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Author Topic: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017  (Read 10659 times)

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #125 on: December 06, 2017, 01:51:36 PM »
We are tagged out and waiting for our next hunters. The boys were out scouting around this morning and found 4 cats, 2 were toms, one is a really good tom! They are trying to get his approximate whereabouts pinned down for the next hunt. :tup: @Rainier10
:tup:  I am sooooooo looking forward to this hunt.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline wheels

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #126 on: December 06, 2017, 02:12:08 PM »
some nice cats there

Offline WA hunter14

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #127 on: December 06, 2017, 02:44:02 PM »
Right on sounds like a good time, you sure you don't want to hire another lion guide  :chuckle: ?

Offline Jpmiller

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #128 on: December 06, 2017, 05:45:20 PM »
What's your average success rate on the lion hunts?

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #129 on: December 07, 2017, 07:30:14 AM »
What's your average success rate on the lion hunts?

My goal is to be 100% every year, we run 70% to 100% most years, last year we were 100% shooting opportunity, 13 for 13. Over the last few years we have greatly expanded our hunt areas, we now have multiple hunt areas in northern and southern Idaho, if snow isn't good in one area we can usually hunt a different area, this year we are just getting started, 2 cats for 2 hunters so far. I still have some openings this winter if you want to go cougar hunting, wolf can also be taken if seen, and during bobcat season bobcat might also be taken. You are welcome to contact me directly for specific questions?
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #130 on: December 07, 2017, 07:39:05 AM »
Looks like you have a lot of happy customers, Dale. :tup:
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Offline Machias

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #131 on: December 07, 2017, 11:56:17 AM »
We are tagged out and waiting for our next hunters. The boys were out scouting around this morning and found 4 cats, 2 were toms, one is a really good tom! They are trying to get his approximate whereabouts pinned down for the next hunt. :tup: @Rainier10
:tup:  I am sooooooo looking forward to this hunt.

Good luck!!!!!
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Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #132 on: December 08, 2017, 05:17:17 AM »
We are tagged out and waiting for our next hunters. The boys were out scouting around this morning and found 4 cats, 2 were toms, one is a really good tom! They are trying to get his approximate whereabouts pinned down for the next hunt. :tup: @Rainier10
:tup:  I am sooooooo looking forward to this hunt.

Nice. When is this occurring?
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Offline Britt-dog

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #133 on: December 08, 2017, 09:45:40 PM »
Really enjoy following this thread.

I am always disappointed to hear about missed opportunities or worse, simply because people refuse to practice with, or zero their weapon.

Do you think it would work for you to have a policy making it mandatory your hunters check their zero after arriving at camp?

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2017, 09:22:30 AM »
We had a great time hunting with Rainier10 and his two buddies. There are four of us cougar guides, we also had one other hunter in camp "Scott" who is also a great guy. A lot of cats had moved between hunts, before Rainier10 got here and after the last hunt ended. We hunted hard and after about three slow days we started finding fresh cougar tracks, even before we got fresh snow, unfortunately we simply had terrible luck, I can only think of one other hunt through the years where we had worse luck and that hunter eventually killed a nice tom with me in Idaho, but he had a lot of days into that cougar.

The days sort of run together in my memory but the guides and hunters tried walking at least three big toms and couldn't gain on the tracks, the cats were moving covering country, one of those a really big tom marked 26 spots that they saw as they followed that cat before having to give up and come out. We ran one tom that got crossed up with another tom track and ended up with the guides and some of the guys walking in to recover the mixed up hounds off the mumbo jumbo of tracks. My hunter and I turned loose on a cat that we thought we had treed at the bottom of the mountain by the river. One of the guides was down listening from across the river, he waded the river and hiked 500 yards up the mountain to find the dog hung up in rock bluffs. It was bare ground, he searched the area well but no cat, so he waded the river again and brought out the hound.

On the last evening of the hunt my hunter and I had gone to the top of a mountain, we turned around and headed back down, I told him that it was late in the day to be turning loose but if we see fresh tracks in our recent tire tracks we'll run it. On the way out we found a female with a kitten, the tracks couldn't be an hour old but wouldn't you know, we couldn't go after them obviously. We drove a couple miles and I said it again "if we were lucky enough to find fresh tracks in our tire tracks I think there's still time to run a cat", we didn't go another hundred yards and there they were, fresh cougar tracks, looked like a young tom! Time was short, we had less than two hours to chase the cat, catch the cat, get to it and kill it. You cannot legally hunt cougar after regular shooting hours. I called two of the other guides who said they would come and help, they themselves had been on an all day hike on a big tom that they had to pull off of because it still had snow in it's tracks so they were still at least 12 to 15 hours behind it so they had to quit and come out, but they came to help us.

