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#718243 - 01/22/06 Just tagged my second cougar
rufous Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Dixie, WA
Hey guys I just got my second ever cougar this afternoon. I went up a nearby mountain (20 minute drive from downtown Walla Walla where I live) and on the way up I met the landowner coming down. He and his wife have given me permission to hunt bear and cougar on their mountain. I am truly blessed. Anyway he said there were some cat tracks crossing the road up ahead but thought they were a couple days old and not real big. Even so I decided to check them out because I do not see cougar very often, not even their tracks.

So I found where they crossed the road and followed along for a bit. I saw that they went down into a canyon and decided to go back to the truck and drive up the road further before hiking down another ridge in the hopes of cutting the tracks again. I worked down the ridge a ways and did cut the tracks again. The cat was working down into another canyon bottom so I again circled around on an old road (this was all in about 2' of snow) and cut its tracks again as it came up onto the road. I then followed the tracks for quite a way until it came up to yet another ridge and started down into the 3rd canyon. By now it was 315 and the tracks were no fresher looking. I was about to give up and head up slope to the main road and back down to my truck when I looked across the canyon and saw the cat. It was 440 yards away and walking slowly away.

I got my Kramer Snipepod bipod attached and prepared to take the shot (after dialing in 18 clicks of elevation on the scope). As it was moving I let out a meow and it stopped, quartering hard away. I fired and the cat made a big jump and ran to the canyon bottom. It sounded like the bullet had hit flesh. I started sidehilling and about 20 minutes later I saw it again, working its way straight up the hill on the opposite side of the canyon from me (same side it had been on). I got down prone in the snow and ranged the cat at 399 yards. I let out another meow and it stopped. This time it was broadside. My chest was heaving from sidehilling in the deep snow and the reticle was doing quite a dance. I did my best to settle the crosshairs on its chest and fired shot number 2 (this time the scope was up 13 clicks from my normal 250 yard zero). Again the cat leapt with a big jump and ran into the brush.

I hiked up to the top of the canyon on my side and down the main road to my truck. Then I drove further up the road to where an unused side road goes around the canyon the cat was in. I hiked out that road until I was on the other side of the canyon and right above where I last saw the cat. Then straight down the very steep slope. I found where the cat was when I shot it and followed its tracks. There was very little blood initially but then some big splotches. I found the cat about 15-20 yrds from where I hit it the 2nd time. My first shot connected but it was in the hind leg. I guess he was quartering too hard away. It was a tom but probably only about 100# live weight. In the photo it looks like the second shot hit it in the guts. It was further back than I wanted but it did take it in the chest, just barely. I got it gutted out and it about 30 yards from the gut pile. Then I packed its chest cavity with snow and tied it to a bush. Got to go back in the morning with some friends to pack it out.

My first cougar was shot on the same mountain about one mile from this one. My first cougar was taken on February 10th of 2002. That one was the 6th cougar I had seen in my life (the first was seen in August of 1999 and the 7th was seen in early April of last year). All of them have been in the Blue Mountains east of Walla Walla. Dogs are not allowed where I hunt so I am quite happy with both of these smallish cats. Both were taken the hard way. Not that I think hunting them with hounds is easy, I know it can be physically extremely tough but at least they are easier to find initially. Anyway I am delighted to once again tag a mountain lion and look forward to some excellent eating. I am not sure what to do with the hide. I had a beautiful rug made from my first cougar but as this one is not bigger I do not really want to have another rug made, nor am I wanting to spend the money. What I would like to do is sell it but I doubt that is legal. I will ask the Fish and Game guy when he seals the hide. Good hunting, Rufous.



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#718244 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
GregW Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 9810
Loc: Southern Arizona
AWESOME!!!!!!
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Booking 2015 trophy coues deer hunts now!


If you want to be someone, just do it. There are very few things that will not be a success with proper planning, hard work, and stubbornness.

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#718245 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
300wby Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 743
Loc: Colorado
Very good job man! I'll be fully honest and just say that I've never seen a cougar/mtn. lion in person let alone shot it.
Congratulations man!

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#718246 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Azshooter Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3017
Loc: Tucson, Az.
You could just have it processed so it gets preserved. Then hang it as is or save it to be completed later. I did this with two bear skins. I have them in my shop on the wall. They look smaller due to shrinkage but the cost was around $75 not the hundreds for a complete mount.

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#718247 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
rufous Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Dixie, WA
Azshooter, where did you get your bear hide tanned for such a low cost? I had one of my bear hides tanned since I already had a bigger bear rug but it still cost about $250. The 6.5' rug cost $900 so it was much cheaper than the rug but still a chunk of change. Rufous.

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#718248 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
41Keith Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/29/05
Posts: 3836
Loc: TallGrass, ND
Thanks for the terrific post.
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#718249 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9508
Loc: Asheville, NC
Outstanding!

