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Old 01-02-2021, 12:01 PM   #1
outlook8
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Default RECAP - Utah Archery Mountain Lion

I didnít do a live hunt as I figured this hunt would be an easy in and out, but it turned out to be more of an adventure than expected.

After 4-5 years putting in, I finally drew a Cougar tag for the Central Mountains, Nebo Unit. With a crazy busy work schedule, combined with a move, I didnít have near as much time to get my legs into shape as I wouldíve liked. You never can be in good enough shape living at sea level and coming up to the mountains at 8,000+ feet, so itís always a bit of a struggle.

I flew out at noon the day after a Christmas. My only instructions were to call my guide when I landed to see which direction to head. I landed, got my bow case, and headed south. Made a stop at Scheels (Cabelas on steroids) and picked up some nice insulated gloves and wool ear warmers. Temps were forecasted for lows below zero and highs in the upper 20s with plenty of snow.

Spoke with my guide and got a room in South Provo. Unpacked my bow case and started packing my backpack and getting gear ready for an early morning departure. Realized I only brought three wacíem broadheads by mistake, so I made a run to Sportsmenís Warehouse and picked up a pack of Montecs (never shot them before but looked similar to the wacíems with a bit larger cutting diameter). My 4 arrow quiver was now full.

Guide (Hadley) called and said to meet him at 5AM, so I set my alarm for 4 and laid down for a restless nights sleep.




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Old 01-02-2021, 12:03 PM   #2
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Saw BYU stadium, fittingly the home of the Cougars.



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Old 01-02-2021, 12:05 PM   #3
Drycreek3189
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Only one pack of broadheads ? Aim small, miss small !



BTW, I have some Wac ĎEms in the calassifieds


Now, letís have the rest of it !
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:10 PM   #4
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4AM came early after a crappy nights sleep. I got ready, got all my gear and checked out of the hotel hopeful for a day one kill. Drove over the Sportsmenís parking lot and met my guide Hadley. Was surprised to see he had a snow mobile with a dog box trailer on sleds as well. The dogs in the box in the bed of his truck were amped up ready to go. I parked my rental car, grabbed my backpack and bow and hopped in his truck.

We started driving north, which was a little odd to me as I knew most of my unit was further south. In the course of making small talk, it was determined that they thought I had a tag for a different unit. We pulled over, regrouped, headed back to my rental and I followed him south for an hour. Disappointment set in on that hour drive as I knew they had scouted, and located toms, in the wrong unit.

The owner of the outfit called me to apologize for the mix up, but assured me he was headed south to start looking for tracks as well.

We made it to Nephi and I parked my car and again hopped in with Hadley and another guy had now joined us to help as well. The hunt for tracks began...




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Old 01-02-2021, 12:11 PM   #5
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:12 PM   #6
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:13 PM   #7
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Only found these Merriam turkeys and some old lion tracks that morning. The guide would cross the mountains in the fresh powder with a radio and we would drive the truck around to meet him on the other side. He covered well over 100 miles on the sled that day.




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Old 01-02-2021, 12:19 PM   #8
Rudyl
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Loving this, feels like a live hunt.
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:22 PM   #9
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Looking forward to this .
I'm betting the lion hunt turned out to be way more strenuous than you thought it would be.

And, oh yeah, no love for BYU up this way.
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:24 PM   #10
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:25 PM   #11
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:25 PM   #12
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Dog box sled



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Old 01-02-2021, 12:26 PM   #13
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Our trusty stead...



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Old 01-02-2021, 12:26 PM   #14
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Cutting trail



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Old 01-02-2021, 12:27 PM   #15
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:28 PM   #16
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Default RECAP - Utah Archery Mountain Lion

Day one was a bust with us cutting 7-8 lion tracks, but all were old. Only two of them appeared to be toms as well.

I drove back to spring like and checked into the same hotel with just a single night reservation.

Day 2 to follow...


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Old 01-02-2021, 12:29 PM   #17
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Refresh. Refresh!
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:52 PM   #18
Slick8
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Tuned in. This sounds good.

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Old 01-02-2021, 12:57 PM   #19
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In
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Old 01-02-2021, 01:11 PM   #20
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In
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Old 01-02-2021, 01:21 PM   #21
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Old 01-02-2021, 01:50 PM   #22
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Tagged


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Old 01-02-2021, 01:53 PM   #23
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Loving this story
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Old 01-02-2021, 01:56 PM   #24
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:04 PM   #25
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:39 PM   #26
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Something to do today while the deer aren’t moving !
Thank you sir, keep it coming.
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:45 PM   #27
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In for the rest of the story.
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:56 PM   #28
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Still hanging on......
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Old 01-02-2021, 03:00 PM   #29
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:58 PM   #30
freerhunter16
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In! What outfit did you hunt with? I killed my lion with Wade Lemon Hunting just South of Nephi near Salina.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:45 PM   #31
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Day two was another early morning with me checking out of my hotel and driving south the nest Hadley and a landowners 15 year old son to go check a large tract of private land. I followed them to the ranch with temps in the teens and snow falling pretty good.

