What an awesome day here in southern Utah mountain lion hunting with dogs. Started out early morning looking for a good fresh track to work some young up and coming dogs and to get some seasoned hounds a good exercise run. As we worked up the mountain road the snow was still slightly falling, A little worried that the storm through the night would have everything held up through the night. I have found when it storms through the night a lot of game holds tight for the night, hard to find a track with no movement.
The fresh tracks of a truck and buggy showed me that we were behind this morning. And they had the same idea as me, because they turned down the same little two track road. As I stopped to empty the morning coffee I could hear the sounds of the hounds coming from the canyon below us. Sucks we got beat to the punch but on the other hand the storm hadn’t stopped game movement.
Fresh Snow = Fresh Tracks
I could see in the fresh snow that they hadn’t just turned out on one lion but two maybe a half mile apart and by golly the one looked to be a hell of a good tom. Down the road we went, with this fresh snow we didn’t need to go slow that’s for sure. The farther we went the more worried I got nothing in this direction was on the move, lucky guys got the only two that were on the prowl.
There I was a mile from the mouth of the canyon on the way off the mountain luck smiled on us and we cut the track of what looked like a good mature tom. Dump the box, adrenaline pumping. The race was on, had five hounds along today two good well broke seasoned hounds Ellie and Jake. One tall rangy blue tick walker cross that is coming along well and two young yearlings that need to see lots of cougars.
The race was on and in my excitement I forgot to get some video of the start of the race.
Up the hill I went but to no avail it was a good hot track they were gone before I could get any footage. The way they were heading there was a big deep canyon covered in cedars and pinions, with lots of big boulders and rock slides. Its steep nasty rocky country and it can and will get western here.
I headed down canyon to hit a little buggy trail that worked part way up the canyon I hoped they would tree in. damn if I didn’t hit a small female lion right at the mouth of the canyon. Well maybe if we have enough time we can put up a double?
As I reached the end of the road we were still a mile from where the dogs were treed, it’s all afoot from here.
Now a mile don’t sound like much of a distance but you take the rugged terrain topped with ice and a good foot of snow and you have a work out. When we got to those dogs they were singing the sweetest mountain music ever, treed. What a sight. On the way back we turned out on the little female lion. Long story short she headed to the breaks and we got down in the clay hills and no double for us today.
But hell what a day 4 fresh lion track in a 10 mile circle and two big toms. We have no shortage of trophy caliber toms.