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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: Mountain lion hunting in Montana 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Mountain lion hunting in Montana  (Read 4548 times)
There is nothing like the original
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Keeping what made the West safe, alive

« on: April 01, 2008, 08:22:15 am »

I never had much use for flashlights until I really needed one, this is my story...

I was tracking fresh sign near Bridger Bowl somehwere around 1986. The snow was deep, but I had the determination to get me a real trophy, so I took chase with a pair of real "Pickeral" snowshoes.

These aren't the wimpy crap that you find in Army-Navy stores either. Anyone that knows snowshoes, knows good ones are made with Ash frames and moose hide. They are about 4 feet long, narrow, with up-turned tips and a long wooden tail to help keep the attitude of the snowshoe in a manner to fascilitate the easiest mobility in honestly deep powder.

Following tracks I was certain were that of a good lion, I forged my way up some really steep and forboding ravines and slopes. The cat showed no signs of lingering, and I might also ad I was on my own without the assistance of hounds.

Tracking was easy, but the course was grueling. If I had been any older, I would have most certainly turned back after the first 6 miles. I knew going into this that nothing of any real value comes without a price, it's whether or not I was willing to pay.

Several hours of up and down without a single sighting, and I was questioning my sanity. Was I really in persuit of an actual cougar, or was I wishing too hard on a set of Marten tracks. Intellectually I knew I was right, but you can easily second guess yourself under such physical strain.

Hours and miles of tracking finally brought me to a cave with tracks going in and none coming out. What to do..What to do? I had my backpack light for easy tracking, but I still had matches and toilet paper. I found a small stick and wrapped some toilet paper on it to fashion a makeshift torch. I didn't know then, but I do know now, it isn't much of a torch.

With the torch lit, and my revolver in hand, I started crawling into uncertain darkness. The mouth of the cave couldn't have been more than 24" high and once inside it didn't get any roomier. I finally got the only epiphany of this entire expedition..."get out of here", but it was too late. What little light was emitted by my pathetic torch, reflected in the eyes of the cat.

Shit! was all I could think, and the fight was on. Between the screaming of the cat and my cursing, the torch went out. The only light in the cave was from the fire out the end of my Smith and Wesson .41 magnum. I never saw the value of more than 6 shots until that moment, and I needed more light.

Scratched and bleeding I backed my way out of the cave hoping to see my wife and kids, just once more. Looking myself over, I realized I hurt myself more on the cave opening than the cat inflicted. I found enough composure to reload and get ready for what might happen next. I waited and nothing happened.

Now what? I wasn't going back in there, but I had to find out if I had won. Sticking one of the snowshoes into the cave and poking around, I felt resistance but heard no sounds. That is a good sign. It would be dark soon and I had to do something.

I crawled, and reached and felt hair and no claws or teeth, so I got brave and grabbed what I could, dragging the cat out of the hole. His hide was so full of holes it wouldn't hold water, but I had achieved my goal. Getting the cat back to the truck in the parking lot wasn't easy, but it sure beat crawling into a cave with a live mountain lion.

I now have a flashlight on every bedstand in the house, 3 in my truck, 2 in my reloading area, 2 in my backpack and several others I can't remember.


I never considered myself a failure...I started out at the bottom and happen to like it here!
Ten Wolves Fiveshooter
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Live To Fight Another Day

« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2008, 10:24:24 pm »

Hello shrapnel  Grin Grin

            Great story Pard, I've had some close calls with Mountain Lions my ownself in past years, but nothing like yours, thanks for telling your story and sharing this with us. Shocked Wink Cool

                                                            tEN wOLVES  Wink Cheesy Grin

NRA, SASS# 69595, NCOWS#3123 Leather Shop, RATTS# 369, SCORRS, BROW, ROWSS #40   Shoot Straight, Have Fun, That's What It's All About
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: Mountain lion hunting in Montana « previous next »
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