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PNW cougars

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PNW cougars

Postby hibernation » 11 20, 2020 •  [Post 1]

Quick story, then looking for advice!

Had an awesome encounter with a big female lion in NE OR during archery season, sitting a watering hole with tons of fresh elk sign. My wife ended up taking her first elk there the next day but that's a different story. Spotted a quick flash of tawny between the trees about 100yds downslope and watched a cougar come in and out of view behind all the downed trees, vegetation, and the small hill we were brushed in against. After a tense minute wondering if it was going to appear right behind us, it popped back into view right on the path to the watering hole.

I got to full draw as it passed behind a tree but it cruised right through my first shooting lane at 20 yards. In hindsight, I should've tried to stop it there and taken the slight quartering-to shot. Thought I had enough cover to lean right and get it in the second shooting lane, but man, I have never been busted so fast through cover like that. No deer or elk would've spotted that movement - it looked right at us, started twitching its tail, crouching, turning, and then left in a literal cloud of dust. I regret blowing such a cool opportunity a little bit, but at the same time, watching one from that distance was still enough to make the whole trip.

Anyway, that's got me really thinking about pursuing cougars in the Coast Range over the winter. Seems like a good way to get out when the woods are pretty empty, and I'd love to call one into a clearcut somewhere. I see a lot of great cat pictures on here from Oregon and Washington, anyone got advice to get me started? Is it just about covering ground, trying multiple setups, and hopefully cutting tracks? I have access to a foxpro and might pick up Rainshadow's sound files if I go that way, but I'd love to try hand calls too.

Thanks!
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Re: PNW cougars

Postby wawhitey » 11 20, 2020 •  [Post 2]

Dont know that trying to call one into a clearcut is the way to go. Call to them where theyll feel comfortable coming in, where they want to be, not where you want them to be. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: PNW cougars

Postby hibernation » 11 22, 2020 •  [Post 3]

Thanks for the tip, that's a good point. Hoping to call one in where I have a reasonable chance of seeing/shooting it, instead of the vine maple jungle everywhere else. I guess I was picturing 3-6 year old reprod, not just totally barren fresh clearcut, something where they might still have to "search" for the sound.
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Re: PNW cougars

Postby wawhitey » 12 06, 2020 •  [Post 4]

Been having fun tracking and calling lions lately. No success yet, but believe i came extremely close. Lomg story short i was tracking one when i had to talk on the phone and did my best to whisper, and apparently he busted me right then. Too much to type details, but im pretty certain thats how it went down. Then yesterday following luke warm tracks hoping to find a kill. After a couple miles she went into a mess that wasnt worth fighting given the age of the tracks. Did find some of her poo and poked it with a stick to confirm frozen, overnight turds at best. Thinking at this point i need to wait until we get fresh snow to start again, probably next weekend according to the forecast. Got on tracks again today but they were cold tracks.
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