Part 2 Super Slam #2 Mountain Lion

Part 2 Super Slam #2 Mountain Lion

Hunting for tracks requires many hours of looking and there are hours and days that you will not find anything. You look around at the vastness of your surroundings and you start to think, what are the chances of finding a track, one track in an area as large as the New Mexico mountains. It’s not really a doubt but an underlying question in your mind. As the days go on you start to prepare for the if I do not harvest a lion scenario then that talk is happening within your thoughts as you search and search for another track.

We loaded up on the last day knowing a small snow storm was coming, this is a game changer when lion hunting on dry ground it means the odds shift from the lions advantage and levels the playing field. The excitement when the first snow flies sent us to camp to wait out a fresh covering, after about an hour of camp time we load up to the undisturbed snow.

We were not searching long, this is where having an experienced guide benefits you greatly when your time is running out. Cody knew an area that these cats use as a crossing we were on a partial print quickly and because it was a fresh track so we pulled a couple of dogs put them on the track and they were off which meant it was time to let them all go, nine dogs running up the mountain, The guides called it musical and it is something that brings an excitement I have never felt.

I grabbed my equipment, we checked the garmins for the location of the hounds, and suddenly your my guide yells “he is treed” There is so much that can go wrong and there are two things you are hoping for the safety of the dogs and that your cat stays treed. Getting into the ravine was a difficult trek with snow on the ground and my hands full of equipment the steepness of the mountains are extreme but after sliding most of the way down the mountain and doing everything I could to stop half way down suddenly I was there. I knew the dogs had him but how high was he, the dogs were barking and my guide was yelling directions while another guide was trying to manage the dogs.

I quickly nocked my arrow and could see the cat getting anxious so I drew my bow anchored it and as quickly as possible found the cat in my sight, my arm was fully extended above my head I used my 20 yard pin and knew he is a little higher, the only shot I had at the massive cat was a frontal lung so I took it and as my arrow connected the cat lunged on an upper branch and gave me a second shot so I took that as well but just as I took that shot he hunched back and I caught his shoulder. Suddenly he was slipping from his hold and started falling, I watched in amazement and within a fraction of a second, I will never forget this visual, he hit the ground on his side and rolled to his feet and was off and running.

It wasn’t long before he was tree’d again I had a good lung shot on him and he wasn’t going far but for us to get to him we had to backtrack up out and around the mountain, and then here we were again at the tree. Before I even knew whether to take a shot or not the lion jumped for the second time and no discussion, no talking, just watching the garmin and within minutes tree’d again! Again the chase was on, this time the oxygen is so thin I made my way to the top of the ravine and I could not catch my breath. One of the guides that joined us for the day from Premier Outfitters was an Elk guide in the same mountains and he looked at me and said its the oxygen you will be fine, so I gathered myself for about a minute and started heading to the truck again.

We got to the final mountain and it was so steep I couldn’t go down, so we started walking the road. Eventually we had to cut across the mountain this was very difficult with the snow covering I was sliding and trying to carry equipment but as I got to the lion tree for the last time I could see this was it for him there was no need to do anything except wait and as he started falling from the tree he hit the ground and the snarling and grabbing at the dogs it was all so fast and it was over we scrambled to check dogs all were superficial wounds except one his name is stitch and he was having trouble breathing. We cleaned up the cat and started the long hike up out of the ravine we each had a lot of equipment and a wounded dog so it took quite some time to get back out.

I thought all the way out of the ravine about our adventure and replayed each event in my mind. What I had just accomplished was surreal I know not every lion hunt is successful and I know not every lion hunt is hard but we hunted hard, my guides, the hounds and I all hunted hard and we did what not everyone gets to do and I now officially had my number 2 super-slam animal the North American Mountain Lion.

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