3Rivers Archery Supply
Lion hunt with hounds not fair chase ?
cougar
Contributors to this thread:
drycreek 25-Mar-15
Shiras 25-Mar-15
TD 25-Mar-15
pdk25 25-Mar-15
pdk25 25-Mar-15
Boothill 25-Mar-15
IdyllwildArcher 25-Mar-15
jdee 25-Mar-15
Ziek 25-Mar-15
Buffalo1 25-Mar-15
sticksender 25-Mar-15
willliamtell 25-Mar-15
pdk25 25-Mar-15
Huntcell 25-Mar-15
Glunt@work 25-Mar-15
pdk25 25-Mar-15
Shaft2Long 25-Mar-15
killinstuff 25-Mar-15
tcosmic 25-Mar-15
lawdy 25-Mar-15
drycreek 25-Mar-15
rtkreaper 25-Mar-15
RK 25-Mar-15
HighLife 25-Mar-15
pdk25 25-Mar-15
HighLife 25-Mar-15
pdk25 26-Mar-15
Matt 26-Mar-15
TD 26-Mar-15
HighLife 26-Mar-15
TREESTANDWOLF 26-Mar-15
Lexington 26-Mar-15
Salagi 26-Mar-15
N-idaho 26-Mar-15
drycreek 26-Mar-15
Fuzzy 26-Mar-15
LBshooter 26-Mar-15
Neveragainwagun 26-Mar-15
Surfbow 26-Mar-15
Bou'bound 26-Mar-15
rick allison 26-Mar-15
ollie 26-Mar-15
IaHawkeye 26-Mar-15
rick allison 26-Mar-15
Ermine 26-Mar-15
Ziek 26-Mar-15
IaHawkeye 26-Mar-15
ollie 26-Mar-15
HighLife 26-Mar-15
Chris Durando 26-Mar-15
ki-ke 26-Mar-15
Pete In Fairbanks 26-Mar-15
drycreek 26-Mar-15
lawdy 26-Mar-15
Redman 27-Mar-15
Fuzzy 27-Mar-15
HighLife 27-Mar-15
HighLife 27-Mar-15
Shoots-Straight 27-Mar-15
Bake 27-Mar-15
Outdoorsdude 27-Mar-15
Cheque 27-Mar-15
writer 27-Mar-15
TD 28-Mar-15
Shoots-Straight 28-Mar-15
turkeyhunter60 28-Mar-15
SteveB 29-Mar-15
Bou'bound 29-Mar-15
bb 29-Mar-15
Ermine 29-Mar-15
pdk25 29-Mar-15
bb 29-Mar-15
Shrewski 29-Mar-15
SteveB 29-Mar-15
pdk25 29-Mar-15
Shrewski 29-Mar-15
bb 29-Mar-15
Ziek 29-Mar-15
Ziek 29-Mar-15
pdk25 30-Mar-15
Matt 30-Mar-15
pdk25 30-Mar-15
Florida Mike 30-Mar-15
Sage Buffalo 30-Mar-15
Ziek 30-Mar-15
Ken Taylor 30-Mar-15
Mint 30-Mar-15
pdk25 30-Mar-15
Jake 30-Mar-15
TD 30-Mar-15
Jake 30-Mar-15
N-idaho 30-Mar-15
pdk25 30-Mar-15
WV Mountaineer 30-Mar-15
pdk25 30-Mar-15
WV Mountaineer 30-Mar-15
pdk25 30-Mar-15
Fuzzy 31-Mar-15
drycreek 31-Mar-15
Fuzzy 01-Apr-15
skinner creek 01-Apr-15
Fuzzy 02-Apr-15
R. Hale 15-Apr-15
Owl 15-Apr-15
Drop tine 15-Apr-15
cityhunter 16-Apr-15
chuckles 11-Jul-15
Bou'bound 11-Jul-15
Drop Tine 12-Jul-15
SteveB 12-Jul-15
From: drycreek
25-Mar-15
A reader's letter to the editor in my latest Bowhunter disparages the use of hounds to hunt mountain lions. I thought the replies by both Danny Farris and Fred Eichler were spot on ! Both mentioned the physical aspect of following hounds in the mountains ( many times unsuccessfully ) and the fact that to not use hounds would result in few lions killed. From a conservation standpoint, this would result in many more game animals being killed by lions. What do you think ?

From: Shiras
25-Mar-15
I think that they were both way nicer and more PC in their responses than what what their true feelings are.

From: TD
25-Mar-15
There are folks that will go to great lengths to not have to deal with dead animals.... on many levels....

Has the letter's author hunted them without hounds? That would explain a good deal.... either clueless or arrogant...

From: pdk25
25-Mar-15
Never hunted them, with or without dogs. I wouldn't consider it not to be fair chase, because from what I understand the success rate isn't all that high for a given hunt. That being said, it is a type of hunting that doesn't interest me. I am sure that the chase is thrilling. It just seems to me that the final shot could be made with a rifle or any other weapon and have about the same result. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like it becomes target practice at that point. I guess it doesn't seem like fair chase anymore, after the cat is up in a tree, but the hunt itself is, if that makes any sense. Flame away, but that is how is seems to me.

From: pdk25
25-Mar-15
But let's be clear, I really don't care what someone else does or how they hunt. It is a personal decision.

From: Boothill
25-Mar-15
so I guess all those pheasants, rabbits, raccoons, quail, grouse over the years weren't fair chase either because someone used a dog.......c'mon man.......morons only take the podium if there's someone to listen......walk away.....

25-Mar-15
The hunt is not the shot. It's everything leading up to the shot, including the shot.