We made it to the ranch and I discovered it was an elk breeding operation with hundreds of elk running around. They had a really nice setup out there. Unfortunately, we spent three hours snowmobiling around cutting tracks with only one old track found. I also took a pretty good spill off the sled into some nasty powder.

After getting my stuck rental car (impala) free, we headed south towards Wales. Here we looked for a bit on public land with no luck, then hit a small section of private and found one couple day old track. We decided to let the dogs out and see if they would go but no luck.

It was mid afternoon and snowing pretty good at this point so we decided to call it a day and I headed back to Springville to check back into my hotel.




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Old 01-02-2021, 06:46 PM   #32
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:47 PM   #33
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:47 PM   #34
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:48 PM   #35
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:49 PM   #36
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Enjoying it so far!
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:53 PM   #37
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Day 3 started early again with me checking back out of the hotel and driving south to meet the owner of the outfit (Garett) as Hadley had to get back to his real job.

Pretty much the same routine, cutting tracks, but now the snow was MUCH deeper. Garett also had another guide (Tyler) out cutting tracks south of us. We drove some beautiful country with fresh powder, only cutting one super fresh set of bobcat tracks. Seeing as I hadnít ever killed a bobcat either, we decided to cut the dogs loose on them.

They ran what we thought was backwards on the track, and Tyler called to say that he had located a fresh set of lions tracks, so we called them off and headed his way. A little ways down the road, we saw where the bobcat had backtracked...turns out the dogs were right. Oh well, the main quarry was lion.





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Old 01-02-2021, 06:54 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freerhunter16 View Post
In! What outfit did you hunt with? I killed my lion with Wade Lemon Hunting just South of Nephi near Salina.

Alpha Outfitters


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Old 01-02-2021, 06:54 PM   #39
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:55 PM   #40
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Tagged for later. THanks for sharing
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:55 PM   #41
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:56 PM   #42
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Bobcat tracks



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Old 01-02-2021, 07:03 PM   #43
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We made it over to where Tyler had located the tracks, looked to be a decent tom so we loaded the dogs into the sled boxes and headed up to cut them loose. We took several older, more experienced dogs as well as four pups. All fired with GPS collars so we could keep an eye on their whereabouts.

Immediately, the older dogs got on the trail and we watched on the GPS as they ran several miles up and over the mountain hot on the lions trail. Shortly after, it looked as though they had him treed so we loaded up on the snowmobiles and headed up and over the mountain to get closer.

I was thinking it was all but over from here as we we 300 yards from the trees lion and it was downhill! Wrong!

They were down a cliff so we had to hike 5 hours over, down the bottom in knee to waist deep snow, then back up where we finally spotted the lion high up in a dead spruce.

It was all I could do to climb up to it on all fours while sliding backwards. To make it worse, we lost the GPS. This is also where I found out my guides holster wasnít for a gun, but for his GPS. So, we had not pistol and no GPS. Great.




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Old 01-02-2021, 07:03 PM   #44
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:04 PM   #45
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:05 PM   #46
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My first glimpse of the lion (red circle). Having never seen one in the wild, I was pumped. It gave me the little boost of energy I needed to finish the climb.




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Old 01-02-2021, 07:06 PM   #47
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Getting closer, lion still in the tree. Dogs still going berserk below.




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Old 01-02-2021, 07:06 PM   #48
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:07 PM   #49
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:13 PM   #50
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The cat looked HUGE to me, and I was about to get my pack off to grab my bow when I heard Tyler say...ĎI think itís a femaleí.

Talk about being defeated. I had just hiked through 5+ hours of hell and it wasnít a cat they wanted me to kill!

I was still snapping pics when he said he was going to throw a stick at it to see if it would move so he could get a better look at the business end. No big deal I thought, until he threw the stick and the cat started running down the tree right towards me. I saw his eyes get the size of tennis balls has he ran backwards and all I could think to do was turn my back and hope the cat jumped on my pack instead of my face.

It leapt out of the tree from 10ish feet up landing writhing a few feet of me and sprinted back down the cliff with the dogs in tow.

I was so in awe I couldnít even be mad.

Then the death March back out of there started, it was miserable, getting dark, and I knew somewhere nearby there was a lion looking down at us from a tree.

Last pic i got f the cat coming down. Wish I had been videoing.



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