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buffybr's picture
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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
Colorado Mountain Lion 2015

I finaly fulfilled a 40 year dream and shot a mountain lion. 

I've lived in lion country for most of my life and have even seen 3 lions from or within 1/4 mile of my house.  I've also bought a resident lion tag for many years, hoping to shoot one while deer or elk hunting, but that hasn't happened.

Then a couple of months ago I saw an ad by JT Robbins of Allout Outfitters in Fruita, Colorado for a cancellation lion hunt at the end of November.  Since I was going to be in Colorado anyway for Thanksgiving, I decided to do the hunt.

On Sunday Nov 29th I drove from Denver to Fruita and met JT and his wife Bre.  They have a small family hunting operation where JT takes out a few deer, elk and lion hunters.  The last elk season had just closed, and I was to be their first lion hunter this year.  I got settled in to their nice guest cottage and JT said we would leave at 3 AM the next morning.

I woke up at 2:30 to the sounds of JT loading his dogs into his truck and as soon as I finished a hot plate of biscuits and gravy that Bre had cooked, we were on the road. 

We spent the morning driving old uranium exploration roads on BLM and Forest Service lands looking for fresh lion tracks.  It had snowed the day before and we were the first vehicle to drive up those roads, but we didn't cut any lion tracks.

That afternoon, JT drove to a different unit and the first road that we drove up, we cut a fresh lion track near the top of a plateau.  I measured the track at a little over 4" wide, and JT assured me that it was an adult tom.  JT released 2 of his dogs on the track, and soon we could see them working up through the rimrock cliffs on the track.

It took us about an hour to work our way to the top of the plateau where JT released the rest of his dogs, which we followed.  We found the cat in the top of a large pinion pine tree about in the middle of the broken rimrock cliffs.  One ot the dogs was also up in the tree, very near to the lion.  JT thought that the dogs had treed the lion for at least a half an hour, and he was concerned for the safety of the dogs, especially the one up the tree with the lion.

I had hoped to shoot the lion with a pistol, but JT urged me to shoot quick, so I used the Winchester .30-30 that I had also brought along.  JT was filming the hunt, and as soon as I got into position for a clear shot, JT said "As soon as you're ready sho[BOOM]ot'"  The tom was facing us, and I put a 150 grain Sierra FP bullet just inside the front of his right shoulder, and he instantly fell dead out of the tree.

The lion fell next to the edge of a snow covered 20' cliff and the dogs were immediately on him.  We were able to hold the dogs off of him for a couple of quick pictures.  We then decided it would be better to take the lion down the the rest of the way off the rimrocks instead of up the steep, snow covered, broken slope to the top of the plateau.  So JT took the lion and the dogs down to the road where we had released the dogs, and I climbed back to the top and drove JT's truck around to meet them.

When we got back to JT's home that night we skinned my lion and boned out the meat which we were able to freeze in JT's freezer.  The next day we checked the lion at the Division of Wildlife office in Grand Junction, and I was able to freeze the head and skin for my trip back to Montana.

A big THANK YOU to JT, his wife Bre, and their dogs for fulfilling my 40 year old lion hunt dream.

 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
What no story about truging

What no story about truging trough 3' of snow for miles on miles and having to chase the cat for 2 or 3 days?  Sounds like you had a real quick hunt, where is the fun in that? 

 

Anyway congrats on the cat, one day I'll have myself one.  I have seen quite a few of them and had a few of them in the scope but never have pulled the trigger one one yet. 

By the way you passed right through where I live in Gypsum just east of Glenwood Canyon not to mention that elkkill06 lives in Fruita. 

You'll have to let us know what the skull measures. 

buffybr's picture
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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
Western Colorado

Critter wrote:
By the way you passed right through where I live in Gypsum just east of Glenwood Canyon not to mention that elkkill06 lives in Fruita. 

You'll have to let us know what the skull measures. 

When I was a kid, I'd go fishing just about every other summer with my Grandfather up on Grand Mesa.  I moved away from Colorado in 1975.  Its been at least 50 years since I have been west of Glenwood Springs.  I had forgotten how beautiful that country is. Thumbs up

SGM
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Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1147
Congratulation on finally

Congratulation on finally getting your lion. Sounds like a prety easy hunt for you but that is the exception rather then the rule. Got mine back in 09 and it sure was a fun hunt. Do you plan on getting a full mount or a rug?

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
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SORRY I missed this.....

Huge congrats on a great Western Colorado tom and a huge thanks from me on saving a bunch of muledeer. What units did you hunt and what unit did you kill him in ?

Thanks for sharing the story and pics ! And like Critter said, you didn't even stop by one of our houses.....

Quinton