USA: Second Lion Hunt

K-man

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Just wanted to start a report about a great time on a mountain lion hunt with Hap Blacksten in the Philmont Ranch in northeast new mexico this weekend. I booked an "on call" hunt with Hap through Scott at besthunts.net (a booking agent) this last march. An on call hunt is when you put a small deposit down and when snow has or is falling, the outfitter calls you and you arrive the next day to begin the hunt. I was unable to go the first time, but went thursday. The first hour of the hunt we found a fresh track of two lions traveling together, and he turned his three dogs on the track. Within fifteen minutes we heard the baying that comes with a treed cat. The dogs were less than 800 yards away but it took us 2 legged grandpas about 2 hours to climb a cliff, navigate a canyon, and back up the other side to the dogs. The treed cat was a young male, so we gathered the dogs and went on. The next day about 2 hours in we found another track, let the dogs out and within a fewminutes we had another cat treed. This one ended up being a female, so we hauled the dogs out again. It is really foutunate to tree 2 cats in 2 days, but we would go the next three days without a fresh track. Our daily routine was to drive as far as the snow would allow, saddle the horses, and trail 12 to 15 miles a day looking for fresh tracks. Hap has hunted cats in this area for over 40 years and has exclusive hunting rights for cats on adjoining ranches totalling over three hundred thousand acres. We never rode the same area twice, and the peaceful calm of a quiet snowy mountain with the only sound you hear is the breath of you and your horse and his hooves in the snow. Even a tough day hunting this way beats an easy day working!!!! The sixth day - my last- started much the same, but after only 400 yards we got on a large fresh track, and within 200 yards the dogs had a large male treed. After containing the dogs, I made a short shot with my .30/.30 winchester mod 94, and the cat was down. It took almost three hours to get pictures, get horses loaded, and get back to base camp. We were able to weigh him there at 180 lbs. I just got back from the taxidermy studio where he rough green scored the skull at over 16 inches, so even after the 60 day drying period, he should still make over the 15inch Boone and Crockett minimum. Thanks to Hap, Zandra his daughter and wrangler, and Spud the horse that put up with my lack of prowess about his species.

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Great job on a dandy of a cat!
 
Congrats, I always wanted to hunt one.
 
180lb cat is a big one for sure! K-man, I think the felines of this world are going to be spreading news about you!!
 
Thanks guys
have been targeting predators lately. Hoping in a couple of years I will be able to get a leopard. Oops- got a dirty look from the Mister of Finance. Will back off that for a bit. Hahaha
 
that sounds like an awesome hunt kman,
in my eyes you got to hunt 3 cats for the price of one, that's cool
he looks to be a spectacular animal , even though ive only ever seen them in photos , 180 pounds ,is that a thumper ?
this is the first hunt report ,ive read that involved a 30-30, cheers for that too ,bloke
down here the old dirty thirty doesn't get a good review , so ive never looked into one
does your fella do archery hunts on these cougas?
thanks for sharing your local adventure with us all ......
 
Congrats K-man! Beautiful cat, Lord how I miss the sounds of dogs at the tree. Thanks for posting your hunt.
Cheers,
Cody
 
Great cat K-Man, Congrats! Lion with dogs and horses sounds like a blast (y)
 
Nice cat. Congratulations. Always a fun and hard hunt to be sure. Here is a picture of my Cougar taken in B.C. Canada.

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This kind of dinamics hunts, chassing a puma with dogs are great.....very good hunting report and very good lion......!!!!

Congrats.....!!!!
 
Congrats K-man! Beautiful cat, Lord how I miss the sounds of dogs at the tree. Thanks for posting your hunt.
Cheers,


that sounds like an awesome hunt kman,
in my eyes you got to hunt 3 cats for the price of one, that's cool
he looks to be a spectacular animal , even though ive only ever seen them in photos , 180 pounds ,is that a thumper ?
this is the first hunt report ,ive read that involved a 30-30, cheers for that too ,bloke
down here the old dirty thirty doesn't get a good review , so ive never looked into one
does your fella do archery hunts on these cougas?
thanks for sharing your local adventure with us all ......

Yes a 180 lb is a big cat especially for New Mexico. The trophies that Hap mounted for himself are 165 to 175. The .30/.30 is the perfect rifle for a scabbard on a horse, and felt a little like a western movie. I must admit it had been a bit of a safe queen for a few years, as the range on it is not as good. I pulled it out of the safe and put it in the led sled, shot 2 rounds at 80 yds, and the bullet holes were touching. Nice to pick up an old friend and have it shoot well. Yes, archery is also very possible as the rangees will be less than 50 yds.
 
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Congratulations K-Man, hunting with Hap was one of my best hunts ever.
 
Outstanding !
 
Sounds like a great hunt and a great adventure. Congrats!
 
Congratulations on your successful and memorable hunt!
 

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