A lot is going on when the hounds are chasing and the cat is treed and sometimes in the excitement, taking a picture is the last thing on anyone's mind.
Make sure they know how to turn the cameras on and off and hold the cameras steady.
When I killed my cat, I had the guide stand behind me with the motion camera and I did a practice draw and aim, and then I let down to make sure the bow and arrow were correct. And then I told him, the next time would be the real deal and he was ready. All still and motion picts were great and came about with a little pre planning.
Layer up your clothing as you might be chasing and sweating a lot and if you get cold it can be a long cold hike out. It was -9 when I killed my cat.
Good luck, Paul
During my hunt, my buddy filmed my hunt and he filmed everything. It's amazing on how much you will or will not use.
Here's the finished product from my hunt, watch the lion pounce on the dogs, it can get crazy real quick!
Have fun and good luck!
Oh yeah, wear gaiters.
can't sweem to post photos but the place is as advertised. Byron and the guides are maniacs on big cats. Unreal. I will post photos as soon as the connection allows. Still in Alberta trying to get home with a storm back there.
TNT then whittles that population down by 90%. The have no interest in females and no interest in 80% of the 50% male population. In other words they are interested only in about 10% or less of the total small population of the species. VERY FOCUSED on the top end toms. relentless focus on only that. not distracted by anything else.
Unlike other outfitters they bring the resources and experience, instinct, and knowledge to bear against the few big toms they come across. When they find the sign of one they simply will not leave it to seach for something easier. They will continually work that cat's area, 10-20 miles whatever, until they narrow down movement and patterns.
The terrain they hunt allows this as the access is fantastic due to logging and oil industry roads and cut lines. They can "grid out" in expanding or contracting radii to "box in" where the target tom is likley to be at a particular time. Then it is time to put the move on.
In other words, they don't kill females and sub adult toms...
Man, who woulda ever thought that was the recipe for success???
Oh, and I would add 'clients' to this sentence:
"Unlike other outfitters they bring the resources and experience, instinct, and knowledge..."
he was a solid 170# with some food in his belly but not stuffed full like they can get after killing a deer, elk, moose or feral horse. amazingly he was proably 7 years old. early in the trip byron said anything 4 or over is really really good. they got a 3 1/2 or 4 year old a month ago that was bigger than this one. Some grow big fast and some never grow super big. my son is 6-2 and 210 but there is no doubt a certain amount of exaggeration that the photo angle provides, but not all that much. a big lion is big and the distortion is not all that material.
he is the cat of a lifetime, but whatever nick shot was going to be that so it is not a big deal in the end. it was a great trip, a great time and we learned so much in five days. i will share when i can.
when we got to the tree the thing was perfect at about 25 feet broadside. it then went up the tree and was at least 60 feet up. byron thought it was as high as he has seen them shot at, particularly with a bow (i was surprised to hear that most do not use bows). the cat was screened and nick was excited and who practices shooting 60-70 feet up from less than 10 yards out after running through thigh deep snow and standing straddling dead falls.
one thing when you get one like that treed after all that work it is going to die one way or the other. they don't walk away from them. they work too hard to get them up a tree and ensure they are big enough to walk away over the difference between a bullet and an arrow. to be continued........just got booted by security in newark.
OK back......a bunch of people going to isreal so i got moved.
anyway he took the first shot and missed......or it was deflected, but no hit. I really thought that was it an he was going to have to use the gun, but byron said try again and he drilled it a bit low but at that angle it was fine. cat crashed down and never moved a muscle. what would move a muscle after falling 6 or seven stories?????
overall amazing deal and the most interesting part is how they hunt them......
Alberta is known for great lions, but the cats are not present in large numbers and the management of the species is done with intense precision and a sound biological basis. We learned that among all the provincial big game animals only the grizzly bear exists in fewer numbers than the cougar. Lions are managed across nearly three dozen zones, and in each zone there are hard quotas for both male and female mortality. Only about one hundred and forty cats are allowed to be taken annually. Across the entire province there are only two dozen non-resident tags, and Stewart holds eight of them. It is with this very meticulous management process that the cougar hunting in Alberta has reached world class levels in terms of gender diversity and age structure.
Marrying that game management foundation with the approach Stewart uses put the hunt in perspective. At Tracks N Trails they have no interest in females and only seek the top ten percent of the male population. This means that in an animal pool that is comparatively sparse to begin with Stewart removes ninety percent or more of that population off the top. This degree of selectivity calls for a vastly different approach than most outfitters, who are happy with any legal lion and the occasional big tom for their client, opt to deploy. Stewart has perfected a system that leverages his decades of experience, instinct, and knowledge with the unique access that is present in the area as a result of the booming oil, gas, and logging businesses. When a suitable track is found, meaning an elite male as judged by track size and stride length, Stewart will continually scour the area in ever widening and shrinking concentric “boxes” that eventually will define where the animal is most likely to be. This process can take a week or more and requires multiple guides and specialized equipment. It is not until he is nearly certain that the mountain lion is in a well-defined area, or “box”, are the dogs used. There is no place for shortcuts in this and it really puts an onus on the humans, not just the dogs, to make the right decisions and ultimately bring the quarry to bay.
There is one other facet to this methodology that deviates from nearly all other cat chasers. Because they are looking for such a distinctive specimen, when the right track is found, almost regardless of its freshness, the animal becomes the singular emphasis of the outfitter. Stewart has learned that the odds in his game are much higher by sticking with any big cat sign for as long as possible, over looking for the next sign over the next mountain or across the next river. This tactic potentially requires longer hunts as a given cat may be worked for a week or more depending on what is discovered each day. With this mindset hunters find themselves in the position of pursuing not just a representative of a species, but a single mature animal. The learning that takes place in this highly specialized practice is as amazing as it is exciting.
more when i get a real connection........i need a connection home and an internet connection as well..........
That cat is huge.
additional charge of about 500 for tags, etc. and 350 for hide prep, skull, shipping to stateside taxidermist, CITES, etc.
he is about twice what most the hunts in the states are. remember he only does 8 non-resident a year. i don't know about a return policy............he has never had a NR hunter not fill the tag.
I first learned about Byron through a Bowsite thread you posted years ago. I got the chance to take a big Tom with him in 2010 and it's nice to see you finally got the opportunity to experience one of Byron's hunts yourself.
..None of those techniques were used with that cat. Wow!
From one father to another, ...way to make some great memories.
Thanks for taking the time, and effort, to post all of those pics.
I am booked with Byron in 15/16 and cannot wait.
Reading stories like this isn't going to help the anxiousness.
Great narrative and pics, enjoyed all of it.
everyone should splurge once and a while in life and hunting with him is a good splurge.
He has caught over 500 and each has different pitfalls and issues to resolve. The noteworthy aspect of Nicks hunt was we had to deal with a snowed over non-existent 36hr+ old track at -22ºC on those icy deer trails but the dogs were able to unravel the mess through wolf and ungulate scent/sign even where no lion tracks were visible to the human eye for over 1.5 miles.
There are 32 resident quota areas for male/female (3 have no female quota) with 66 male, 50 female and 24 widely distributed (each have specific areas there valid) outfitter allocations (140 total).
Please pass along my sincere appreciation for his service to help protect freedom! I wish him God-Speed.
Grats to both of you.
Your son looks a lot like you.