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Old 12-24-2018, 09:52 AM   #1
Closetohome
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So after 6 years of applying for my cougar tag in Utah I was finally successful in pulling the tag. There are over the counter quota tags available but the “limited entry” tags generally allow an earlier season and less hunting pressure depending on unit.

The tag was valid starting November 7th so I stayed glued to the 10 day forecast waiting for snow. Fortunately I had saved some vacation time and pre-negotiated my sudden disappearance with my wife in advance.

As luck would have it we caught a snow storm starting the week after Thanksgiving and I made the flight out. My brother in-laws both live and scout near the unit year around so we had a good idea where to start based on some trail cam pics from summer elk scouting.

The morning we started was -2 degrees and clear with fresh snow on the ground. Conditions were perfect. For those that haven’t cat hunted 95% of your time is spent driving around just looking for tracks, shooting the BS, and drinking coffee. Occasionally you get stuck in a snow drift and spend a few minutes winching out. As luck would have it the second target spot we cut a giant track and the other 5% of the lion hunt began. We dumped the dog box and waited about 20 minutes for the dogs to track him down. The time between dumping the dogs and hearing them tree a lion is important for a flat lander from sea level. I knew the longer they went the more hiking I had in store.

Fortunately the track was smoking hot and the dogs treed him about 600 yards up the side of the mountain. The unfortunate part was the side of the mountain was covered with deadfall trees, snow, and there wasn’t a clear unobstructed path forward. It was a snow covered uphill obstacle course but as we made our way forward and the barks became louder and louder I could feel the excitement building. We both slipped at least 3 or 4 times. Every tree branch I grabbed for support was covered in snow and dumped the snow on the back of my neck and down my shirt. I also noticed my riser and my bow sight beginning to get caked with snow.

As we made it to the top the excitement soon turned to disappointment. The dogs had calmed down and were making a figure 8 through the trees with an occasional bark. I sat down to catch my breath while my BIL hiked ahead to see if he could find more tracks. I sat there for about 4-5 minutes looking up trying to see if the cat had treed around us. We were in thick foliage covered in snow and it made it tough. As my BIL came back we were just about to call it off and happened to look up and there was the lion about 20 yards up and had been sitting there quietly the whole time. I think he treed so fast the dogs could smell him but didn’t see him go up the tree.

He started acting like he was going to jump so I rushed to get and arrow in him. The arrow hit him low in the front shoulder and exited his offside backstrap due to the angle. Arrow came out solid red, the cat jumped, and we thought he was done for. My only fear was that I had only hit one lung. To our dismay we heard the dogs barking about 200 yards down the hill. We slid and crab walked most of the distance as fast as we safely could to find ourselves eye to eye with the lion bayed up on the ground 7 yards in front of us. Second arrow was through both lungs and he was done for. We drug him the rest of the way off the mountain and we were absolutely spent. I could barely hold him up for pictures. For size reference I am 6’4 and 220lbs. The cat weighed in right at 180lbs and was 7’6” from tip to tail.

Last edited by Closetohome; 12-24-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:55 AM   #2
AntlerCollector
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Wow! What an awesome hunt. Congrats
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:00 AM   #3
88 Bound
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Incredible. Congrats!
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:11 AM   #4
jaker_cc
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Iíll be in Montana doing the same thing Jan 7-15, this is just what I needed to read to get me pumped up
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:32 AM   #5
Bowtech38
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Great cat congrats
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:38 AM   #6
McClain
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Awesome! Congrats on a nice trophy! Any thoughts on how you plan to display it?
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:41 AM   #7
m10
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Congrats! Thatís a bucket list of mine.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:43 AM   #8
cbarnes
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Awesome cat, Congratulations. Brought back a lot of great memories.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:45 AM   #9
Closetohome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McClain View Post
Awesome! Congrats on a nice trophy! Any thoughts on how you plan to display it?
Cape is with Phil Soucy in Libby, Montana. The man is an absolute artist with cats. Not certain on pose yet but he is doing a full body mount that will sit in the corner on the floor. Likely semi aggressive with open mouth...going to mimic his pose when he was bayed up on the ground growling at the dogs.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:47 AM   #10
Lawhunter
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Big kitty
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:47 AM   #11
HuntForHorns
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Great job Jimmy! Congrats!
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:48 AM   #12
thegrouse
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Nice. I was in Monticello, UT earlier in the year and ran into some cat hunters. Looks like a blast
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:53 AM   #13
jaker_cc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closetohome View Post
Cape is with Phil Soucy in Libby, Montana. The man is an absolute artist with cats. Not certain on pose yet but he is doing a full body mount that will sit in the corner on the floor. Likely semi aggressive with open mouth...going to mimic his pose when he was bayed up on the ground growling at the dogs.


Phil is higher than a giraffes backside, but he is sure an artist when it comes to cats.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:54 AM   #14
rjtkdplus
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Nice cat! Congrats!
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:54 AM   #15
ATXArcher
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Wow. Awesome hunt


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Old 12-24-2018, 10:57 AM   #16
MagicBlade
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Congrats! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-24-2018, 11:03 AM   #17
rosco11
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Man.. that's a great story and hunt.. congrats! Beautiful cat

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Old 12-24-2018, 11:04 AM   #18
32drawlength
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Congrats
Sounds like the lion adventure I did in Idaho
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Old 12-24-2018, 11:35 AM   #19
Jmh05
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Wow thatís one heck of an adventure. Iíve heard of people eating the meat and say itís very good and has a sweet taste. I eat a lot of stuff but not sure Iíd eat mountain lion. Did you eat it?