From: jdee
25-Mar-15
X2 Boothill

From: Ziek
25-Mar-15
I have hunted cougar with dogs, and would recommend it to all hunters. Although it turns out to not be my favorite type of hunt, it is worth doing for the experience. It would also be more fun if you were hunting behind your own dogs. But who wants to train dogs for one lion hunt, unless you're really into it and plan to do many. It is also not nearly as easy as some seem to think. Not only the physical aspect, but some of what I thought would be easy. One thing that surprised me was how challenging it could be to track the chase, even in snow. The dogs were frequently out of earshot, and a few times they lost the track. We would be following along and come into an area where, instead of a nice clear track to follow, a football field sized area was full of tracks. We then had to start investigating the perimeter to find a track that lead away, only to find it returning back into the confusion of tracks. You can also become more involved in the hunt by talking to the guides. Let them know you want to be involved in tracking the dogs and not just following along. The shot is also not always straight forward, unless you typically shoot straight up in the air, through a tangle of branches, at point blank range. You better know where your arrow is going regarding sighting parallax. So, yeah pdk25, you are wrong. The shot is more challenging than shooting a turkey at 10 yards out of a blind, or a deer out of a treestand.

From: Buffalo1
25-Mar-15
I have never hunted mt. lion, but I have hunted black bear with dogs. I have also hunted coon and possum with dogs. The principles of the hunts are all the same. Just because an animal is treed does not guarantee "a kill". I have experienced and witnessed many times that a shot does not present itself (especially with a bow). Also, if the animal is not the desired size, the dogs are called off.

When the dogs are called off, a new hunt for another animal begins and the treed animal lives to see another day for another hunt.

From: sticksender
25-Mar-15
It's the question that's incorrect. The basic issue of importance is...shall we control predators or not?

Some would attempt to elevate themselves by characterizing certain legal methods of take as "unsporting". Say like treestands, baiting, pop-up blinds, trapping, use of hounds, etc. But in doing so, they miss the big picture entirely. As sportsmen we're responsible to insure quick death to our chosen quarry, and to comply with a framework of rules that maintains game populations. It's not that complicated. Everything dies, so get over it!

From: willliamtell
25-Mar-15
Dogs versus cats is as old as... Now that there are plenty of kittycats in commie Cali, a lot more dogs are going missing. There was one in Carmel that nailed the family collie and then ate and guarded it in the middle of the road. Needless to say the sheriff had a LOT of paperwork to file afterwards.

From: pdk25
25-Mar-15
Hey, it won't be the first time that I have been wrong, Ziek. Still, I bet if the end result was a deer in a pen, even if that had branches and obstacles in it, alot of folks would think differently about it than cat in a tree, both essentially contained because of a barrier. One way or the other, to each their own. It just doesn't interest me.

From: Huntcell
25-Mar-15
It's currently legal in most states, so it's fair chase.

something that taste as good as Mt. lion, why wouldn't

you use what ever means legal to put it on the table.

and if you don't care for a certain method, sit that one

out and let others enjoy there passion.

From: Glunt@work
25-Mar-15
Its just like bear baiting. It may not be for everyone, but its a solid, proven and biologically sound method of hunting bears. We need to defend normal hunting methods even if they aren't our personal choice. Every time one method gets knocked off the list, the method below that moves up closer to the top. Every method is on that list.

Anyone who thinks hunting pheasants with dogs, sitting a water hole for pronghorn or deceiving a bull elk with cow sounds when they are being driven by the urge to mate is safe from being portrayed as unethical, is only fooling themselves.

From: pdk25
25-Mar-15
Please don't misunderstand me. I am in no way saying this isn't a viable or successful hunting method. Neither do I find it to be unethical, which is a personal decision. I was only commenting that it isn't for me, and that the 'fair chase' component of this type of hunt pretty much ends after the chase is done. I really don't care what anyone else does. I will trap varmints and drown them, hunt over feeders for hogs, sit in a blind for turkey, etc... It is all what we chose to do or take pride in. If I was hunting lions, I think I would take pride in my ability to follow the dogs, train the dogs if I did, read sign, and many other things. Just not the final shot. Everyone has their own definitions, but for me, fair chase implies the ability for an animal to reasonable get away. I am not sure that a cat treed by a dog would fit my definition. Obviously many others feel differently. To them, I say, enjoy your hunt.

From: Shaft2Long
25-Mar-15
Of course its not fair chase. The humans have to work way to hard. Should be mandatory lions can only run 2 miles max and MUST stay in the first tree they climb.

From: killinstuff
25-Mar-15
What about running deer with dogs? If that was legal in your state would you do it or if a group came in wanting to make it legal, where would you stand?

Never chased Lions but has bobcats, it fun.

From: tcosmic
25-Mar-15
I have never been so I can't fairly say. I know guys who hunt rabbits are more into hearing the dogs run them ,than shooting them.I had a chance to go years ago with the bow and passed. Just didn't like the fact of it being up a tree,but its got to be fun running and hearing them hounds.

From: lawdy
25-Mar-15
The hunting relationship between man and dog goes back to our early existence as a species when early man lured prehistoric canines into his cave with a piece of mastadon. It became a bond that exists today. To bird hunt without a fine pointer or flusher is just hunting, along with losing a lot of birds. The same goes for bunnies, coon, bear or cat hunting. When I am in the woods with my beagle, there is a kinship that goes back tens of thousands of years. Dogs were put here by God to be our friends, protectors, and hunting companions. Pretty hard to not call eons of that bond fair chase in my opinion.

From: drycreek
25-Mar-15
I've never lion hunted either, and never will. When I was 35 maybe, but I was too busy making a living. I have , however, killed squirrels treed by dogs, deer in front of hounds, rabbits in front of hounds, turkeys, deer, and hogs under a feeder, and they all tasted good ! I still have much respect for guys that can stay up with hounds in the places lions are found and make the shot when it counts. With bow, handgun, or whatever ! If it's legal, I'm good with it !