I prepped the hounds as quickly as possible, the dogs were crazy excited, I think they could smell the cat before I took them to the tracks. Immediately they blew up upon sniffing the first track, I cut them loose, they struggled to get up the super steep cutbank and the hillside was one of the steepest around but they were going and barking loudly. I said "that cat can't be far"! In about 20 minutes we were treed, we drove a short distance and could hear the dogs well, probably a couple hundred yards up the cliff like hillside. My hunter headed in, I was gathering additional gear, the two younger guides arrived and one of them immediately headed up with the other two hunters. They all got to the tree about the same time but couldn't find the cat. They searched all the trees and I told the other guide to make a big circle around the outside of all the tracks to find where the cat might have left. He did it and nothing! I told him to follow the back track of the hounds, sure enough he found the cougar tracks where it had jumped out and back tracked on the old tracks. Looking back I think the cat jumped when the dogs first treed it before they were locked in on the tree, otherwise the dogs would have seen it jump. these cats have learned all kinds of tricks in order to survive in wolf country.

Twice Daniel leashed up the dogs, took them to the tracks and both times they went back to the tree, they just knew the cat had been in that tree. Daniel was going to leash them up and follow the tracks with the dogs on leash for a few hundred yards and then turn them loose again. By now it was starting to darken, I looked at my phone clock, there just wasn't time to run the cat, get to it, and kill it within legal shooting hours. It was a tough thing to do knowing we could quickly catch the cat again, but to stay within the law I had to call off the hunt.  :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash:

Fortunately earlier that last day one of the guides had caught a cat for Scott, it jumped three times before he could shoot, but they finally got it in the fourth tree. So we only got one cat and that sets our success this season back to 50%. Hopefully Rainier10 and buddies can come back again later in the season for a few days so we can try to fill their tags.

The next morning the guys left, I went on top of a mountain to get cell service and take care of a few things. Coming out I got stuck pretty bad, I shoveled a bunch but was working the 4x4 pretty hard trying to get out and blew up my front drive line cv joint. uuugggghhhh  I had to shovel snow and chip ice for nearly two hours but was able to get the truck out and off the mountain in about 15 inches of snow in two wheel drive. I felt very lucky to get out without having to leave the truck in the middle of this huge snow storm. I was afraid it might get snowed in so bad I would need snow removal equipment to get it out. It's supposed to dump 3 to 4 feet of snow up high. After getting out I went to town and found out all the parts parts are not available in the whole northwest, they are back ordered already and a week and a half out on delivery.

Fortunately I was able to order a whole new front driveline from rockauto.com and it should be here in three days. I could use a suburban to hunt but right now we are waiting for the storm to stop, it's dumping snow so fast nothing is moving and by morning any tracks that were made are covered by too much snow anyway.

Here's a couple photos of Scott's cat.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 09:30:08 AM by bearpaw »
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Offline headshot5

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #135 on: December 19, 2017, 10:10:53 AM »
Did he shoot it with a 223 or a 300 blackout?  Just curious.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #136 on: December 19, 2017, 11:07:10 AM »
Did he shoot it with a 223 or a 300 blackout?  Just curious.

I think he said it was a .223, we've had lots of cats killed with .223's.
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

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Offline Rainier10

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #137 on: December 19, 2017, 11:46:49 AM »
Did he shoot it with a 223 or a 300 blackout?  Just curious.

I think he said it was a .223, we've had lots of cats killed with .223's.
That is what I recall from our dinner conversation at the tavern.  Scott was a solid guy and I was glad to have met him.  Really glad that he was able to connect.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #138 on: December 19, 2017, 02:18:04 PM »
Did he shoot it with a 223 or a 300 blackout?  Just curious.

I think he said it was a .223, we've had lots of cats killed with .223's.
That is what I recall from our dinner conversation at the tavern.  Scott was a solid guy and I was glad to have met him.  Really glad that he was able to connect.

