Day1. Great first day amazing beautiful country. The river still had the ice jam so no boat was available. First day we had very little snow so we were relying on the dogs on the dry ground. The first hike was super steep super rugged! We saw lots of elk, sheep, whitetail and mule deer. Got about 100 yards from 15 sheep and one nice 140 class ram. We had one little chase of dogs smelling something but couldn't turn whatever it was up in the rocks. My buddy (the other hunter) found a fresh killed whitetail doe with a bobcat on it. After a surprisingly short chase they treed the bobcat and my buddy made a great shot for his first ever cat!
Good one for sure
Good luck, Robb
We hiked all around the saddles and ridges. The worst was some big bolder fields that were tricky going. I took a couple tumbles but thankfully no injuries. We didn't find any tracks at all however we came back this afternoon to great news that they were able to get a jet boat thru the river which has been jammed up with ice. This will allow us to cruise way more territory and check up and down the river for fresh tracks or a fresh kill which should up the odds significantly.
My buddy and his guide got on what they thought was a female lion in the afternoon. She ran them ragged. They eventually got bluffed out in some steep nasty rocky area and lost the trail.
Oh what a sweet day it was! Started off yesterday evening with one of the jet boats able to make it thru the ice dam so we were excited to have more country available to us in the morning. Since we had the boat we started off all together in the jetboat at first light. We cruised along looking for any fresh track along the riverbank. About 5 miles up Buck (my guide) stopped at a drainage and sent Harry (my buddies guide) up a cut that historically has a lot of game and cougar sign. Harry came back a couple min later saying their was a frozen track from yesterday. My buddy and I had to decide who was going to hunt since we were together to start so we did the classic best out of three - rock, paper, scissors. I won 2 in a row so game on!
Down low we have only a little snow along the river so tracks are a challenge. As you get higher up these mountains there is a little snow to find and follow tracks. Needless to say these hounds noses are amazing. They are able to follow a day old track on bare ground. Right away the 3 hounds Boots, Tia, and Hank were on the track and getting "catty." A half mile up the cut they opened up and starting baying meaning they have good scent and Hope's were high.
We climbed halfway up the mountain and started to side hill toward the hounds. Climbing along ledges, thru boulder fields and steep faces we continued on. We sometimes hear the distance baying of the dogs, sometimes lose track of them. After about an hour chase we start coming out toward the head of the cut and see the dogs running hard and super excited. Shortly there after the dogs baying turned into the beautiful music of short barks, this is the treeing bark!
It took us another 15 min to reach the tree and witness the Apex predator perched on a branch 15-20ft up. He was a mature tom with a big blocky head. We tied up the dogs and took a few pictures. Then it was time. Arrow knocked and tom in the sights. He was facing me so I put the first pin between his legs center mast and hit the release trigger. The arrow hit right where I wanted pass thru. He jumped to the next branch and went on the backside of the tree. I quickly reloaded arrow #2 and looked for another opening. He had a bunch of branches along his vitals but I had a small window. Second arrow away and I punched him hard in both shoulders. He immediately dropped from the tree and went tumbling 100 yards down the mountain.
High fives all around and time for the grip and grin. We finished up pictures and skinning and then made the hike out.
Rest of the day we tried to find my buddy a cat but didn't find anything fresh.
Certainly feel blessed to experience this amazing country and have the opportunity at an awesome cat.
He ended being around 155lbs with an empty stomach and fully mature
Thanks for sharing a great write up and photos on Bowsite, America premier bowhunting website and resource for all things bowhunting.
I’ve got a cat hunt booked for this coming January and I’m pumped!
Here’s a pic of my lion I killed in 2012.
Please follow up with the finished taxidermy! Would love to see how he turns out!