I was out with a bunch of friends hunting mountain lions when we found a lion’s track. We turned out a few dogs to let them run the track. They trailed for about an hour, and we could hear them treeing the lion off in the distance. Back then we didn’t have tracking collars or hand-held GPS receivers to keep up with our dogs. So, we had to stay close enough to the dogs to hear them when they started barking. When we finally reached the dogs, they had climbed up the same tree where the lion was. The lion had one dog in his paw and had the other dog’s neck in his mouth. Many of the mountain lions that we hunt are fairly large, and they can kill a dog quickly. I picked up a couple of rocks and threw them at the cat to distract him, and he released the dogs. Luckily our dogs weren’t hurt too badly. We just stitched them up, and they were running another mountain lion the next day.
One year I drew a mountain lion tag that would allow me to harvest a lion, and that year we treed lions about 80 times. Sometimes we would even tree a female with a couple of kittens. We took pictures of all the lions we treed that year. We found and took a very big lion that weighed about 200 pounds - a huge, heavy cat. He stretched out 7 feet and 8 inches long, and the skull measured 2/16 of an inch over the required measurement to enter him in the Boone & Crockett record books. I’m not really into record-book animals, so I never did have him entered in the book. However, he was one of the biggest cats I have ever taken.
I’ve often been asked, “How do you get a good mountain lion dog?”
Picking a lion dog pup is often a crap shoot. You really don’t know how well that dog will perform until you start hunting it. Having some information on the male and female that bred the pup may give you an idea of how that pup should perform. I have bred two great dogs thinking they will produce some great lion hounds, and those pups have been mediocre dogs. I have had my share of bad dogs over the last 30 years of lion hunting, but I have also been blessed to have some really good dogs. I have been fortunate enough to hunt with some of the best dogs ever raised in Utah.