Boone and Crockett Cougar
It has been a long time coming for me as an outdoorsman to be able to have the opportunity to harvest such an amazing animal. I am an Oregon resident and we lost our right to hunt Mountain Lion and Bears with the use of dogs back in the mid-90s. It is next to impossible to harvest a Mountain Lion in the state of Oregon. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some folks that have been very lucky. Most Lion harvests are either encountered while hunting or some have been killed while trying to call in other animals. I know about a couple of lions that have been taken because the hunter was being stalked.
With that being said, I have tried to apply for a Non- Resident Hound permit in the State of Idaho for many years. The State of Idaho only offers 70 statewide permits to Non-Residents. The cost of this permit, if you draw, is 165.00. I have only been lucky enough to draw 2 permits, in all the years that I have applied so needless to say, I really wanted to put this permit to use again. The Law states that if you are in possession of pursuit dogs or handling pursuit dogs, you must have a permit. You can go for a ride along with a hound’s man, but you can’t have any contact with the dogs or harvest the animal, even if you have a Non-Resident tag for the species being pursued. If you book a hunt with an outfitter, then the hunter will fall under the outfitters permit. That’s only if you book with an Outfitter.
I drew my first permit in 2016. We hunted as much as possible and tried to hunt fresh snows every chance we got. We would even walk large canyons with the dogs, hunting, hoping to find that one special track or just a track. On the morning of the 18th of January, we cut the track that I have been waiting to see for many years. A large Tom had crossed a logging road that we were traveling on. The track was the size of a tea saucer and when I measured his stride at 44 inches, I knew he was a dandy.
We turned the dogs out and finally after several hours of watching dogs on the GPS, the cat jumping from the tree, and crossing drainage after drainage, he finally came to rest in a large fir tree in the bottom of a large deep canyon.
As I approached the tree and stood below this awesome creature, all I could do is think back on all the years that
I have wanted to have this moment. After all the highs and lows and many miles walked, it was my time.
I made one shot to the chest of this lion with my Hoyt bow and he was done in seconds. Other than my wife and kids, this is
my highest of highs.
Categories: Hunting Stories