Friday, February 04, 2011

Mountain Lion Hunting in the Cascades vol. 4

My hunt has come to an end. Today was a difficult day with rains and fog, though there were some great moments. The Pacific Northwest woods are certainly moody.

I spent the morning hunting back down by the Toutle River
and turned up nothing, though it was worthwhile in terms of scouting for future elk hunts. And the scenery was nice until it began to pour.

I was impressed with the mossy-rain-forest that was accentuated by the drizzle, and the aromas!

After lunch, it was back to the Toutle
River wildlife management unit high country. As usual, I saw many elk, including multiple big 5 x5 bulls, one of which I stalked just for fun within 100 yards. Boy, do cross-hairs on vitals with a quartering away shot on a 5 pointer at 100 yards get your heart pumping!

I also came across this tree that shows markings of a bear that had been scratching, and then was startled to climb the tree quite high. I have marked with red lines each claw mark on the tree.
We set up for predators first in a clear-cut down low next to Silver Lake. We had
a bobcat come in to about 200 yards, but it darted around some stumps and never gave a clear shot. Later, we set up on a narrow razor-back ridge. There were elk below us in all directions . When we commenced calling (electronic jackrabbit squeals), they scattered. About five minutes later, I saw 5 black tail deer running right to left below me about 200 yards. They stopped periodically to look back, and then sprinted ahead. My guess is cougar, and so thought the guide. An anxious 5 minutes passed, hopeful that the big cat would show, but alas... my hunt ends.

A final sight-seeing rarity occurred. Coming down from the high country, I saw a piebald black-tail deer, which was quite extraordinary. Despite the lack of a feline trophy, I have seen and experienced in intimate ways an extraordinary landscape, I have learned a great deal about elk, drank some great wine and coffee, and have met some interesting and memorable people. That is enough.


Yeoman said...

Looks like a great hunt!

Jim Tantillo said...

nice writeups Cagey!!