What did you use to shoot him with?
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Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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#718250 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Brother Dave Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 12/30/02
Posts: 5859
Loc: Kodiak, Alaska
Congratulations, Brian...nice trophy.

Full Body Mount.....

Dave

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#718251 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
MallardAddict Online   content
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 3182
Loc: Rainy Western Wa
rufous
a buddy of mine got a 125 lb tom last wednesday probably not really far from where you were. We saw three during deer or elk season ( one ended up wearing my tag, about 110 lb tom) Nto sure what it si but a certain windmill project seems ot have stirred up alot of food and the cougars have become less wary that a way
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Originally Posted By: rosco1
Why cant you just pretend to imagine you found 1000 pieces of new brass for your imaginary rifle and be happy?

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#718252 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Cariboujack Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 9529
Loc: Alaska/Idaho
That is absolutely awsome. There must be a lot of cougars there to see 9 since 1999. I would love to see one in the wild...And plug it. Mostly we need help with the wolves here.
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#718253 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
rufous Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Dixie, WA
I wish I could afford a full body mount but I am thinking seriously about starting to make my own wine to sell so if I do that I will need all of my extra pennies. I used my 300 Win Mag with a 180 Barnes TSX. That is my main big game rifle and load. We got the cat out this morning. It was an adventure. Here is a photo of the canyon. I took the shot from about the middle of the photo and I took the photo from where the cat was at the shot.


I took in a plastic toboggan and we strapped the cat to it and then pulled it up the steep hill hand over hand up to the old road. Here are my cat packing buddies.

From there it was an easy drag.

The tom weighed 81# without the innards so its live weight was probably about 95#. It was 76" from tip of nose to tip of tail. Here are a couple photos of me with the cat.

And one from the front.

The cat is skinned out and the carcass is hanging in the garage. I am going to cut up the tenderloin and backstrap now. Rufous.

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#718254 - 01/22/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Shag Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 6488
Loc: Cowlitz County
Rufos, Great job man that is so awesome. You got the fire burning. I know what I'll be doing next weekend!!! What were you shootin?? CD
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Oakland Raiders

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#718255 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
auchumpkee-creek Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/06
Posts: 16
great story and GREAT Pic's
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#718256 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Jamie Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 3842
Loc: Oly.WA
Good job Rufous, A cougar has been on the top of my list of critters I want to get for along time.

Jamie

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#718257 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Okanagan Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 4064
Great story! Good hunting and superb shooting. Way to go.

I wonder if the reason you caught up with the cat, when its tracks appeared two days old, was that it had killed something in the canyon bottom and stayed there for the last day or so? Looks like it would be too rough a trip back just to find out for curiosity's sake.

Thanks for the stories and pics.

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#718258 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
SU35 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 12034
Very Cool!


Spike eat your heart out....

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#718259 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
rufous Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Dixie, WA
I am far from an expert at judging the age of tracks. It could be that they were made the night before. This cat did not have a full belly. I believe he was on the hunt. Rufous.

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#718260 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
rufous Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Dixie, WA
Did Spike ever finish his cougar story?

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#718261 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
SU35 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 12034
"Did Spike ever finish his cougar story?"


What cougar story.....he wishes he had one.

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#718262 - 01/23/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
Boise Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 4362
Loc: Rapid City, SD, US
Good job on both the story and the cat. Sounds like you have a wonderful place to hunt cats.

Just a suggestion but how about offering the tanned hide to the land owners? They may find it worthy of mounting, especially since it came off their property. Also, the offer should be well received and provide you with a place to hunt in the future.

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#718263 - 01/24/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
safariman Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 27421
Loc: All over the place! missing Af...
Hey there good buddy! Got your phone call this afternoon and looked here for your post. Great story AND photo's! CONGRATULATIONS! You work very hard for your opportunities and you deserve the rewards that so rarely come. MARK
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LOVE God, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, LIKE guns and sports.

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#718264 - 01/24/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
FVA Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 7322
Loc: NY
Great pics and post. Thanks for sharing.
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#718265 - 01/30/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
rufous Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Dixie, WA
I found out from Fish and Game that it is not legal to sell the hide or skull but the guy there said that they are seriously thinking about changing that law to make it legal. So for now I have the hide and skull in the freezer, hoping that the law will soon change and I can legally sell them. Rufous.

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#718266 - 01/31/06 Re: Just tagged my second cougar
BigUglyMan Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 1381
Loc: Kugluktuk, Nunavut
I though this was going to be a story about going to the bar.

I always thought chasing cats would have been fun. Should have got off my hind end while I was in BC.
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I have known men I would rather shoot than the worst of dogs."

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Second in Command
Endurance 1914-1916

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