trees (and used them for protection if needed), and/or he could have shot when he first saw him and the bull was asleep and then the bull most likely would not have been concerned with him at all with either a hit or a miss. Who knows? Picture attached he had prior to the season of the bull that attacked him.
Scouting Sept 8 (day before the season starts) I walked up on a cow and calf at 20yds Fri evening – that was a little scary. Sept 9 Sat - Rode horseback 23 miles and hiked 5 miles at 11000ft and saw absolutely nothing. Got my Bull appx 7:45am Sunday Sept 10 after a little over 4 mile hike. Saw a cow right at daylight (bout a mile and 1/2 in and watched her for a good 20 mins to see if she had a bull. Moving on up the Corral Creek valley on a game trail edging the timber on the north side, we saw a decent, albeit small rack bull (and very small compared to the Bullwinkle I got) about 3 miles in standing in a grassy inlet on the south side of the valley. Moving on up the valley, guide says we will go all the way to the end of this valley (appx 5.5miles) and the reason is if you are at the head of the valley, you can't really see any of or into all these small and large grassy inlets and after eating willows for a few hrs or all night, they like to lay down in those inlets near the timber. It wasn't 200yds from there and 2 inlets on our side of the valley that the guide sees a cow bedded facing us, and to the right from her a bull bedded broadside, but uphill and in grass so tall could only see his backline and rack. He jumps back behind the brush says get ready, big bull, big bull. I got set up supported kneeling, he ranged the bull at 52yds, then cow called, the cow looked and bull moved his head, but nothing else. Guide said be ready, he grunted, bull only moved his head and the cow stood up. He said I have one more idea, get ready. He took his tripod and raked some brush and the bull rolled up out of there and the cow took off with him in tow. They went about 15-yds and stopped and as soon as he stopped I put a 290gr Hornady bore driver perfectly in the heart/lungs, but with the smoke we couldn't see the hit or reaction. Cow ran about 15 more yds, he stood there and as I was reloading, he ran to her. Guide says hurry up before she takes him down into the willows or worse into the creek and its 77yds to him. I then put a 338gr Platinum Power Belt into the back of his lungs. Then the guide tells me I saw as you were shooting that you hit him well on the first shot as he had blood coming out of his nose and mouth, but we didn't want him in the creek or down in the thicker willows. She took off, he took 4 steps, laid down and within 10secs laid his head over and was done. At the 2nd shot a young raghorn bull moose came out of the timber behind where they were and followed her out of there. Then the high 5s, prayers of thanks, pictures, and hard work began. Qtr'ed him for pack saddles, put him in game bags, covered with spruce and pine boughs and headed back to camp for the horses. Thank God for horses! I learned a lot about moose in 4 days of scouting and 2 days of hunting. It snowed Sunday night and that view was from our camp. That snowy bit is the far North end of Rocky Mtn Natl Park - they got 8" snow that night. Got my bull a little over 4 miles from the trailhead and just over 5 miles from the camp. I think he might be worth the 23yr wait for the license. I toyed with hunting on my own, but with a bum knee and opposite bum shoulder, having horses to pack him out was truly a Godsend and several friends had advised me to get the guide and the horses. Guide and butcher said he was only 4.5-5.5yrs old (he is damned tasty!) and appx 1100lbs and he looked/felt every ounce. Just moving coolers around with qtrs in them was a workout. Lots of excellent meat for the next couple yrs. In CO, you get a bull tag once and can't apply for them again. CO is open sights only and he is the first thing I have ever taken with a muzzleloader. I feel Very happy and blessed with my 2023, 23 yrs of applying, truly once in a lifetime bull.