Hunting can be a very enjoyable sport when done safely, correctly and within the bounds of the law. You don’t want to go out there, guns blazing and end up injured by what you are hunting, lost, fined or even in jail. There are some precautions that you should take with every hunting trip that you go on and some things you should know before you go.
It is one thing to hunt for quail or rabbits or even deer; animals that are afraid of you and understand that humans are the predator. It’s a whole different ball game when hunting for mountain lions. Mountain lions can stand their ground and if they really wanted to, could do severe damage to their hunters. If you are considering hunting for mountain lions, here are a few things that you should know beforehand.
Know what you are getting in to. Before hooking up your backpack and camouflage and heading out to the mountains, you should try and learn as much as possible about lions and their habitats.
The Right Bait
Find out what the particular mountain lion that you are after, likes to eat. Most lions will eat smaller animals like rabbits or beavers but some of the bigger ones will even prey on smaller versions of themselves like bobcats.
What to Look For
After you have done your research and are ready to go, you should know what you are looking for. Hopefully your terrain is one of snow, mud or dirt because lions will leave tracks. Their tracks are fairly round with a pad and four toes, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Tracks will not show claw marks.
Another thing to look for are mounds of grass or twigs and weeds. Lions are known to piing up debris in order to mark their territory by urinating on the bundle.
What to Listen For
When hunting lions, you need to have a ear out for what they sound like. Growls, purrs, snarls and groans are all emitted from the lion so you should be familiar with their sounds, especially the quiet ones so you know when they are nearby.
You can use mouth calls if desired to attract the lion. They are available in metal and plastic. Understandably, the plastic is the better kind for winter as it will not freeze. There are even a number of lion calls on the internet that can be played digitally and work quite well.
Know Your Weapon Although pretty much any of the center fires will work, you should always know your weapon of choice and how it works so you can determine where you should be in relation to the lion and what your course of action will be should the lion get to close or to far.
Don’t Stalk Lions are king stalkers and are almost impossible to stalk by staying still. You have to go to where there is a large population of lions if you are going to have any luck.
Know the Law This is the most important tip you could get. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this one! Different states have differing laws regarding hunting. There are laws about what kind of animal you can hunt, when you can hunt them and what you can hunt them with. Know the answers to all of these stipulations before even thinking about an adventure like this.
I would never suggest that mountain lions be your prey of choice if this is your first time hunting. They can be a dangerous adventure. Start with something simpler and safer like birds to begin with and then work your way up.
Taking these tips to heart before going hunting can save you a world of trouble. Overall, just make sure you know what you are doing before going out. It will benefit you to know yourself, your weapon, your prey and your laws. You most certainly do not want to encounter any surprises while you are hunting. Surprises while hunting never really turn out very well!