WYOMING MOUNTAIN LION – Hunt # 91
This outfitter was the head guide and also the manager for a number of years for a high quality western Wyoming outfit. He broke off in 2004 to go on his own. We have been working with him ever since. We hunted lion with him during the winter of 2006, and it was clear within a day, that he was truly special. This guy, and his other two cat guides, all deserve to be called top notch. He and his guides have been virtually 100% on mountain lions for a number of years! Not getting a cat is rare, and mostly is due to poor weather if it happens at all! And Wyoming has big cats too. The #1 P&Y came from this very area! He also hunts Idaho, as his location is along the Wyoming/Idaho border, a region known for its big cats, and one we really like. Although no one has done it yet, we expect sooner of later a client will want a two state/two lion hunt! Butch has also hunted Shiras moose and mulies with him.
Houndsmen are special guys. They are incredibly physical (or should be), and scaling mountains and chasing after dogs is their daily routine for several months on end! You’re not going to keep up unless you are a marathon runner! But it does not matter- once they get a cat treed, ordinarily the dogs can hold the cat for several hours if need be. If the cat dives from the tree, he normally will be treed again by the time you reach the area. Sometimes the cat is never solidly treed, and your guide will get out of the woods a few hours later, or in the dark, having chased down and caught the dogs. This is a sport where “tough” is an every day word in those guides language. They work, and work hard! Joans guide was saved from a fall into a canyon because his shoe lace caught a snag!! Of course Joan and Butch were not up on the knife edge that the guide was tracking the dogs on.
A typical day starts around 4AM from Nov thru January. Long before first light, your guide will be on his snowmobile, running trail, looking for fresh cat sign. Once found, they will size the track accurately, and if a good cat, will discuss with you the cats size and let you decide whether to run it or look for another. You may accompany him on your own snowmobile, or do what we did at 23 below- wait in the truck while he ran trail in the dark!! Ouch! Often you will load and unload the snow machines 4 to 8 times a morning! Tough work and cold too. Once a good track is found, the dogs are put down and the chase begins. Often one guide will stick with the dogs while the other sticks with you and gets you to the cat.
Sometimes your walk to the cat is very short, snowmobiles taking you close. Other times, as with my wife Joan’s cat, you may hike 1 to 2 hours thru deep snow and up a mountain, to get to the cat, listening to the dogs hollering treed the whole way! Bring your video, for filming the cat is a real treat . Most hunts, a cat is taken within 2 or 3 days! If a fresh track is found too late in the day (usually meaning after 2 PM) – then you will check the area the next morning as chases in the dark are to be avoided! Incidentally he just got the right to run cats on some private Idaho ranches, which is important. This way, if Wyoming’s cat quota gets filled, you can still plan on cat hunting, but on the other side of the border! Cats in this area can run from 6’ to 8’ and a bit! Big males may run over 160 pounds, big females up to around 140 pounds. And with a quota system, the area always has a healthy cat population for your hunt. This is great country along the Wyoming-Idaho border, mountainous, incredible vistas, deer, elk and moose sightings a daily occurrence!
If you go, check the huge cat he has mounted in his living room. We were so impressed with the taxidermy that we sent Joan’s cat up to the guy to do- and as the pictures will show- he did an awesome job! A full mount of a mountain lion, is a sight to behold! A grabber in a game room!
On his guided hunts you stay in the new log lodge he built and which houses his family and his hunters. It has an awesome view of the mountains, is warm and clean and new, very comfortable, and sitting with his family and kids is a bunch of fun each night. All meals are home cooked. There are separate guest bedrooms and bathrooms, a rec room with pool table and satellite TV.
Fly to Jackson Hole and he can arrange pickup or else rent a vehicle. Take an extra day to see the Elk Refuge and the Western Art at the museum across from the refuge. Drive the back of the refuge to see the bighorn sheep and a wolf or two. Shopping and meals in Jackson can be fun, if so inclined.
Yellowstone is in driving distance too.
2014 Pricing: Lion hunts (Nov thru March ): $4500
RATES: $4500 5 days, 1×1 guiding, meals, lodging
DATES: December – February. If possible it’s best to leave on short notice to catch snow.
TRANSPORT: Fly to Jackson Hole or Idaho Falls- rent car.
LICENSES: Over counter $362