Yes, totally agree, Scott was a super good guy too. Once you get caught up with your life and business and can afford to take a few more days off, let me know and we will finish the hunt!  :tup:
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

http://trophymaps.com "Do-It-Yourself" Hunting Maps" 
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Offline Rainier10

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #139 on: December 19, 2017, 02:44:42 PM »
Did he shoot it with a 223 or a 300 blackout?  Just curious.

I think he said it was a .223, we've had lots of cats killed with .223's.
That is what I recall from our dinner conversation at the tavern.  Scott was a solid guy and I was glad to have met him.  Really glad that he was able to connect.

Yes, totally agree, Scott was a super good guy too. Once you get caught up with your life and business and can afford to take a few more days off, let me know and we will finish the hunt!  :tup:
Will do.

I assume you guys are going to be on snowmobiles when this weather finally breaks.

I also assume you will be done binge watching "justified" by then.  :chuckle:
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #140 on: December 20, 2017, 02:36:22 PM »
Did he shoot it with a 223 or a 300 blackout?  Just curious.

I think he said it was a .223, we've had lots of cats killed with .223's.
That is what I recall from our dinner conversation at the tavern.  Scott was a solid guy and I was glad to have met him.  Really glad that he was able to connect.

Yes, totally agree, Scott was a super good guy too. Once you get caught up with your life and business and can afford to take a few more days off, let me know and we will finish the hunt!  :tup:
Will do.

I assume you guys are going to be on snowmobiles when this weather finally breaks.

I also assume you will be done binge watching "justified" by then.  :chuckle:

I'm home waiting for a front driveline to repair my truck, Daniel went home for the holidays, two of the guys are out hunting and I can't reach them yet today so I'm pretty sure they are walking or running a cat in big remote country again today. We figure one more snow and it will be snowmobiles. I'll keep you posted as soon as I know more.
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

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Offline 2MANY

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #141 on: December 20, 2017, 03:05:38 PM »
Looks like fun.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #142 on: December 31, 2017, 08:38:17 PM »
Andy passed on some females last week just before Christmas, he went home for xmas and was going to come back, then it started snowing, we had heavy snow for several days, now we have gone from almost no snow to almost 4 feet of snow!  :yike:

I contacted Andy as soon as I could see an end to the storm, "Can you come over on the 31st and hunt, the weather is looking good, the storm is ending!" Andy replied, "When do you want me there?", I told him to come about 3AM. Andy came early, he and Brian broke trail in deep snow all morning on snowmobiles and finally found a track, they checked some more roads and that was the best track they had so they gave it a try with the hounds. It was an older track and took quite a bit of work, most of the day in fact! But Andy finished the year right, today he nailed this nice Idaho tom cougar with guide Brian. HAPPY NEW YEAR ANDY!
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups & quit losing opportunity!

http://trophymaps.com "Do-It-Yourself" Hunting Maps" 
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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #143 on: January 01, 2018, 08:27:39 AM »
Awesome!

Way to start off the new year!  :tup:
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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #144 on: January 01, 2018, 08:22:22 PM »
Sweet! Happy New Year!  :tup:

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #145 on: January 11, 2018, 01:49:42 AM »
Rainier10 and Kenny were able to return after New Years Day, I found two older tracks on my first run early in the morning, a female and tom traveling together, Brian and I checked additional areas but that was the only tracks we found and so we elected to try and run those cats. The tracks were cold and the dogs had quite a lot of trouble, the cats had circled while hunting and at times the dogs were separated trying to figure out all the tracks. At one point two dogs were hung up in one area for some time so Brian snowshoed in to see what was happening, we were getting late in the day and you don't want dogs out in wolf country after dark, there were cougar tracks everywhere and the snow was frozen hard under the trees where the cats wouldn't leave any prints, Brian tried to round up some of the dogs and I snowmobiled back toward the beginning to catch some of the dogs, we got all but two dogs rounded up.

Thirteen and Lady were coming up a canyon, I headed there on snowmobile but thirteen beat me across the road, she would not come back when I called her name, I looked around and sure enough there were two cougar tracks crossing the road. I was sure I had not missed them earlier, they must be fresh tracks, the dogs must have finally caught up with the cats and jumped them. Brian got there just as Lady crossed the road about 100 yards behind Thirteen, we could have grabbed Lady but decided to let her go and to turn additional dogs into the chase behind them both. Thirteen would be in grave danger after dark alone and I had seen one wolf track a few miles further up the road, so we knew that wolf might be close enough to hear a hound and who knows how many more wolves might show up if that one starts howling when it hears the hound after dark?

