Sunday, December 9, 2018
Cougar's and other dangers.
Travis McLing gave me permission to post a couple of pictures from his most recent chukar hunt. As you can see it turned out pretty successful.
I wrote a blog about a similar encounter I had about nine years ago and his description of the dog's point and encounter was very similar to mine except for the wrestling match. I figure this to be a good time to remind chukar hunter's of the big cat's presence especially this time of the year. They are around year round but as the big game moves lower into their winter grounds which are also popular places for the chukars the mountain lions follow.
The chances of having an encounter like Travis had are pretty slim but I'll bet most chukar hunters out this time of the year and getting away from the beaten routes would be shocked at how close they probably were to a lion at one time or another. I've seen several occasions where cats won't move until either the dog's force them to or the hunter comes so close that they finally must get out of town. Most chukar hunters are pretty quiet and there isn't a lot of noise from the dogs so many times Lions don't even know the hunters and their canine partners are near until they are within a 100 yards or so and by then the lazy cat just hunkers in his obscure little hiding place until the danger passes. It's kind of what he is good at.
Don't run to your gun safe and grab your .357 or can of mace just yet though. I'd say the odds of you or your dog getting hurt by a lion are less than 1%. Just be aware of their possible presence and maybe you'll enjoy what very few people ever get to see once your heart settles back down. Just one more of the wonders of chukar country.
This is the guy that got a little too close to Dakota nine or ten years ago.
Who knows. You may be walking along some snow covered mountain and fall into what you thought was a badger hole but when you pull yourself back up you're looking at this guy.
After typing about Travis's luck with a cougar I got a note from Greg Munther down in Arizona. It seems like his luck wasn't quite as good even though nothing was trying to eat his dog. He ran into a danger of a different type. His dog, Oakley broke to flush and didn't see a stick hidden in the tall brush. All I know is that he said "darn for bad luck".
Ouch! Hopefully Lucy can cover for Oakley for the next two months and healing comes quick.
Upland hunting isn't always a walk in the park as these two incidents show.