Mountain Lion bullet ?

Varmint Hunter

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I booked a Utah mountain lion hunt for January. Ill be using an ultra-light rifle in 7-08.
Shots will likely be short and possibly straight up. Naturally I'd like to get a quick, clean kill but want to avoid a large exit wound.
I considered a 110 TTSX, 120 Nosler B-tip and a 140 Berger but really don't have much to go by. Does anyone have an opinion as to the best bullet for the task?
 

Catahoula

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I am from Utah & know a lot of houndmen. They use 22 rimfire magnums or 357 handguns. Don't think you need a 7-08 for a kitty. A 222 remington would work great. Thanks, Kirk
 

Broz

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I have shot 3 over dogs. First with a 17 HMR rifle, second with a 44-40 single action pistol, and last one with a 22 Mag pistol. None made it more than 100 yards when they bailed. A .223 with a ballistic tip would be great! Just put in the crease low behind the shoulder and they expire quickly. They are not hard to kill, just place it well.

Jeff
 

RockyMtnMT

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Broz is correct. They die pretty easy. Shot mine with a 41 mag revolver. Not much point in carrying the rifle through the nasty unless you want it in the pic.

Steve
 

Varmint Hunter

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Wow - quite surprised at the responses. But then again that's why I asked. :D

Sounds like these rifles may be a better choice than the 7-08.

I've got a Ruger 77/22mag with an additional custom bbl in 17 HMR,
a custom light-weight Rem Model 7 in .223 that easily shoots a 50 V-Max into an inch at 300 yds.
And I guess I could always use a S&W model 29 if the airlines don't give me too much trouble transporting it.

Would you anticipate the 50gr V-Max exiting on a chest shot?
 

Broz

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Hard to say about exits. The .223 with a 50 v max would be my choice. My single action 44-40 didn't exit and was under the far hide with a perfect mushroom. He was dead when he hit the ground.

None of the 17 HMR's or 22 Mags exited but I hade two in the cat before he bailed. Both expired by the time the dogs caught them.

We took a 155 lb male with a .223. A lady friend shot it and rested over my shoulder. Dead when hit the ground and no exit on it. Don't know what bullet but I am sure it was factory. Good chance it was a ballistic tip.

Jeff
 

warboar21

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I suggest you contact your guide and ask them what weapon they would prefer. Some people don't want large calibers or those that penetrate to deeply when you are hunting around their dogs. You shoot one of their dogs or your bullet over penetrates the cat and hits one of their dogs and you will be looking at a very ****ed off guide who will more than likely charge you a hefty fee.
 

Broz

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I suggest you contact your guide and ask them what weapon they would prefer. Some people don't want large calibers or those that penetrate to deeply when you are hunting around their dogs. You shoot one of their dogs or your bullet over penetrates the cat and hits one of their dogs and you will be looking at a very ****ed off guide who will more than likely charge you a hefty fee.

Warboar, I don't know of anyone that shoots a Lion with a dog behind it. Rarely on the ground even. They are treed above the dogs. We have only had one instance where a wounded one was fighting the dogs and had to be finished on the ground.

Jeff
 

warboar21

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That is what I was talking about Broz. If they come out of the tree and are wounded. Should have clarified that a bit better.
Before CA banned hound hunting a coworker used to guide for both bear and cat with dogs. He preferred hunters use a rifle over a pistol for more accurate shots.
 

HARPERC

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My first requirement is, it has to make the tree. Second it should be something capable of picking its way through holes in the branches, to the top of the tree, should the cat go high. On occasion you might have back off a bit to get a clear shot. We used a Ruger semi auto .44 carbine, and a 1-4x scope, with good results.

The one I'm looking at I screwed up. I made some classic mistakes, and threw in some of my own. Practiced all summer on the level at cat targets with my Model 29. Got good and cocky. Come race day, it was a bright day with snow on the ground making it very bright. My glasses were photo gray and turned as dark as they could, got sweaty and alternating between damp, and fogged. The cat treed in a dark hole, on a very steep angle. First shot held up way too much front sight. Total surprise I'm expecting four legs to the sky, dawns on me what I'd done, so I immediately over correct and break a front leg. Cat bails we start again. Being crippled the dogs did catch it on the ground. Post event analysis of the variety of wounds on the dogs, and the cat looked like the old Plott caught the cat going away literally bit the behind out of it, the black and tan backing the older dogs play came in face to face, and had both ears shredded for his trouble, the little pit bull got the back of the neck, and the cat got the worst of that. About the time I got there every body was regrouping for round 2. Not wanting any more vet bill than was already on the docket, and ****ed at myself I waded in determined not to miss I waded in stuck muzzle to rib cage and finished it. Cat was pretty well done by then, but adrenaline, and testosterone cocktails don't usually make for good decision making.

I'm not saying cats are tough, but technology can be a huge variable. I saw a factory .270 130 grain core loct fail to penetrate the shoulder of a medium sized male, and require another to finish it. Had I not been there and cleaned the animal I wouldn't have believed it. I don't believe we could make it happen again.
 

Varmint Hunter

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After conducting a little internet research on the subject I have noticed a few things:

1) Virtually every chambering from 22LR to 12 ga has been used successfully for taking mountain lions. Bow & arrow was fairly common too.
2) While many shooters used a 22 mag, most recommended a centerfire over any rimfire
3) Oddly enough, the 30-30 was the most common recommendation that I saw even though you could expect exit wounds with this classic deer round

A Hornady tech commented that their 120 (7mm) V-Max was much more likely to exit than a 55gr V-Max from a .223, although shot angle or presentation would make a big difference with the 120. I guess that goes without saying. LOL

At this point the .223 seems to be the most logical choice given my concern for fur damage. Now all I have to decide is whether I'll be shooting a 50gr, 55gr or 60gr bullet.
 

Broz

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At this point the .223 seems to be the most logical choice given my concern for fur damage. Now all I have to decide is whether I'll be shooting a 50gr, 55gr or 60gr bullet.

50 or 55 gr ballistic tip and lets hope it does not exit. I don't think it will unless you miss all ribs.

The one we fought on the ground was shot with a 30-30 with a very light weight ballistic tip. Shot in the tree took only a front paw. The point blank shot to the chest, while he was on the ground, on his back, held by a Schnee boot on his throat, never exited either, but a little hair was singed. Yeah, that one got a little western.


Jeff
 

Broz

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Have a great hunt!

Jeff

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