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Mountain Lions 101

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by lizziedog1, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. lizziedog1

    lizziedog1 Well-Known Member

    I know I have another thread started here about Mountain Lions. This is a more generic thread. If you read my other thread, you know that I have a tag for these creatures. I don't plan on hunting them on purpose, but people have run into them around here. If I see one within range I am going to take the shot.

    Who has ever hunted cougars? Who has ever bagged one?

    How difficult of a creaturea are they to kill? Is there a minimum caliber consideration? Our state regulations state that any centerfire, 22 caliber or larger, is legal. So, is a 223 or 22-250 powerful enough? Where is the best spot to aim at on one?

    Lets say I get lucky and nail one. What next? Do I field dress the animal like I would a deer? Is the meat even palatable? What if I want to make a throw rug out of the hide?

    I know there are books and websites that I can look up. But I want to hear from you guys that have actuall field experince.
  2. Cob

    Cob Well-Known Member

    I've only seen one "panther" in my life, in the wild, and they are protected in FL, and on the T&E list with USFW.

    I do not have any advice on harvesting one, only shoot with accuracy, and kill the magnificent creature as quickly and humanely as possible. I would go with a cartidge larger than what you have listed.
  3. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    I've killed about a couple Mt Lions and was a professional guide specializing in cats and bear and have guided at least a dozen hunters to cat kills.

    Cats are super soft but I'd not use a .22 center fire on one given the choice I'd step up to a .243 minimum if you are not treeing them. If you are treeing them a .22 CF will be fine. Shoot them right behind the shoulder for a heart lung shot. The heart and lungs is a bit further back than on a deer. If treed get under them and shoot them in the white throat patch just down from the chin.

    If you get lucky on one you need to know how to skin it for a flat skin rug. I won't try to describe it here but it's not all the hard. The meat tastes much like pork and is very palatable. There are only three way to hunt a cat. The productive way is use hounds. The less productive way is to call with a predator call and the flat lucky almost never happens way is dumb luck and run into one during the daylight hours and having enough time to see identify and shoot one. Which is next to impossible.

    A couple of king sized toms for your viewing pleasure.


    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  4. Pacsd

    Pacsd Well-Known Member

    I don't hunt them myself but, I have several buddies that do and are quite successful. We have a season/quota on them however once a certain amount of females are killed the season is over unless the quota is filled with a mix of toms and females. Dogs are not allowed but, the state will use dogs to track down a nuisance cat. Some guys will cut a track in the snow and take off after them or sit and use the distress calls or even stumble across one of thier kills and sit it out. The license comes with a recipe for cooking them. One guy nailed one over a kill with a bow this year. Most guys use thier deer/elk calibers and .22 centerfires. Several cats are taken out every year after being too familiar with residential areas, threatening live stock, pets or people. And who knows how many have fallen to SSS.
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator


    Where is "here", what state are you in?
  6. Ex

    Ex Well-Known Member

    Here in Arizona, there is no where that mountain lions don't range. Az issues 250-350 permits /yr.

    My question is survival related.

    Scenario: Tent camping in mountains. Confronted by mountain lion or bear.

    Weapon at hand:
    Glock G29 10mm

    Full power 10mm loads.
    Would you choose JHP or FJM or perhaps alternate rounds in the magazine?
  7. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    JHP would be fine on light skinned light boned critters like a Mt lion or a Black Bear.
  8. Ex

    Ex Well-Known Member

    Thanks H&H. I had also heard that if you ever have to stop a charging bear, go for the front shoulder blades. Any truth to that?
  9. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Go for anything you can get and keep firing. It's pretty tough to pick your shots during a true life charge. About the best you can hope for is putting them into the front half.
  10. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    H&H pretty well covered the subject, but I'll add my 2ยข about the meat: Truly Tasty! Slow-cook barbecue a ham, and seriously yummy!
  11. burninfuel

    burninfuel Member

    I have been told that the early settlers prefered cougar over venison.
    I would use a 243, but I'm a varmint caller and use a 223, haven't called one in yet but my game offical said "I would suggest a tag so you can get it shot"
  12. Pacsd

    Pacsd Well-Known Member

    H & H, "here' is in western So. Dakota, near Mt Rushmore.
  13. Pacsd

    Pacsd Well-Known Member

    I thought I'd post this just for a few chuckles. A few weeks ago Fish & Game were in a chopper above our State Park wanting to dart a few elk for research. They darted a cow. The tonic was working as the elk began to stumble about then settled down in some brush near a stand of trees. Much to their surprize a lion comes out of the trees and nails the elk. Last week a lion was taken in that area and they are thinking it was the same one that found that easy meal. Two things here; did the residual of the tonic have an affect on the cat and will choppers be a dinner bell much as a rifle shot is to bear?
  14. Pacsd

    Pacsd Well-Known Member

    H & H, BTW.....nice pics of the cats. Thanks for postin' them.
  15. Cob

    Cob Well-Known Member

    H&H, I've looked at anumber of the pics you have posted, including moutain lions, Gnu in Boo Karoo, Caribou, read some of your posts on Africa...

    It looks as if you have had an excellent hunting career, and enjoy reading the posts.
  16. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator


    Thanks I'm glad you enjoy reading my stuff.:)
  17. harrygunner

    harrygunner Well-Known Member

    Don't hunt them, but I've seen two over the years. One a hundred yards away, the other way too close. All in California.

    This weekend, I hiked in a nearby mountain range after recent rainy days. Saw perfect mountain lion tracks along with tracks of at least one cub.

    I know my 10mm will stop one if I see it in time. Periodically check my 'six' and pay attention to sounds.

    I might climb that area again to take a couple of photos of scratches I saw at the edge of the trail. That day was still overcast and drizzly, so I did not take my camera.

    In addition to the foot prints and long thin, shiny black scat, I saw long parallel scratches in the dirt. I saw the scratches before seeing the prints, but I stopped since they were unusual.

    Saw four parallel lines about eight inches long with a total width of about four inches. One end veered in direction for about another three inches. The other end was off-trail in the grass. That grass was torn up.

    The lines were very parallel, but I could not attribute them to human effort. After seeing the other cat signs, I figured these could have been a mountain lion marking territory.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  18. Pacsd

    Pacsd Well-Known Member

    Another cat was taken in the state park yesterday by a 15 year old lad accompanied by his dad. A 86 pound 1-2 year old tom. They had set up a fawn decoy and a fawn-distress call, turned it on and began walking back to thier near by blind when the lion appeared about 50 yards away in a fast walk toward the decoy. The youngster shouldered the rifle and downed the cat.

    GWARGHOUL Well-Known Member

    I have to ask with so many big cats populations.. WHY?

    If you see it, it already knows you are there and has decided to look away. Why take a shot at it, if you aren't going to eat it?

    This absolutely enrages me.
  20. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator


    I guess I don't understand your question? Are you saying we shouldn't hunt cats because there are so many of them?

    You do realize that the controlled quota systems on big cats is an important management tool right? That conservation managers depend on the take set every year for management reason. Or were you under the false urbanized impression that Mt Lions were on the brink of extinction. If so come on out with me and I'll show you just how many cats there really are in the Rocky Mt region of the US. Most people don't have a clue just how many cats are living right in the same neighborhood as they don't know what to look for. Once you learn cat sign you see it everywhere but it takes a trained eye.

    By your logic do have to eat coyotes if you shoot them too?

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