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Cougar and Montain Lion Hunting



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The cougar is a species with many names. Cougar, catamount, puma, panther, mountain lion all refer to the same animal. It has a versatile habitat and finds a home in forests, grasslands, semi deserts, swamps and mountains taking shelter in caves, rocks, thick undergrowth, and amid bushes.

Cougar Facts and Habitat

Depending on its habitat, its color can vary from grayish to dark/reddish/sandy brown. It has a plain coat that is light beige around the throat, chest, inner legs and stomach. Large and heavy, it is next only to the tiger, lion and the jaguar. The average male is about 125 to 150 pounds with females weighing 95 to 115 pounds. Adult specimens measure approx. 8 feet (nose to tail tip). The cat has a small head as compared to the body with dark markings around the nose. The muscular hind legs are longer than the forelegs and the tail is long with a dark tip. The cat is a carnivore and preys on white tailed deer, moose calves, elk, mule deer etc. hunting mostly at dawn and during evenings.

Hunting Cougars With Hounds

Mountain lions/cougars are extremely elusive animals and are hunted predominantly through the use of dogs as they are seldom seen in the wild. People search for cougar tracks in the snow driving along the sides of forest service and BLM private roads with their dogs. Whenever they find tracks that have a fresh look they let the dogs loose and start to follow them. Feverishly tracking the cougar the dogs get hot on its trail barking incessantly. The hunted cat flees trying to get to a place where the pursuing dogs cannot reach it. The dogs eventually force it to seek shelter by going up a tree, into a cave, or out on a ledge. Cornering it there allowing the hunter a chance to shoot and bag the trophy. They basically hunt the cat by scent. Without the dogs it would be virtually impossible to get to the cat just by following its tracks.

Cougar Hunting Dog Breeds

Black/tan, redbone or mixed breed hounds are generally considered to be good cougar hunting dogs. Dogs are evaluated for their heart and their willingness to hunt. A dog that has the right personality will do really well when he is interested in running lions. It is advisable to have four to six good dogs in the pack to keep the cougar occupied and prevent it from focusing on any one dog. It can kill a dog with one lightning fast slap when cornered at a place where there is no tree.

Cougars move at night and trailing during the day with the dogs is actually following the trail where an animal has traveled during the night. Tracks that are one or two nights old are considered fresh. On following fresh tracks the cat can usually be located the same day; at times it may take another day or two.

Field Judging Cougars

The size of the cat can be gauged by measuring the distance between marks made by the rear foot and the front foot. This is known as the stride of the animal. A good-sized cougar would measure around seven feet and its stride would roughly measure the same length.

Cougar Hunting Equipment

The hardware used for hunting cougar varies from hunter to hunter. However, there is a general consensus regarding the use of the .270 Winchester, 30-30, 30.06 rifles, and .45 caliber handguns with barrel lengths of 4 inches and above. The preferred ammo for use in the rifles is the .270 Winchester with bullet weights in excess of 130 grains, the .30 WCF and the 30.06 Springfield with bullet weights in the range of 150 grains and above. The .45 ACP, with bullet weight of 185 grains or above, is the ammunition of choice for handguns used for hunting cougar. Guns and ammo as mentioned above are the accepted minimum recommended by experts and professionals; any thing on the heavier side may also be used.

Cougar meat is one of the highly desired game meats, be sure to try some tasty cougar meat recipes once you get your cougar meat back from the butcher.




Posted November 30, -1 by Justin Ott






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