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Old 12-24-2018, 11:54 AM   #20
McClain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closetohome View Post
Cape is with Phil Soucy in Libby, Montana. The man is an absolute artist with cats. Not certain on pose yet but he is doing a full body mount that will sit in the corner on the floor. Likely semi aggressive with open mouth...going to mimic his pose when he was bayed up on the ground growling at the dogs.
Cant wait to see it. Keep us posted.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:34 PM   #21
Closetohome
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The first picture is a bit out of focus but my BIL snapped this right after the first arrow passed through...you can see the blood on his front shoulder and his nasty disposition

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Second picture gives you another idea of his size. We are sitting right behind it.

Last edited by Closetohome; 12-24-2018 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:34 PM   #22
graesz
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So awesome! Sounds like an awesome hunt, congrats on a beautiful cat!
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:45 PM   #23
ShawnG
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Sweet!!!
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:52 PM   #24
WBA2000
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Awesomeness!
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:53 PM   #25
Closetohome
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The next day we went out and put this guy up in the tree to get the dogs some more work and I brought my photo gear...took a few pics before we let him go.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:31 PM   #26
Treeshark
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What a great adventure and trophy!
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:55 PM   #27
Txhuntr2
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Super cool!
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:57 PM   #28
CamoQuest
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What an awesome hunt, and your pictures are gorgeous!
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:07 PM   #29
TxAg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closetohome View Post
Cape is with Phil Soucy in Libby, Montana. The man is an absolute artist with cats. Not certain on pose yet but he is doing a full body mount that will sit in the corner on the floor. Likely semi aggressive with open mouth...going to mimic his pose when he was bayed up on the ground growling at the dogs.
Congratulations.

Post a pic when it's done so we all can see what a good cat mount looks like. I like his instagram pics.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:07 PM   #30
Closetohome
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Originally Posted by TxAg View Post
Congratulations.

Post a pic when it's done so we all can see what a good cat mount looks like. I like his instagram pics.
I called him when we were caping it to ask his preference and the guy was meticulous explaining how he wanted it done. He texted us a diagram of exactly where he wanted it cut.

He is pricey but given his attention to detail on the front end I view it as an insurance policy against a bad mount. Given the time I have invested in drawing the tag and the odds of taking another cat that size an extra few hundred dollars divided over the life of the mount was a no brainer.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:09 PM   #31
TxAg
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^^^ awesome. The good cat mounta are worth it.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #32
buckerup
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Absolutely awesome!!!
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:20 PM   #33
Ellen
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Congratulations, beautiful creature.
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Old 12-24-2018, 04:59 PM   #34
Kingfisher789
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Wow. That’s a pretty big cat I’d say. Do they get much bigger?
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Old 12-24-2018, 05:05 PM   #35
courtstamper
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Congratulations man!!! I have always been fascinated by mountain lions. Your hunt and your cat are the stuff of dreams.
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Old 12-24-2018, 05:22 PM   #36
PL Hunter
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That is a great cat. Congratulations.


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Old 12-24-2018, 05:27 PM   #37
Clark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosco11 View Post
Man.. that's a great story and hunt.. congrats! Beautiful cat
This.
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:18 PM   #38
DavidH44
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Great thread congrats
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:11 PM   #39
Acameron52
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Too cool.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:21 PM   #40
Closetohome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmh05 View Post
Wow thatís one heck of an adventure. Iíve heard of people eating the meat and say itís very good and has a sweet taste. I eat a lot of stuff but not sure Iíd eat mountain lion. Did you eat it?


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I have eaten it and it isnít horrible but like most things it has to be cooked right. Lions have a very distinct smell that isnít very appetizing. A lot of the hounds men will feed the meat to their dogs as a reward and the protein helps keep weight on them.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:23 PM   #41
Closetohome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingfisher789 View Post
Wow. Thatís a pretty big cat Iíd say. Do they get much bigger?
They do get bigger and have been documented over 200-220lbs.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:36 PM   #42
Jcjohnson
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Man what a hunt congrats, thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-25-2018, 02:15 PM   #43
Flint knapper
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Congrats
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Old 12-25-2018, 02:30 PM   #44
NAVY CHIEF
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Saw a lot of them when I was stationed in grand junction. None that big! Thats an elk and mule deer killer. Beast
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:52 AM   #45
Closetohome
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I realized I totally forgot to post my finished mount from Phil Soucy...Of course it showed up on Mother's Day weekend which made the wife happy. Was about a 14 month wait and well worth it.

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Old 12-03-2020, 06:55 AM   #46
Pineywoods
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Wow. Awesome mount and hunt! I hope to be able to get one with my bow one day.
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:01 AM   #47
J.Shoot
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Wow.... that's awesome. I remember reading your post when you first put it up....
Great mount.
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:05 AM   #48
Chad_E
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Beautiful!
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:14 AM   #49
Mexico
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Unreal how big they get! Congratulations!
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:17 AM   #50
texasag05
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That mount turned out great. Awesome work!
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