New Mexico mountain lion hunt
I just returned from one of my greatest hunts ever. It was a tough but rewarding experience to say the least. I booked the hunt through Scott Steinkruger of Hunting Consultants Unlimited, he's a Texan but I try not to hold that against him.
This is a hunt I have wanted to do for a long time, but have been putting off because of the Africa bug so many of us here seem to be bitten by. I new this could be a very tough hunt so I figured I better do it while I still can. As a young boy I hunted bear and mt lions with my grandfather in the mountains of California. I ended up shooting a bear or two but the state had closed mt lion hunting before I was old enough to shoot one. It's been a long time coming, 40 years to be exact.
I arrived in snowy and cold conditions which is perfect for lion hunting. The houndsman thought this would be a short hunt, and could have been, but this guy does not shoot females. We actually caught a female the first day so I knew it was just a matter of time before a big tom would slip up where we could catch him. We hunted hard, out before daylight and returning hours after dark. I was so cold and tired I couldn't eat dinner the first two nights. I just to a hot shower to warm up and hit the sack.
We were seeing fresh female tracks everyday but seemed to be at least two days behind the toms. I think I walked every canyon, mesa, and mountain between Tucumcari and Raton. But I loved it, every minute of it. There is no way I would have experienced the sites and sounds of this beautiful country if not on the trail of a lion. On the sixth afternoon of a two or three day hunt we finally found a big fresh tom track. We had hunted so hard I would have considered any mature lion, male or female a trophy by this time. As we crossed the canyon where the dogs had him treed we could see this beautiful cat high in a pine.
The shooting of the cat was of course anti climatic as far as the hunt goes but I am deeply pleased and satisfied to have taken this majestic animal at the end of a very tough hunt. If you like hunting with hounds, and I do, then you might want to put a hunt like this on your short list. I had camera problems so pictures are very limited, in fact, if not for a gentelman named Ron Rigoni all I would have would be a few fuzzy cell phone pics. I guess my camera didn't like the -21 weather.