Author Topic: My Archery Mt Lion  (Read 5967 times)

Offline CreekWalker

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My Archery Mt Lion
« on: December 14, 2016, 10:07:57 AM »
Saturday morning December 10 started like so many have during this years late archery season, alarm goes off at 3:45, bleary eyed and out the door by 4:30, settled into a treestand by 6:15-6:20 ready to spend the next 45 minutes listening to the dark noises.

This late season has been pretty tough for me honestly, limited deer sightings even though I had many bucks on cameras (almost exclusively at night) and many hours in the stand, trying to hone a strategy in a new spot, and attempting to hunt as much as possible while still maintaining reasonable standing around the house/work/business etc.

With all of that in mind, a promise to my wife that Id be home by noon, and a day and a half left of available hunting time I sat in the dark listening to a couple of deer walk by and hoping more would come in daylight.

At 7:45 the coffee pressure began to build and I stood up to find the P bottle. Standing facing my tree I paused to look around one last time before rustling around in my pack. Looking down the hill about 30 yds to my right I saw something Ive frankly day-dreamed about more times than I can count. Standing directly in front of my trail camera was a mountain lion in daylight, with no clue I was there!!!   
My first reaction was to quickly try to decide which to grab, my video camera or bow? The cat was on a big trail about 6 yds from a 4-way junction, if it continued straight up the trail it was on I wouldnt get a shot I felt comfortable with, but if it took the hard left turn up the hill Id get a 10-15 yd shot. With my left hand on my bow grip and right hand close to my video camera in my right pocket I waited for a brief instant to see what would happen. The cat started walking again mere seconds after I first saw it and with a few steps reached the trail junction. What it did next turned out to be a fateful decision for both of us.

After a brief pause the cat turned hard left walking slowly toward my stand. I eased my bow off of it's holder and watched my release hook into place, the cat was about 15 yds away walking straight up the trail that passes 10 yds downhill from my stand. At about 12 yds as it went behind a large tree I drew my bow and settled into my peep sight.

(Click for Video)


My single pin found the top of the shoulder as the cat walked slowly in front of me, in this spot my shooting window was about 8 yds wide with another one 10 yds down the trail. Slowly tracking the cat I briefly thought about trying to stop it like I would a deer but quickly decided against it for fear any noise at this range would make it run. With my pin high (3/4 up the body or so) and tight to the shoulder my bow went off and the arrow zipped right through sticking in the ground on the downhill side of the trail, lighted nock burning brightly. The sound of the impact was instant proof that the arrow had hit it's mark, the cougar jumped in the air, twisting slightly back toward its close side then hit the ground and trotted at moderate speed for 30yds or so before disappearing around a small tree into some adjacent reprod. My last view was a couple of flashes of white and the sound of 3 or 4 small sticks breaking through the thick branches, then silence.

Cue uncontrollable shaking.     

Everything about the shot felt really good but Id never shot a cougar before...and Id never shot a walking animal with my bow before, whether it was 10 yds and walking really slowly or not...and I just wasnt very sure about the shot because even with a lighted nock I hadnt really seen the arrow hit, at that range things happened so fast that all I knew was my arrow had went through the cat somewhere and was now stuck in the ground, needless to say I was severely shook up.

I texted my two hunting buddies and while both super excited neither was able to come help.  I spent the next 90 minutes battling intermittent cell service, a mountain of nervous self-doubt, the brisk December weather, and almost continuously shaking hands, but finally got a buddy coming from an hour or so away. 
By 9:15 I couldnt take the suspense anymore and climbed down to check my arrow and follow the trail to the last place Id seen the cat after the shot. I figured depending on what I found Id either continue the trail or wait for help. My arrow had good, light colored blood all the way up, no funky smell and no fat or anything, there were 3 or 4 big drops on the ground right where the arrow was stuck in the ground. I slowly inched my way along the trail covering the next 30 yds without finding a single drop of blood, not even a stray hair.   
Never the most confident after shooting something with an arrow, I was just starting to worry a little as I scanned with binoculars through the edge of the last tree Id watched the cat go behind. A patch of white caught my eye and I instantly realized I was looking at a dead cougar 10 yds away!!!   
Apparently that last flash of white and breaking sticks had been the cat going down after about 35-40 yds and being on its feet 5-8 seconds after the shot. I took a few minutes to creep up to it, (sorta felt like Joe with his bear last spring   ), and then the surreal realization started to sink in that Id just killed a mountain lion with my bow!   

I texted the three guys who knew what was going on and let them know Id found him then waited for Chris to show up to help with pics, gutting etc. We made sure and took everything as slowly as we could because who knows when, if ever, either of us will get to do any of that again. We used my bike trailer with its T-handle attachment and got the him up to the road without having to drag at all and I finished up skinning that night at home. As of now the meat is in the freezer (lion meat is amazing!), checked him in at ODFW yesterday afternoon, and Im considering different taxidermy options.

**When I got him opened up the arrow had passed through both lungs and the heart which I think partially contributed to the lack of blood trail**

The whole thing still feels surreal and Im guessing will for quite some time. Im actually glad this came at a time when I have several months to let the whole experience settle in before its time to get serious hunting anything again, it would feel pretty strange to be pursuing anything else right now, I know that feeling will fade but intend on fully enjoying it before spring bear season.

The Kudu Point broadhead did a great job, completely severed a rib and half cut another on the entrance and exit side.


Offline Michael

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Re: My Archery Mt Lion
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 02:02:38 PM »
What a great Trophy!!! Congrats

Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: My Archery Mt Lion
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2016, 01:11:35 PM »
Thats awesome :tup: Congrats


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