From: rtkreaper
25-Mar-15
Let's stir up the pot and try to create more friction within the hunting community. An old ploy by anti-hunting types. See you on the tundra. Rory

From: RK
25-Mar-15
I don't see any friction here. Just hunters offering their opinions on the subject that was offered up

No anti hunters here that I recognize

From: HighLife
25-Mar-15
Well I do "sure my lab is okay for birds" But God forbid using hounds on alpha predators This kind of thread comes up every few months. Don't like it don't do it for those of us that do we could do with out the hypocrisy. Proud owner of heavy bred Skuna River Treeing Walker Coonhounds

From: pdk25
25-Mar-15
I think you may be a little unclear on the meaning of the word 'hypocrisy', or not applying it correctly. I never said it wasn't okay for someone else to do. I merely choose not to do it because it doesn't interest me. If you want to debate whether or not it is actually fair chase after the animal is effectively contained, then you probably should mention what the words mean to you. I have already stated what they mean to me. Just because someone doesn't agree with your stand on something doesn't mean that they are trying to take something away from you. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it doesn't have to agree with yours.

From: HighLife
25-Mar-15
Your absolutely right I do not agree with your opinion and respect that. But I cannot fathom why Drycreek would start this thread than other to express his opinion and stir the pot so to speak with those of us who follow the hounds, He did ask for thoughts on the subject ;> Now for someone not taking "my stand " on things check out what the antis have done to houndsmen out West with abolishing hunting with hounds. So I guess This boy gets a little put off when these threads come up.

From: pdk25
26-Mar-15
I certainly understand where events in your region could make you testy regarding the subject. I don't know Drycreek at all. I kinda assumed he was agreeing with Fred Eichler's take on the matter and just wanting to bring it to others attention, but I certainly could be wrong.

From: Matt
26-Mar-15
"It just seems to me that the final shot could be made with a rifle or any other weapon and have about the same result. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like it becomes target practice at that point. I guess it doesn't seem like fair chase anymore, after the cat is up in a tree, but the hunt itself is, if that makes any sense."

This may seem like an odd perspective, but I somewhat agree. A lion hunt is in many ways the inverse of whitetail hunting from a treestand in that it doesn't take much skill to make the shot. The big difference is how much effort it takes to get to the tree - and the lion hunt wins hands down.

Having had the good fortune to hunt a lot of species in lot of places, my lion hunt is the only time I ever questioned why I was paying someone to deprive me of sleep and march me half to death.

From: TD
26-Mar-15
I'm confused about folks impression of the actual shot... the kill... that it may not be seen as "fair"???

Is that the point? To MAKE the shot harder? Sure you're close, that's the whole idea. Is the deer you shot at 10-15 yards a tougher shot? Was the idea to make it a tough shot or as easy as possible? Make a clean kill. That you may (or may not) have some time to set up the shot.... that's a good thing IMO....

Those who may say it's an easy kill.... you don't know. Maybe lucky and your cat is in a relatively open tree and you can get on a slope (lots of that cat county tends to be "slope", I've heard of shots where they are shooting DOWN at the cat/bear) the cat is on the right side of the tree and broadside (when they see you many times they move to the far side).... like any hunting it could be a slam dunk, like when things line up on other hunts.... or it could have a good degree of difficulty. Not to mention.... you are being observed.... It can be like making a downhill 4 foot par putt in front of the crowd and cameras to win the Masters. Or two feet. Or a 12 footer.

They aren't tied down into that tree and ask any cat guy, they do come down....and when they do they certainly can bust up a dog (many will leash them, keep them back when the cat is treed, for their safety)... and the dogs have to go bay the cat again... if they can.

WRT the CHASE part there are few hunts that are less demanding. Certainly not sitting in a tree waiting for something to walk by.

Never killed a lion. Hunted bears with hounds several times as a kid,we took a few bears. Ran a couple cats but never treed one when I was with them. Cats were much harder for the dogs, especially in bear season.

It's nothing like many think. Nor is it shooting fish in a barrel. Back in the day we shot treed bears with rifles. And at times it was a real adventure trying to shoot one. Picturing the event and being there live, out of breath and immersed sometimes for hours in the uncontrolled chaos are two different things.

That is a hunt on my bucket list for sure.

From: HighLife
26-Mar-15
Thank you TD for articulating so well some of what I was trying to convey.

26-Mar-15
Guys that have done this hunt can attest how addictive it can be hunting with dogs. It's amazing and it is a adrenaline rush.

All the hiking and tracking can mean a female or no lion at all. There's even circumstances where the dogs get hung up and you have to go retrieve them. Lion hunting is very exhausting depending on the type and terrain you choose to hunt.

Houndsmen are extremely passionate about their hounds and have great pride in accomplishing the task of tracking down a huge Tom.

Some say the shot is anti climatic and rightfully so, however, its a very important part of the "hunt". Sure, the lion can be at 10' only 15 yards away or 50' straight up.

Mine was over 50 feet up a tree and I'm sure glad I came to Bowsite to get the practice tips on how to do it. Then the Tom died up there!

Fair chase is well defined in certain arenas, and not so much in others. The bottom line, its still considered hunting.

From: Lexington
26-Mar-15
Have to recommend reading Frank C. Hibben's, "Hunting American Lions"...

I can't really say it any better than the Amazon review: "This book takes you back to the days of Dale Lee and Ben Lilly and tells stories of how they hunted lions. It is a book for those who are intersted in hearing old stories and tales of some of the greatest lion hunters ever. As you read you find yourself standing on the rim rock looking into the jagged country and hearing the dogs baying and working the track across the canyon bottom. It is a very good read for lion hunters of today because Hibben puts into words what we expereince on a day to basis chasing lions in the rough and tough back country. It is also a great book for those who have ever wondered what it would be like to hunt lions with dogs or those who think hound hunting is not a sport. Once you have read this book hopefully you will have a better understanding of one of the greatest traditions in North America."

