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Subject Topic: Washington Cougar Hunt Begins! Post ReplyPost New Topic
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M700
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 4:36pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Today was the first day I really hunted mountain lion seriously this winter. Was a nice, clear 19 degrees with a fair bit of fresh snow on the ground. I'd talked to the WDFW people and let 'em know that I'm going to be out there quite a bit over the next few weeks and months. They're hoping I tag a cat. Me too! Season is open now for bobcat, cougar and of course coyotes.

Chilly but beautiful today:












Was smart enough, for once, to stop after the Jeep was dragging the rear diff through the snow. That's often a prelude to getting stuck. I was miles back in off the main road, and on my own. I didn't want to mess around with a stuck Jeep! So, parked it, put on my snowshoes and my pack, and headed out afoot. No luck, but it was glorious being out there in the Big Quiet.


By glassing, I found the mule deer. They were bedded down on sunny, south-facing slopes, as expected. Did not however find a cat or coyote. I shall persist! Rifle is the 308, with 125 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip handloads and the 6x SWFA scope.


Terrific snowshoes! So happy with the little MSR shoes!


All set for poking around the snowy backroads. Survival gear & food, Max Trax, chains, winch, recovery strap, extra fuel, etc... The BFG KO2's are working great in the snow!


I don't think this is going to be easy, but it gives me a worthwhile hunting project over the coming weeks and months.

Guy
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turbo1889
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 11:21pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

No dogs?

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M700
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 7:44am | IP Logged Quote M700

turbo1889 wrote:
No dogs?


Illegal to use dogs for hunting cougar in Washington for at least 20 years now.

Can't bait or use dogs for bear hunting either.

So... spot & stalk, and predator calling. I think we take more mountain lions in Washington by luck than anything else. Elk & deer hunters happening across a cougar.

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 9:24am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

As usual, Guy, the your pictures are enough reason to stop by the site. Just looks like one beautiful day to be outside.

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M700
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 11:08am | IP Logged Quote M700

KinleyWater wrote:
As usual, Guy, the your pictures are enough reason to stop by the site. Just looks like one beautiful day to be outside.


Thanks!

It was a great day. Below the clouds was all gray... Above the clouds was incredible bright sunshine!

Both were kinda cold! Not toooo cold, just enough to remind me that it was winter. I might go back out there in a while and camp for a couple of days. Just get away from everything.

Guy
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: January 05 2019 at 7:34am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Guy

Probably an exercise in futility, cats move more in the night time. They do travel during daylight hours, but like low light conditions better.

Just driving around hoping to spot one is a bit like playing the lottery.

Talking to your local wildlife enforcement agents, is a good method for finding areas with regular cat populations. Talking to the biologists is not as productive, as they tend to regard the animals as theirs..

Mt. Lions are very secretive animals, you are many times more likely to see bears than big cats. I have a lot of lions in my area, but have not seen one in some time, and I am out every day, early AM and again after dark.

Cats will respond to a predator call, if that method is legal where you are.

Nice pictures.
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M700
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Posted: January 05 2019 at 8:01am | IP Logged Quote M700

John - ya, I haven't laid out the whole strategy. I'm trying. I'm learning.

And, I know there's a slim chance of actually making it happen. I've only seen a handful of mountain lions in my lifetime, all chance encounters.

I'm working it though. Been in contact with the WDFW people. Have let other folks, ranchers & farmers know that I'm real interested.

I know where the mule deer winter here. Looking around the edges of those areas for cat tracks.

Found one place where there was what appeared to be a lion-killed deer, and three piles of scat within 150 - 200 yards of it.

And yes, have the ol' predator call ready. I don't intend to just start blindly using it, but if I figure an area where the cat might be, then... I'll give it a try.

Not just "driving around hoping to spot one."

Sadly though, real life intrudes and I haven't been able to dedicate as much time as I'd like to this. Still, been out some, will get out some more. If nothing else, I'm having a blast being out in the hills on my snowshoes or in my Jeep.

Ya, I know there's a low chance of success without being able to use dogs.

Guy
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M700
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Posted: January 05 2019 at 8:09am | IP Logged Quote M700

Most of the folks I know who have killed a mountain lion, did it while hunting something else, and kinda just came across one of the big cats. I've listened carefully to their stories.

1. Fellow I know was out chukar hunting with his shotgun. Came across cougar tracks. Followed them, found the cat, then shot and killed it with his shotgun.

2. Lady was bow hunting for deer. Was up in her tree stand, camo clothing, scent blocker all that stuff the whitetail bowhunters do. Eastern Washington. Cat comes cruising on by on the game trail she's watching. Knowing she has a tag (cheap in Washington) she took advantage of it, and put a broadhead through that cat! I've seen the rug, my goodness, that's a BIG cat!

3. A fellow lived with his family out in a rural area. Had some horses, chickens etc... His 13 year old son went out to check on the chickens one night 'cause they were getting real noisy. Kid found a mountain lion in the yard, trying to get to the chickens. Shot the cougar with a shotgun. It vanished in the dark, kid scampered back inside. My buddy and his boy went out and found the dead animal in daylight, next morning. Not a hunt, but everyone was real proud of the kid.

4. A fellow near here had a similar situation going on and lost a couple of animals. He set up, waiting. Got the cat after a few nights

And more, but I'm tired of typing. Heading out to the range in a bit when we get sunrise! :)

So - ya - I'm paying attention - and I've got some folks looking out, ready to call me if they see one, signs of one, hear about one.

Maybe... Maybe this winter I'll make it happen. Not betting the house on it though! :)

Guy
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rednekpaul
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Posted: January 18 2019 at 9:27pm | IP Logged Quote rednekpaul

M700 wrote:
turbo1889 wrote:
No dogs?


Illegal to use dogs for hunting cougar in Washington for at least 20 years now.

Can't bait or use dogs for bear hunting either.

So... spot & stalk, and predator calling. I think we take more mountain lions in Washington by luck than anything else. Elk & deer hunters happening across a cougar.

Guy


I really don`t understand the no dogs for cat hunting. It takes some real good dogs to catch a cat and its not easy. People think that lions just pop up a tree as soon as the dogs find one. Might be 2 mountains over with 2 feet of snow before they tree. I guess the anti hunters have taken over in Washington. It took over a week and a lot of miles on snowshoes to catch up with this one!





Edited by rednekpaul on January 18 2019 at 9:29pm
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M700
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Posted: January 19 2019 at 10:52am | IP Logged Quote M700

Ya, it was over 20 years ago that the anti-hunters used the "initiative" process to outlaw hunting with hounds, also outlawed baiting for bears.

Why bother paying all these great wildlife biologists who thought we were doing just fine controlling the bear & cougar populations by hound hunting and baiting? Sheesh... Wildlife management by ballot, and the liberal urban voters outnumber us here. Phooey. Still..

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M700
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Posted: January 19 2019 at 10:55am | IP Logged Quote M700

Oh - two nights ago I got a call from one of my handgun students. She hadn't fired a pistol, ever, until three months ago. Was worried about bear and mountain lion on her small rural property.

Two nights ago she finished up feeding and tending the horses in her barn... Walked outside, and saw a cougar in a tree near the barn & corral. She drew her 9mm Glock and shot it!

Followed it through the snow at night, and finished it off with two more shots to the head.

Sheriff office and the Fish & Wildlife folks agree that it was a justifiable kill. I know the officers who responded. They tell me that she managed to make a mighty fine shot!

I'm pleased. She called me up so doggone excited!

Guy
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