How A Guided Cougar Hunt Will Happen
Mountain Lion or Cougar hunting is for many hunters a hunt they only do once. And because of that, there are many things people assume incorrectly. This sends them down the wrong path when they are looking to book a guided Mountain Lion hunt. This article will help you understand how a guided Cougar hunt will happen. Then you can be better prepared both for the hunt and picking out the outfitter to go with. Cougar hunts as of 2022 usually run on average $6500 – $7500 with a good outfitter. If you’d like to skip the article and just see our top Mountain Lion Outfitter suggestions, check out this guided cougar hunt.
What The Actual Cougar Hunt Looks Like
The first thing many prospective Cougar hunters misunderstand is what the actual hunt “looks like” in its totality. So let me break it down for you. You will likely be getting up hours before light so you are cutting tracks in the dark. This allows finding tracks early enough to let the dogs loose. And still have time to get the cat and the dogs before dark in case it’s a long chase. Many times the “cut off” time is 10 am to 12 noon for some to let dogs loose on a track. So that means bumping along in a 4 x 4, side by side or snowmobile with one head out to the side looking for a cat track to cross the road. Once a track is found, they will assess “freshness” and size and then cut the dogs loose.
Tracking The Dogs
Many times then they listen to the dogs and determine if they are leaving the valley and the chase will be on. The dogs are tracked with GPS so many times that means they can drive around and circle ahead. Usually the walk to the tree ends up being not super far but sometimes can be a death march. Because of deep snow and tough conditions you should be ready for anything.
How A Guided Cougar Hunt Will Happen: Understanding Hounds And Tracking
Often new people to hounds misunderstand is hounds go from track to track visually first then “affirm” with a sniff. They sniff in the bottom of the track and move onto the next one. When the snow is crusty in spots that often confuses the dogs and makes tracking difficult. That is why “dry ground chase” which is done often in New Mexico, Arizona, and other southern states is seen as the most difficult on dogs. So low success there because there is no snow to give the visual. It’s all about smell in dry, often hot conditions. This is a hunt to avoid in my opinion unless this is specifically what you are looking for. But also be aware the cats average smaller sizes in these southern states. Cougars get bigger as they go north.
Treeing The Cougar
Once the dogs have treed a cat, sometimes the cat will jump the tree as the hunters approach. Your Mountain Lion Outfitter will just let the dogs take on the chase again which often is fairly quick. So they are up a tree or on a rock ledge again. The reason this style of hunting works is that the dogs are a better endurance animal than the cougars. The cougars lack the lung capacity compared to the dogs.
Shooting The Cougar
Once the Cougar is stable and your outfitter verifies the cat is a shooter then it’s shoot time. Often hunters will use an open sight rifle or bow to shoot the cougar from the tree. Most outfitters will tie up the dogs before the shot is taken so a fight doesn’t happen once the cougar hits the ground.
Book Your Guided Cougar Hunt Today
So that is essentially, how it works. If you have questions or would like to look into a Guided Cougar hunt with one of our recommended outfitters feel free to call us directly at 208 867 6675. Our favorite Mountain Lion Outfitter with really quality guided Cougar hunts with hounds is out of Craig, Colorado.