From: Salagi
26-Mar-15
I guess if some folks think it is unsportsmanlike, they could do like Zane Grey and Buffalo Jones, tree them with dogs and then rope the lions. ;)

(for those not familiar with Zane Grey, look up "Roping Lions in the Grand Canyon". it's a good book - and true.)

From: N-idaho
26-Mar-15
just shooting a lion is not that hard after it is treed. some go good and some don't. now go hunt your area and don't just shoot a lion, shoot a trophy lion. the size will change for different areas. the hunt isn't the shooting, it is finding that big tom track and then seeing if the dogs can catch it. yes in good conditions the dogs win most of the time but good conditions only come now and then. just turn the dogs loose with the idea that they come out of the woods with you that day and you will see how hard of a hunt it can turn into, 5 to 8 hours of hiking in knee deep snow to pull them off a juvenile tom that ran through every cliff in the county and then several miles up the creek drainage before treeing. in 60 days of hunting for that trophy lion track only 4 were found and 2 were shot

From: drycreek
26-Mar-15
HighLife, go back and read my original post, as well as my second post. If you have any reading comprehension skills at all, you can plainly see that I favor any legal method of harvesting game or predators. I am NOT one to stir the pot ! Hell, I live in Texas, where we lure Bambi in with corn, feed him until he can barely walk, and then shoot him down. At least, that's the consensus from a lot of folks ( who mostly haven't hunted here ). I would be the last one to throw stones.

pdk25 was exactly right. I agree wholeheartily with Fred and Danny.

From: Fuzzy
26-Mar-15
people have been partnered with dogs on the hunt, since there have been people, and dogs. dog hunting is as much a specialized and "fair" hunting method, as any.

From: LBshooter
26-Mar-15
Definition of "fair" is in a proper or legal manner. Is it legal to use dogs yes, so therefore it's fair. Personally I would not want to hunt a lion with dogs or a bear for that matter, but others do and if it's legal go for it. I would assume the chase is what's addictive whereas the final shot of a animal in a tree.

26-Mar-15
lots of good points & discussion here. ive got nothing bad to say about a guy that kills a cat run by dogs. that being said i have allot more respect for a guy that kills one tracking or calling.jmo.

From: Surfbow
26-Mar-15
I might me off on my facts, but weren't Rhodesian Ridgebacks bred to hunt African lions? And, I believe the Egyptians used hounds to hunt lions as well. I think we've been using dogs to chase kitties for a long time...

From: Bou'bound
26-Mar-15
I am asked what is so hard about shooting a cat out of a tree. I answer nothing it is very easy. No challenge at all. Then I pause and say..........the real challenge is getting them in the tree in the first place and then getting my ass under them. That normally ends the debate or at least detrail the rhetoric a bit.

From: rick allison
26-Mar-15
I've naver hunted lions, but have an old friend who has.

I'm sure he would say hunting cats with hounds is not fair chase...he said chasing em a few miles in waist deep mountain snow damn neer killed HIM...lol.

This guy's been around...said it was the toughest hunt he'd ever done.

From: ollie
26-Mar-15
I find it ironic that some of the biggest supporters for hunting cats with a pack of dogs think it is unsporting to hunt bears over bait. I see and understand both sides of the argument when it comes to hunting cats with dogs.

From: IaHawkeye
26-Mar-15
I know a guy that tried several times using a guide and hounds and wasn't successful. He then told the guide that when he treed a big lion to give him a call and he would fly out. Long story short, lion was treed and kept in tree for many hours, until client flew out, was picked up and driven to where lion was treed. Client then bow shot the lion and got his "trophy" ?

This is a TRUE story as I was told the story by the client and saw the mount.

Ethical ? It was legal. Thoughts?

From: rick allison
26-Mar-15
Yeah...that gives all hunting a black eye.

Me...I wouldn't be too proud of that.

From: Ermine
26-Mar-15
Using dogs does not mean success by any means. I've been on plenty of hunts where the cats out smart the dogs, or decide they don't want to go up a tree. I think use of dogs for cat hunting is fair chase. It's a great way to hunt. The odds of killing a lion without dogs is pretty slim. And most times those are females with kittens or young hungry cats.

From: Ziek
26-Mar-15
IaHawkeye. "It was legal." Not in most places. The hunter has to be present when the dogs are released. It's also a Fair Chase requirement for P&Y.

From: IaHawkeye
26-Mar-15
Well, He and Guide said it was legal. Heck I wouldn't know. Guy's in P&Y. Maybe back in the 70's it was legal ?

From: ollie
26-Mar-15
IAHawkeye, you just pointed out the difference between a bowhunter and someone who kills stuff with a bow. Not much "hunting" involved if you wait for the guide to run one up a tree and then fly out for your "hunt". Legal...probably. Ethical...open for debate.

From: HighLife
26-Mar-15
Drycreek You asked for our thoughts on the subject you got mine' Mea Culpa I am done with this thread one last thought I lived for anything hunting with a bow but also running my hounds til I lost my spots to antis and deer hunting leasee's who thought the dreaded dogs would run Their precious deer out of the county. That kind of bigotry will doom hunting for all IMO

26-Mar-15
Yes, that reader clearly has never bowhunted Cougars with or without dogs and apparently didn't read a well written article discussing that sometimes controversial topic in the Feb/March 2012 issue of Bowhunter Magazine written by, uhh...,me.

From: ki-ke
26-Mar-15
IAHawk

A couple decades ago, "on call" cat hunts were somewhat common, even though they weren't always advertised as such. I firmly believe it was the guys that were doing the "tree, call, fly, shoot 2-3 days later" lion "hunts" had much to do with hound huntings black eye, not just with non hunters, but with many hunters, as well.