We didn't have much time, the dogs needed to catch these cats quick and we needed to get there before dark to shoot a cat if we were going to get one. The chase was moving fast now the dogs covered ground quick, I went and got Rainier10 and Kenny who were waiting at an overlook. I quickly explained what had happened and that we needed to move out. We headed up the snowmobile trail, we passed Brian who was trying to find a turn around spot and stopped to check the dogs, they were still in front of us. We went further and stopped again, we had gone too far, now they were behind us and sounded treed. I called Brian on the radio and he said he was parked right below them and headed in as quick as possible, I told him we would head in as soon as we got there.

We went further up the road and found a turn around and headed back, we parked at Brian's sled. I told Rainier and Kenny to take their weapons, headlamp, and tags and to head in towards the barking hounds as fast as possible. Brian called and said to try and stay to the left in the big timber on the ridge, it was easier going. I told them "Don't wait on me, I am getting stuff together and will follow. When you get there after Brian ties up the hounds shoot the cat, don't wait on me!" I gathered my stuff but my radio was going dead I had to change batteries and I headed up the hill, dang I forgot my pistol, I went back down to the snowmobile to get it and then headed up again. We do not go into wolf country without protection, Brian has been stalked by wolves after dark more than once in the past, it scared the dickens out of him having wolves parallel him and howl on one side of him or the other, the hounds were afraid of the wolves too and kept very quiet during that whole hike out! It was as if they knew those wolves wanted to eat them!

Back to the story, I was almost halfway in, Brian called on the radio and said he was at the tree and could see one cat. I told him the guys were quite a ways ahead of me and if they got there not to wait, if they had a good shot do it, don't take a chance of the cat jumping by waiting on me. I made it about halfway and Brian called again, Rainier was there, the cat was nervous, he was going to shoot it. We really got lucky as it turned out the tom had treed and the female kept going, more often it seems the female will tree first and the tom keeps going, sometimes you catch both cats, but this time we caught the tom. Rainier made an excellent shot with his bow and the cat fell to the ground dead. Awesome shooting Rainier, congrats!  :tup: :IBCOOL:

Later that night rain started, it was raining in the morning with a couple days of rain in the forecast so the guys went home again.
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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #146 on: January 11, 2018, 08:02:03 AM »
 :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup:


Awesome!  Way to go guys!

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #147 on: January 11, 2018, 09:47:06 AM »
Matthew arrived from Michigan, we got some fresh snow that evening, the next morning was perfect, we found 19 tracks, most were older tracks, 4 were older tom tracks, 4 were fresh female tracks that we passed. There was a small loop that I could make with the truck and we were just about finished for the day, I told Matthew that we had 1 mile left that was a good crossing area, we came over a rise and I thought I saw coyotes in the road, we both looked through binoculars and it was 3 cougar about 150 yards away. The smallest one saw us and jumped off the road, the two larger ones stood and looked at us, it appeared to be a female with two mostly grown yearlings. We watched them for a minute and then I drove down, the dogs struck from in the dog box, I got out and checked the tracks, yep, a female with a yearling tom and yearling female. The next day we hunted hard looking for a tom but only found three more females which we passed. That evening it began raining heavy and rained all night, we were out early in spite of the rain and began hunting. I was pretty wet from using the snowmobile and atv but kept hunting, we had found three rained out tracks that were unrunable because the bottom of the track was totally washed out to bare ground. I knew we were losing our snow so I told Matthew if I could find a track in deeper snow we might be able to run it.

Against All Odds
I kept hunting and went to a mountain where we had seen a tom track the first day, I knew there would be deeper snow and hoped that would make a difference. I didn't find the track until mid day, the dogs could barley smell any scent in the washed out tracks and moved pretty slow on the track, but amazingly they caught up and jumped this nice tom, it made a mad dash to lose the dogs but they treed it in a big fir. The cat scaled right at 150 pounds, congrats Matthew!

A photo of a fresh female track we passed, a photo of the cats we saw in the road, and a photo of the tom Matthew nailed.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #148 on: January 11, 2018, 09:50:48 AM »
that's awesome  :tup:

Online Gringo31

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Re: Bearpaw Season - Fall 2017
« Reply #149 on: January 11, 2018, 11:06:49 AM »
I love the conservation side of the talent you have in what cats you chose to go after.


Nice job Dale!
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