New Mexico mountain lion hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by jaustin, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Hello All,
    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.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nice cat.
    Congratulations.
     
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Well done. Nice cat and you earned him.
     
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    what a buaety ,congratulations on a well earned trophy
    how much would a cat that big wiegh and how long would he be ?
     
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Congrats, nice mountain lion!
     
  6. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congrats I'm Green with Envy while stationed in Colorado I hunted those cats hard and heavy with no luck like you found plenty of females but the toms I think had ESP and new I was looking for them One Day I'll luck out until then they stay on my list.
     
  7. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Thank you for the kind comments. The lion weighed 180 lbs and I did not measure him until he was skinned. With the skin laid out but not stretched he was 8 feet 5 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. I am very thankfull that I did not tag out early in the trip. I'm trying to find someone to do this hunt so I can tag along again!
     
  8. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    PM me some info and pricing I may just take you up on it. Bob
     
  9. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Beautiful tom! Congrats!
     
  10. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    8 foot 5 and 180 pounds thats a whoping big cat .id love to do a cougar hunt im hoping to do it next year .can you do it with a bow once the cats treed ?
    and is there hunt where you can maybe bait em in and shoot from a tree stand ?
    or some thing simalar?
     
  11. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Yes you can take them with a bow. Never heard of baiting them but I have heard that there have been a few taken using varmit calls.
     
  12. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Beautiful tom cat Jaustin!

    Great report too. It reminded me of a favorite quote from one of the Godfathers of North American wildlife conservation, Aldo Leopold. "No prize is greater than the effort it took to achieve it"

    Thanks for sharing and congrats.

    Ty
     
  13. K-man

    K-man AH Veteran

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    Congrats on a fine tom and a great hunt! Was this hunt with hap? I have just booked a hunt with scott s. For this winter. All the other hunts I have booked through scott have lasted anywhere from 10 minutes to one day. He has done his homework with the outfitters he represents. Anything I should know about this hunt besides your report? What did you do with the hide, etc. Did you take it with or have it shipped? Sorry if this is too personal -just being curious. Anyway good job!
     
  14. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Yep, hunted with Hap. I love that country out there and really liked hunting with Hap. He will work his butt off to get you a good lion. I only live about 9 hours from there so I drove and brought the hide home in an ice chest. I actually just got my mount back and will try and post a pic shortly.
     
  15. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    The taxidermy was done by Jerry Huffaker of Abilene Texas. His work on big cats and other animals is outstanding. I am having trouble with the picture posting from my iPad but there is a better pic in my photos although it is also sideways.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2014
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  16. K-man

    K-man AH Veteran

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    Great mount and now a lasting memory. Thanks for sharing. Will let you know how mine turns out.
     
  17. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    nice trophy jaustin
    he came up trumps,mate
    is there many different manikins for these beautiful cats?
     
  18. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    K-man, good luck on your hunt.

    Bluey, there are quite a few poses that are available, and even those can be modified or customized to suit your desire.
     
  19. aaronraby1

    aaronraby1 AH Senior Member

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    very nice! looks great! come fall, ill be in new mexico also after lion. got my tag pinned up on the fridge already!
     
  20. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That is one Awesome mount!
     

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