26-Mar-15
I'm with TD (above.) If you are evaluating the "chase," then ask yourself what is more demanding:

A. Sitting in a tree like a vulture waiting for a deer to walk by, or

B. Wallowing through ass-deep snow behind a pack of hounds on a lion track, up and down mountains and through rock piles?

I would suspect if the folks asking the original question had actually tried a hound hunt before making assumptions and disparaging their fellow hunters, they might either have a different view or maybe not asked the question.

Pete

From: drycreek
26-Mar-15
SirHunter12, I salute you Sir ! I'm right there with you !

From: lawdy
26-Mar-15
SirHunter, good post from a fellow libertarian.

From: Redman
27-Mar-15
It's definitely not fair! After 5 hunts, thousands of dollars invested, and more travel time by plane, vehicle and foot than I care to add up, I was finally able to tree a good male lion and make a 60 yard shot over a cliff!

From: Fuzzy
27-Mar-15
Pete, I will go for ass sittin every time. A man has gotta go with his strengths! lol

From: HighLife
27-Mar-15
Well there ya' go makin' an unethical 60 yard shot on a poor ol' kitty.....8^)

From: HighLife
27-Mar-15
Would have loved to been there to see it! Story pictures video?

27-Mar-15
I know many 60 to 70 year olds that can sit in trees waiting deer out, I don't know too many in that range that realistically can hunt cats.

Physically a trying hunt at times. Mentally, a trying hunt at times. Ethically? You figure it out.

Many 60 to 70 year olds will gladly hunt ducks, geese, and upland game birds using dogs, letting the dogs do all the work, and never question fair chase or ethics.

Hunting cats with hounds brings up those questions. I don't get it.

From: Bake
27-Mar-15
I've shot many a coon out of a tree over a hound or two. . . . so obviously, cats with a dog doesn't bother me one bit.

I don't own hounds, but have some friends that do, and when they want someone to talk to late at night while listening for hounds to tree (who doesn't mind the occasional long slog through a swamp looking for a dog), they sometimes call me, and I tag along and carry the rifle

I'd love to be able to go on some cougar and bobcat hound hunts. What's not to love. . . listening to the beautiful voices of hounds on a trail, seeing some beautiful country, and maybe killing a magnificent predator

Bake

From: Outdoorsdude
27-Mar-15
From a biological/ game management stand point; harvesting Lions from behind dogs is a superior method.

The Elk and Deer hunter can discriminate in their harvest by sight; but how do you sex a lion?

From: Cheque
27-Mar-15
A better question is how do you see one?

From: writer
27-Mar-15
Seems it wouldn't be fair to not shoot the cat out for the dogs to worry, after chasing and trailing that far, while putting their lives on the line.

Shooting a turkey at 10 yards is anti-climatic and easy...it's getting him there that's fun.

Never hunted elephants, but how is shooting something that big, from such a close range, "sporting." Seems to be getting to within that range, after many days of looking, would be the sporting part.

From: TD
28-Mar-15
No expert by any stretch of the imagination... (but fairly regularly have to stay at a Holiday Inn after being kicked out of the house...)

I'd think with elephants the trick was not having to be removed from between it's toes with a hoof pick.....

We have a good many folks here who have spend a considerable amount of time in the mountains. How many have even laid eyes on a lion? I've seen two in my lifetime. For a few seconds total.

28-Mar-15

Shoots-Straight's Link
From a biological/ game management stand point; harvesting Lions from behind dogs is a superior method.

The Elk and Deer hunter can discriminate in their harvest by sight; but how do you sex a lion?

Outdoor dude please look at my link on sexing a lion. It's not that tough, snowballs or beating the tree with a stick will get the cat to move so you can look things over.

28-Mar-15
That's the only way to hunt them and control the population , is with hounds.

From: SteveB
29-Mar-15
So...to stir the pot....how does hunting bear with hounds compare to cats with hounds?

From: Bou'bound
29-Mar-15

Outdoor dude I went to your link to look up sexing a lion and the websiote was blocked by my internet provider for inappropriate content.

From: bb
29-Mar-15
Somewhere, I have several videos I took of lion hunts I've been on where the lions bailed out of the tree before a shot could be taken, A couple got away as there was not enough time before dark to turn the dogs loose on them again. The tree only contains the lion to the extent that he wants it to.

From: Ermine
29-Mar-15
Yep and lions only tree if they want. We chased cats before that won't go up a tree. They go through rock piles and stuff that the dogs can't get through. It's defintly not a forsure thing with dogs.

From: pdk25
29-Mar-15
I wonder, realistically, what percentage of times that a cat bails out of a tree before after the hunter gets to the tree and before they can get a shot off? I am guessing that it isn't very frequent. The fact that they had to make laws that a hunter had to be present when the dogs were released speaks volumes. No one is doubting the rigors of the hunt, and as I said before, I feel the hunt to be fair chase up to the end. It is likely the only way to control the population, other than letting the prey population wax and wane, which is something we are not going to allow as hunters. I am all for it. Just glad other people are doing it. The argument that it is legal, or the only way to control the population, certainly doesn't make it fair chase, however. Unless you would consider shooting hogs from helicopters and using cyanide traps for coyotes fair chase.

From: bb
29-Mar-15
They jump out more often than people realize. I've been in on quite a few lion chases, I bet half ended up in trees other than the first one they treed in, I think the most I have seen was 4 different trees. Many end up in a rock pile and you never get to see the lion to shoot it.

I have seen guys run out of arrows trying to hit one in the top of a Ponderosa, from the down slope side of the tree, shooting almost straight up because it was the only angle that offered a clear shot. Shooting the lion in a tree is often easy, it's just as often, not easy, certainly more often far less easy than shooting at an unaware deer out of a tree stand.

