Cougar in Northern Idaho

Miss Khaybes

Newbie
Joined
Nov 8, 2012
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2
So, at my place up here in Idaho, we have just came to realize we have a rather large cougar living about 200 yards up hill behind my home. I have got 3 dogs and 18 chickens. I do not know much about cougar hunting, I have more or less hunted everything but cougars. Anyone know of any good tips to hunt this kitty down with? I know they stalk very well and a lot of the times you cannot even hear them. Just need some help in getting this cat in....

Thanks!!
Beth
 

sab

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
199
I hunt them like coyotes, taking into consideration a few differences. First, they have a comparatively poor sense of smell, so they are less likely to come to the call from downwind consistently. Either find a natural funnel to force them to use, or hunt with others so that all directions can be watched at once.

Second, they are far more cautious and take longer coming to the call. I've had coyotes come in at a full-on run within five minutes of setting up and calling. Cats, on the other hand, take longer because they spot and stalk.

Third, their range is much larger than a coyote's range, so many days may go by between sightings. Of course, if it's discovered a food source at your place, it may stick around for a while.

Finally, while coyotes seldom attack humans, mountain lions may, so watch your back! As far as calls go, start with the simple rabbit in distress call. That's a good one to start with. Good luck! Finding a cat to call is the hardest part, and it sounds like you've found one, so go get it!

Oh, yeah, one more thing - make sure you have the proper license for a mountain lion. In my state, only a general hunting license is required and the season is always open. In some states, a tag is required for a certain season, and in some states, they are illegal to hunt.

Regards,
Scott
 
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Miss Khaybes

Newbie
Joined
Nov 8, 2012
Messages
2
I hunt them like coyotes, taking into consideration a few differences. First, they have a comparatively poor sense of smell, so they are less likely to come to the call from downwind consistently. Either find a natural funnel to force them to use, or hunt with others so that all directions can be watched at once.

Second, they are far more cautious and take longer coming to the call. I've had coyotes come in at a full-on run within five minutes of setting up and calling. Cats, on the other hand, take longer because they spot and stalk.

Third, their range is much larger than a coyote's range, so many days may go by between sightings. Of course, if it's discovered a food source at your place, it may stick around for a while.

Finally, while coyotes seldom attack humans, mountain lions may, so watch your back! As far as calls go, start with the simple rabbit in distress call. That's a good one to start with. Good luck! Finding a cat to call is the hardest part, and it sounds like you've found one, so go get it!

Oh, yeah, one more thing - make sure you have the proper license for a mountain lion. In my state, only a general hunting license is required and the season is always open. In some states, a tag is required for a certain season, and in some states, they are illegal to hunt.

Regards,
Scott

Thanks Scott!
We do A LOT of coyote hunting right from our front door, and luckily we have a few rabbit in distress calls, hopefully that works. Funny and very strange thing about this one..... I walked up behind the house with my pistol and came across the cougar kills, one of which happened to be a small spike buck from just a few days ago. This cat has 4 dead deer and they are all laying in a row. You can see where they have been eaten, etc.

We are in for some snow the next few days, so maybe I can locate some tracks. Til then.... Happy Hunting!!
Beth
 

fair-chase

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Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
97
Location
S.E. WA
I agree fully with Scott's advise on the calling. Just going to expand on it a little bit.

If the cat is feeding on deer, you may look into a fawn distress call as well. Also, feel free to change up sounds mid way through your calling stand. As Scott eluded to it may take a long time for a cat to come in. Keep after it and call continuously for at least one hour. An hour and a half would be ideal. This may be hard to do if your blowing on a mouth call but just remember that like bears, cats can be easily distracted. So if your taking a break from calling, his attention may be diverted to something else.

Also, get comfortable before calling. Movement (or lack thereof) is key. They will pick up on even the slightest twitch so do your best not to have any movement whatsoever. An hour may not seem like long to hold still, but when your on high alert with the assumtion that a mountain lion is bearing down on you, it gets very easy to start moving your head in an effort to look around. Partners sitting back to back will help to elliviate this.

The only other thing I would suggest is that if the kill sites are still fresh (cat is obviously still feeding on them) to just sit on them at night and wait him out. With a partner of course and assuming it's legal to hunt at night where you are. Try not to disturb the site.

Best of luck, Bryan.
 
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sab

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
199
Bryan's advice is spot on. I definitely agree with his advice to stand hunt over one of the kills, if it looks like he's not done feeding (he should cover it with brush if he intends to come back).

I have one point to build on. In my experience, the type of distress call you use is not very important, unless you think the cat is wise to a call. Predators who have little experience being called by hunters will come investigate any chance at a free meal.

As an example, this past summer I was leaving for work early one morning, and as I headed down the long gravel driveway (it's almost 3/4 mile long - I live in the boonies), I saw a 'yote cross the drive about 100 yds ahead of me. I stopped the car, grabbed my handgun, and stepped out of the car.

Having no call with me, I made a sound that was supposed to imitate a rabbit distress call with just my hands and mouth, but sounded more like a guy trying poorly to imitate a dying rabbit :) He immediately stopped and then ambled into the brush next to the drive. I kept calling, watching for signs of him, but didn't see any.

As I was about to give up, I turned my head, and he was sitting just 20 yds behind me (he had circled around me) with his head sideways, like a dog does when you make a funny sound. It took everything I had in my not to burst out laughing. I turned slowly to try taking a shot at him, but my motion spooked him, and he disappeared, never to be seen again.

The point is, if I can call him in with that poor excuse for a call, I don't really think the call one chooses is terribly important. Being at the top of the food chain (again, this only applies if they aren't wise to humans calling them), they will investigate any sounds that even remotely sound like a free lunch.

Good luck hunting that cat, and don't forget to take and post pics if you're successful!

Regards,
Scott
 

littlebuf

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Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,983
Sit on those kills.if ones fresh the cat will be back.if its legal set up at night and get him with a spot light.callings fun, and I do a lot if it but it wont be near as productive as his own kill
 
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