USA: Utah Lion Hunt Sept 14-19


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Aug 16, 2014
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North Texas
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RSA East Cape 3X, NW Province, Mozambique, NZ, Namibia 2X
My brother booked an elk hunt with Horox LTD in Vernal, UT and I was going to go along to observe as I had hunted NZ red stag in March and had collected two nice stag. But we would be gone about 7 -8 days driving up from North Texas, so I inquired about other possible quarry. Josh suggested a 'dry land' lion hunt with his 10 hounds. So I signed up, mailed deposit and marked out days on the calendar at work. We arrived Wednesday. There were,four hunters in camp, I was the only lion hunter and the elk season didn't begin until Sat. So the elk hunters went out with there guides daily glassing for bulls while I was up at 3am daily striking out with my two guides Chris and Lad. The first day we covered ten miles up and down some of the nastiest lion terrain you can imagine. These kids were 21 yrs old. I'm 48. No horses. I'm in good shape for 48, workout weekly with a trainer and so forth, but the kitchen hadn't prepared sack lunch for us the first day and no substantial breakfast. These guys could cover this ground all day on a pack of Skittles and a can of Copenhagen. We subsequently started taking PB and J sandwiches .We got on a lion on Willow creek early the first morning and chased it unlit 4pm. Finally we caught the expired dogs and called calf rope. The next day it rained and I needed to rest and mind a small blister so it was a blessing.

The third day we hiked two draws until about 2 pm with no tracks.

The fourth day we got a text from Brown Park wildlife biologist and a ranch headquarters on the Green River allowed us to begin hunting a cat that had been menacing their deer herd on an irrigated grass field during the nights. So for the next 1.5 days we hunted in this area and cut a track on the road one morning that dried up on rocky ground.

Day five and it was crunch time and we went back to the same area and ran the river again and nothing. I was then preparing to plan a return trip during the snow later in the year. BUT we determined the cat was a swimmer and had been escaping us by swimming the Green on us twice. So we got another text from the wildlife biologist she had seen a cat below her cabin at the field station. So with rejuvenated spirits, we drive in there 45 minutes and she takes us down to marshy area on the Green and we turn out two best hounds. One old male named Striker. He was lemon and white. Looked like an oversized English Pointer.

The hounds got on the scent trail barking and we apparently drove the cat back across the river, but never saw it.

So we load back up, drive down river across a bridge, go into some open country on the other side, turn all ten hounds lose. Chris takes the hounds down to river's edge and Lad and I stay up high glassing and watching. 45 minutes later Chris had the cat treed in a massive cottonwood tree with an old mule deer buck kill at the base. Lad and I get the call from Chris on the radio and we throw on our packs, grab my Model 94 saddle gun and bail off down this drain which was relatively forgiving vs most of the other areas we hunted.

We cross a lake bottom and arrive at the tree to the awesome cacophony of the hounds barking and doing back flips off the base of this old cottonwood. The sun was high overhead shining brightly through the shimmering leaves. She was 30 yards up in the tree lying flat as she could be. When she peered over her perch I instantly could tell it was a 'she'. I dry fired the first time, loaded and then hit her in the shoulder with the 150 grain Win 30-30. She stood up and fell backward crashing like an anvil to the ground. The dogs rushed in and I needed to give her a final round as she was breathing her final breathes and blood was spewing out of her.

Amy, the biologist showed up on scene and after we skinned her, extracted a toothe for study and evaluation. She completed some more paperwork and we sacked up the back straps. I was determined to take some of the meat home. We sliced of pieces of the bum and fed to hound dogs. They loved it. I hugged the boys as it was a rugged and brutal five day 'dry land' hunt.

We made it back to camp after having a brief but relaxing lunch of Flaming Gorge hamburgers and a couple of brews. I bought of course.

We were gathered around the kitchen telling stories when we got a call on the radio. Danny, my brother Daren's guide said he just shot a bruiser bull. So we loaded up in a Ranger a drove about 1.5 miles to the kill sight and took photos for quite awhile. This was my brother's first bull and he'd been looking forward to a quality elk hunt his whole adult life. So it was kind of a big deal.

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Here's a few photos. Thanks for reading. I enjoyed writing the story. Happy hunting.
I have really enjoyed that little gun. Lotta power in small package..
Nice cat and elk!
Congratulations on chasing a cat down in the dirt.

It will be a while before that Elk gets topped!. Congrats to your brother.

Thanks for sharing the tale.

ps. If you tie a large 12 foot logging chain to the young guides they will slow down a bit.
Was that your first lion hunt? I am so jealous! I’ve tried twice in New Mexico and in Nevada, but came up dry. You’re one lucky guy and your brother took an awesome bull elk! I’ve taken 17 elk and not one came close to his!
Thanks for the report and pictures!
Congrats on the cat and your brother took a very fine bull!
Yes my first lion and I'm very happy it took the full five days. When I came dragging in after the first day, the outfitter said 'you know Greg, your going about this all wrong' I said what do you mean? He says 'most guys wait in the truck until the cats been treed and then catchup and shoot it. I said ..'not this quail hunter'..
Great story. I want to get a mountain lion pretty bad. Your brother killed a hell of an elk too! I would say you had a beyond successful hunt!
Congrats on your successful Mtn lion hunt. Not common without snow. Great bull for your brother too. Well done. Bruce
Congrats on the mountain lion! Your brother took a very nice elk for a first time bull!
Very nice! Congrats and thanks for sharing!
That is a monster elk. I also want to do a lion hunt. Well done.
Congrats to you and your brother! I'm hoping to get to the Vernal area to do some hunting next year
Great hunt! Hunting dogs are fantastic and I love that terrain! I can see why you might be a little winded until you acclimated. Nice lion! If you have more pictures, I am sure I am not the only one who would love to see them!

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KEMP AFRICAN SAFARIS wrote on intj's profile.
welcome to the forum.if you have any questions please feel free at any time .
Here is short video of blesbok hunt from yesterday

made it to camp yesterday afternoon! had a braai with some awesome T-bones ready to start hunting for sable today!
made it to camp , had a big Braai last night with some awesome T-bones! ready to start the day!