From: Shrewski
29-Mar-15
Well, I've got almost 30 days over two years with one of the best lion guides ever in MT and we've been slicked on every track we've run. It ain't easy--I'd love for that letter writer to tag along on just ONE of those days; I'd lay a large sum of money down that they would retract their ignorant view.

From: SteveB
29-Mar-15
I'll try again...

So how does running bears compare to running cats? Do they act/respond differently? Do they run as far?

From: pdk25
29-Mar-15
Thanks for the info. Shrewski, are you referring to trees that the hunters made it to and then the cat bailed, or more before the hunters got there?

From: Shrewski
29-Mar-15
Majority were lost in cliffs we and the dogs could not follow up. Others were elk refuge/private property. One "bail out"; the tom actually treed next to a raging river then crossed it overhead in the trees leaving the dogs just barking their heads off below.

From: bb
29-Mar-15
I've been on a few bear chases, nothing that I can personally give any commentary about one way or the other, but from all accounts from my buddies that hunt both with hounds, the bears have much more stamina than a lion and will run out of the country when jumped by hounds. They will also fight with the dogs on the ground and kill dogs, especially the white ones. I have been told that they seem to be able to see them better, they zero in on one dog and stay with it until they can kill it. where as the lions tend to want to avoid any fighting with the dogs.

From: Ziek
29-Mar-15
"It just seems to me that the final shot could be made with a rifle or any other weapon and have about the same result. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like it becomes target practice at that point. I guess it doesn't seem like fair chase anymore, after the cat is up in a tree,"

pdk25. I just don't understand your rationale. If you are choosing your shot opportunities responsibly, that is true of EVERY shot at game. You shouldn't be shooting if you aren't really confident of your ability to make a killing shot. The shot itself should ALWAYS be anticlimactic. It's getting to the point of shooting that is what hunting is all about, whether you are calling elk, baiting bears, stalking mule deer, sitting in a tree waiting for a whitetail to walk by, or chasing a lion.

From: Ziek
29-Mar-15

From: pdk25
30-Mar-15
Ziek, I guess I wasn't clear about that. Gonna have to disagree with you a little bit about the shot being anticlimactic. I have killed probably around 100 deer and literally tons of hogs. Maybe a little different with the compound, but you have to really pick your opportunity to draw on the animal or risk getting busted. I have had deer come unglued and bust out of there from the noise of the shaft on the rest when coming to full draw ( which led to my using super fine steel wool on the shafts and then scent free oil over the top). While the entire hunt has adrenaline, that part of the hunt has your concentration on a razor's edge. I don't really think that is the same as when a cat is in a tree being held there by the dogs. It seems that there are times when the cat leaves, but it still seems like that is the rarity. Like I said, the hunt itself would be strenuous and exciting. The finishing touch doesn't interest me. Seriously, would you feel the same way if you had a herd of deer that you couldn't get out of thick cover to hunt, so you ran them into a blind canyon with dogs, and then shot the deer while they were backed up to the canyon wall? Maybe so. Like I said before, if it is your cup of tea, have at it. Not for me. And I am not one to cast stones and I am not judging anyone for it.

From: Matt
30-Mar-15
pdk25, would I be correct in assuming you have never hunted lions with dogs? For me, shooting a lion in a tree was MUCH more rewarding than shooting a deer from a tree. I'll suggest that people who have not done it really cannot appreciate all that goes into it.

From: pdk25
30-Mar-15
That is correct Matt. I stated that near the top of the thread. I am sure that you are right, regarding the hunt. I am sure that it is a great challenge to have well trained dogs and then to try to keep up with them. I am not even sure exactly how they decide when to release the dogs, though I have to assume it means driving around on recent snow and trying to cut fresh tracks. I am sure that it is thrilling, chasing the dogs. I am not interested in it, but I know that it appeals to a lot of other folks. The thread was about fair chase, and my opinion is complicated. I find the hunt itself to be fair chase, but for me shooting a treed cat wouldn't be fair chase. Some people may not consider hunting deer out of a treestand ( I use treestands, ground blinds, and spot-and-stalk) for deer and hogs not to be fair chase. That is their opinion and they are entitled to it.

From: Florida Mike
30-Mar-15
How can any hunt be considered "fair chase" when only one party is armed? LOL. None of my hunts are fair, screw fair I want every advantage I can get! If you want fair chase then go kill a grizzly with a club or a sharp knife. But not too sharp. Mike

From: Sage Buffalo
30-Mar-15
It's interesting but when I was in college back in the 90s (Boise State) most of my friends from the NW didn't think baiting and using dogs for BIG GAME was fair chase.

Most disparaged both.

Mainly because they had never tried it and couldn't understand why you would need dogs or bait to hunt.

I think most guys who are against something have never truly experienced what they oppose. If they do, then it's usually because they don't like vs. have moral issues with it.

From: Ziek
30-Mar-15
pdk25. I think we just have different perspectives due to our different experiences. I haven't killed nearly as many deer and hogs as you have. (In fact, I would go nuts if that's all I hunted) On the other hand, I have completed the Colorado Big 9 and have killed 13 different species with 16 P&Y entries, as well as a few other types of hunts where I didn't kill. Each one was a different experience with it's own challenges. I don't find one particularly more difficult overall than another, just different.

I also have hunted with a recurve in addition to my normal compound. In fact, I killed my lion with a recurve as well as whitetails. But I don't take advantage of the let-off to execute a shot. I don't take unfair advantage and draw well ahead of time. I wait 'til I have a shot. That is a basic tenet of archery hunting - having to draw in the presence of game - and was/is my objection to high let-off bows. Getting drawn may not be as big a problem on a treed lion, but drawing is not executing the shot. It is just one more part of the hunt leading up to the shot. On the other hand, getting to where you try to draw is MUCH easier hunting whitetails from a tree stand than chasing lions. Every hunt could be easy or hard if you only emphasize the easiest or hardest part.

As I said, lion hunting was not my favorite hunt. That has more to do with using a guide and hunting behind someone else's dogs. Even on other guided hunts, the hunter is more involved in the hunt than generally is the case while chasing lions. But it is still a unique experience that every well rounded hunter should experience.

From: Ken Taylor
30-Mar-15
Variety is the spice of life.

From: Mint
30-Mar-15
I think it is personal and all in how you do it. As long as it is legal I'm fine with it and I'm sure I would enjoy hunting mountain lions with dogs. I enjoy hunting hogs with bay dogs down in Florida.

30-Mar-15
Hunting with well-trained dogs is something I always enjoy. To me fair chase means the game has ample opportunity to escape. The cat can and many times does escape the dogs. Sure seems like fair chase to me.

From: pdk25
30-Mar-15
Congrats on your success, Ziek. I don't just hunt deer and hogs, but for most of my life that is what was in great supply. Killed lots of small game, a few turkeys, a water buffalo, dingo, etc...

I hear you about not taking part as much on the hunt. I am scheduled to go on my first black bear hunt this summer. I am already having some buyer's remorse because it is hunting over baits that someone else took the time to set up and get the bears coming in. Ideally, I would like to do a spot and stalk bear hunt, and that will be next on the agenda. I am not against baiting, but certainly will not take much pride in the result of this hunt, other than holding it together at the time for the shot. Now, if I was the one setting up the baits, it would be different.

From: Jake
30-Mar-15
Here's a question, how many here would just say "No thanks" to a nice tom that was tree'd for you? Regardless of if you payed for it or not.

From: TD
30-Mar-15
I'd drop a string on it in a heartbeat and not think twice about it.

The semantics sometimes have enough irony in them to sink a small boat....

Calling one of the only hunts that "fair chase" are the KEY words to what you are doing.... not fair chase....

And then call sitting in a tree or a blind to ambush an unsuspecting animal and kill it a "chase" at all.....

Have no issues with either. It's all HUUNTING. I'm all about killin' stuff, it's the reason I'm out with my bow, not to commune with anything or anybody. I hunt with a bow because it's more fun, the rush, not anything religious. Have no aversion to dealing with dead animals and don't do nature walks. I feel I'm as much a predator as that cat is.

But wow, that cat hunt would be a real adventure hunt to me.... take your camera instead, to each their own.... me, I'm killin's something if I have a shot, all week long and twice on Sunday...

From: Jake
30-Mar-15
TD sorry that was more pointed toward those who say the hunt doesn't interest them.

From: N-idaho
30-Mar-15
deer and elk hunting is not any harder than cat hunting with dogs. I pay a guide In Colorado on a private ranch and two bugles later in comes a big six pointer I draw shoot him. then I have him entered in pope and young because he scored 300. that is considered fair chase all the time. fair chase is anything legal.

From: pdk25
30-Mar-15
I would pass, Jake, but I wouldn't be on the hunt in the first place unless it was to help someone else that was doing the hunt.

30-Mar-15
I don't know about lions but, a bear will leave the tree when they see you sometimes. I'm sure a cat is no different.

TD said it as well as I've ever heard it.

I too will never understand the difference's soe make between hunting things with hounds. and, I never will understand how people rationalize making some of the hunting they choose as easy but, say that chasing a pack of hounds and shooting a treed or bayed animal isn't sporting for them. It is all choices I reckon. I just wander about the thought process.

I've followed hounds running bear from the seat of a truck to the areas that required 2-3 miles in after them. I've leash led them on 4-5 miles hikes trying to find a track. I've saw them jump right back into the dogs when people approach, to run off. There is NOTHING easy about it in these rhododendron covered, rocky cliff faced, 70 percent slopes mountains. I promise you that. And very few hunters has the mental and physical toughness to do any hound hunting that involves these circumstances. God Bless

From: pdk25
30-Mar-15
Why is it so hard for some of you guys to understand that it is a personal choice. Jus because you love hunting with dogs doesn't mean that everyone does. Just because they don't want to, doesn't mean that they can't, and doesn't mean they begrudge you the opportunity to do it. Just because they don't wan't to shoot an animal that is confined to a tree, doesn't mean that they are trying to stop you from doing it. The difficulty of a hunt has nothing to do with my feelings on the issue. If someone told me I had to run the Boston Marathon, or cross the street, to shoot an animal that was chased up a tree by a dog, I would have no desire.

30-Mar-15
Pat, I can't speak for everyone here but, my post about my feelings had nothing to do with not understanding why you don't choose to hunt with hounds. It was just stating my thoughts and experiences. Just like you, I understand it is a personal choice. So is disagreeing with your reasoning in regards to how I feel about it personally. No harm meant. FWIW, I'm not for one second doubting your physical and mental abilities. You are a hunter and, a very successful one at that.

Not arguing, just stating the obvious. God Bless

From: pdk25
30-Mar-15
Justin, no worries brother. I wasn't taking it personally. I have great respect for the conditioning it takes to chase those cats, or bears, as the case may be. We all get to decide how we want to hunt. My best friend from when I was in the Navy would never in a million years sit all night by a feeder hoping that a hog would come in, he doesn't consider it hunting. Who am I to argue? He may not see it as fair chase, I don't know. All I know is that I enjoy it and see it as a challenge. Sometimes easier than others. If someone else gets the same thing out of running cats with dogs, more power to them.

From: Fuzzy
31-Mar-15
pdk I understand you :)

I have done almost every hunting "type" there is, and a few "pseudo-hunting "types" some I love, some I can't stand.

I grew up in a home where coonhounds and coonhunting were the primary recreational venue. I loved the hounds and the chase, (and still like to go at times) but night hunting never "spoke" to me (I am VERY diurnal) hound hunting bear, hog, rabbit, squirrel etc I love, what little upland bird hunting I have done with dogs (as a guest) was awesome. I've hunted deer over hounds and though it brought in meat and had it's moments, it left me flat. Why? I dunno.

Likewise, bear hunting with hounds, loved the hunt, you couldn't pay me to shoot a bayed or treed bear.

Hogs, similar scenario but LOVE going in on the bay and taking the shot. Weird, huh?

Cats? Never done it, if I get a chance I'll try it.

No idea how I'll feel about the shot, til it presents.

From: drycreek
31-Mar-15
Fuzzy, reading your post reminded me of my first ( and only ) coon hunt with hounds. I was just a kid, and a neighbor was a big time coon hunter. We were running through the woods towards the bayed hounds, and there was an old fence laying almost on the ground. Almost is the key word here ! Well, you know what happened next. I shoveled up a good mouthfull of leaves , twigs, and dirt ! And we didn't even get the coon ! As my Alabama neighbor put it, " He musta limbed out on us ! ". Oh well, it was fun right up until I literally bit the dust !

From: Fuzzy
01-Apr-15
lol..I've had those moments for sure! I can remember being 6, 7 years old, out with daddy, and falling asleep under the tree with the hounds baying and running all over me...

01-Apr-15
It is interesting peoples responses. Easy shot for a bow hunter? I can only say sometimes. One of my clients was a very respected archer. His shot was 3 yards. I have had numerous tough shots which required threading the needle. This year one of my clients had to pass on a true northern giant as there was no ethical shot for a bow and he would not pick up my rifle. I definitely had to respect this fellow for holding out for a bow killed trophy tom, hat cat would have gone way up in the record books. I have had many quite a few time where I went into retrieve my dogs by myself as the client had no chance of safely getting there.

From: Fuzzy
02-Apr-15
skinner creek I can see that. I have seen and been to raccoons treed in areas in the Appalachians when I was young, that I'd NEVER get my old creaky wide butt to today. I can only imagine a big cat, in the big mountains, can get you into big terrain, fast.

15-Apr-15
Hunting with well-trained dogs is something I always enjoy. To me fair chase means the game has ample opportunity to escape. The cat can and many times does escape the dogs. Sure seems like fair chase to me.

From: R. Hale
15-Apr-15
I would like to try a hound/cat hunt sometime. No idea how I would feel about it after it was over. I would not take a bow as the shot would not be a large part of the experience to me and I would carry something much smaller.

Much of the issue between hunters about hounds is that in many areas the coon and coyote hound hunters are not the best citizens. Trespassers, no respect for personal propriety or property lines. Some can get a bit vocal about their "rights" threaten person and property etc. Locally, they seem to be better than in the past as far as I can tell.

From: Owl
15-Apr-15
"Having had the good fortune to hunt a lot of species in lot of places, my lion hunt is the only time I ever questioned why I was paying someone to deprive me of sleep and march me half to death."

-lol. Matt, that was a fun hunt. Never went 9 days without so much as a creek bath and never had my guide pass out at the wheel from exhaustion.

I still remember that first day when Richard and I hiked the dogs non-stop from an hour after sun up to about 2 hours after dark. On the way back to camp, I asked him how far he thought we walked and he said, "Oh, about 2 to 3 miles..." He was serious.

For anyone who thinks lion hunting is fundamentally unfair, I did not even see one during that hunt.

From: Drop tine
15-Apr-15
My only experience with lion hunts is one that a good friend of mine went on. Took them three days to get a lion treed. Rode around in the side by side for three days in super cold weather. Walked about 200 yards, took some pictures of the lion and then shot him. He wasn't super interested in shooting one but needed one for his NA11 or one of those crazy lists that guys do.

I look at in the same category as hunting baited bears and deer or shooting a muskox. Not the most stimulating hunt and is not for everyone but nothing wrong or immoral about it either. To each their own.

From: cityhunter
16-Apr-15
Dogs love hunting and so do i ,so its just natural to hunt together . Man has been hunting with dogs for a long time . To own a dog and not hunt him is a sin!!!!

From: chuckles
11-Jul-15
not only a LOT of fun, but a great trophy and the meat is really tasty, very similar to eating pork. Kill and grill them kitties!

From: Bou'bound
11-Jul-15
Took me four hunts to get one. First two hunts did not see one. Passed one on third trip. Killed on fourth

From: Drop Tine
12-Jul-15

Drop Tine's embedded Photo
Drop Tine's embedded Photo
While I have never hunted ol Pete Puma. I have and do hunt Bobcats and Bear behind hounds. How Hound hunting could be defined as anything but "fair chase" is beyond me. What's the difference if a cat is up a tree or an Elk 20 yards on the ground? The cat can bail at any time as easy as the Elk can bolt.

Hunting cats in snow is one thing. But the guys and their dogsthat do it on dry ground I have huge respect for. Finding a track that's several hours old and watching a hound or two grub that track out and get it jumped is something to see.

Not every race ends at a tree. Not every tree equates a kill.

I'm 55 now and there is not much that gets this ol boy that excited anymore. But last weekend I turned out for the first time this year for bear and had so much adrenaline going I was just shaking. LOL

From: SteveB
12-Jul-15
Having just completed a bear hunt with Hounds in very rugged BC mountains, I now have a brand new perspective from firsthand experience. This is as tough a hunt as I'd ever want. Anyone who comments that hasn't done it is unqualified to comment. Period. I thought it might kill me at times...yet I'd sign up again tomorrow.

  • Sitka Gear