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Author Topic: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar  (Read 9628 times)

Offline Rainier10

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Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:05:50 AM »
Good times with the title there.  I learned from my Uncle JD @JDHasty that the best way to get views on this site is with a catchy title.  :chuckle:

So I was going to do a thread after this hunt but the word is out and I didn't want to derail the Bearpaw fall 2017 thread.

As some of you know the reason I got into hunting is because early on dating my wife, she said, "if this is going to work you are going to have to go hunting with me."   I wasn't a hunter but she is pretty special so along I went.  I was immediately hooked on hunting as well as her.  She had hunted since the age of nine and just the year before we started dating she had a taken a cougar in Washington.  This was back when you could still use dogs.  It's actually the cougar shown in Cedar River Taxidermy's banner on this site.

Anyways over the years I have been very fortunate to take some awesome trophy's but I don't have a cougar on the wall.  It's the one thing she comes back to whenever I take another animal.

So last fall I decided to book a cougar hunt with Bearpaw Outfitters.  Dale had openings for 2016 but with just losing my dad and my sister leaving the family business to live on a beach in Hawaii it just wasn't good timing.  I asked if I could book one for 2017.  He said sure and with that much notice I could pick whatever dates I wanted.

Dale prides himself on being a "cougar guy" and so I asked him to tell me what he would pick.  He said if he had to choose traditionally the second week of December was the best combination of good snow, lots of cats and lots of opportunity.  So the second week it was.

I was taking along two of my buddies.  They are my wife's cousins.  I was friends with them and my wife was always around so it made sense to start dating her, seemed convenient and it has worked out pretty well for the last 20 some years.  Anyways my buddies were on board, deposits were made and the long wait started.

We followed last years thread and I was really kicking myself for not booking for that year, 13 hunters and all 13 had the opportunity to shoot a cat.  I think two guys decided to pass a cat in the tree that just wasn't big enough for them and they ended up going home with a tag in their pocket.

It was amazing how fast the year and a half flew by.  I was busy in the early archery season with my daughter this year.  Then my archery elk hunt that I ate the tag on. Followed up my what might be one of my best hunting trip's ever with @jackelope on his goat hunt.  Late archery deer this year I ate my tag but my daughter scored a mule deer there and that was a great experience to watch her succeed in some pretty tough country to hunt.

So now here we are, the second week of December on the horizon.  The week that a "cougar guy" would choose every time as the best week to go.

I have practiced up with my bow.  I am also dialed in with my .243 just in case a shot with the bow is not possible.  Bags are packed and we are ready to go.

The group of hunters before has already tagged out so we were given the option to come early and start the hunt. Maybe this year the first week was the week to be there. Unfortunately I have a retirement party this afternoon for my mother in law.  She is the Aunt of my two buddies as well so we will all be at the party and then on the road right after that.  Hopefully the second week is just as good as the first already has been.

The hunt was originally going to be in southern Idaho but the snow is not so good there right now so Dale said we should go to the northern location instead for better opportunity.  That actually helps as it is only a 6-7 hour drive versus 12-14 hours.  That means that if we drive hard we can be there Saturday very early morning and possibly get in a hunt.

The plan is to split up and go three different ways and hopefully get into some action right away.

We also purchased wolf tags, chances are slim of seeing a wolf but if we get an opportunity we are going to put the hammer down on one.

I am told that there is no cell service where we will be so I don't know if I will be able to update this thread until I get back.  If I get to service I will do my best to give some updates.

I will be taking my Washington deer, elk, cougar and bear tags with me to use as "mountain money" and really hope that I fill this tag.

Super excited for this hunt and I hope to be a "cougar guy" by the end of this trip.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 09:06:37 AM by Rainier10 »
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 Woodchuck

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 08:13:13 AM »
Good luck my friend.  :tup:
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Disclaimer: This my SWAG. Not even an opinion. This is not my version of a 14th hand version of a fairy tale. It is also not the opinion of the Hunt Wa. site, it's owner, or any of the moderators or admins, not even me. Scouts honor. :salute:

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 08:22:17 AM »
Can't wait to see it all play out.  Getting a cougar would be awesome. (The game animal, well both really). :chuckle:
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Offline WA hunter14

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 09:11:49 AM »
Good luck man, would be nice if you could bring some snow with you !

Offline X-Force

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 09:13:14 AM »
Tagging along
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Offline bobcat

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 09:22:32 AM »
That sounds like a really fun hunt. Hope you get a big one!

Offline jstone

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 09:27:04 AM »
Good luck.. this is on my near future bucket list

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 09:28:36 AM »
Good luck man, would be nice if you could bring some snow with you !
For sure.  It's hunting, there are some things you just can't control.  Learned that all too well on my elk hunt this September.  Fingers crossed we can at least get some dustings of snow while we are there but I am just not sure that is in the cards.

It sounds like these guys have lots and lots of areas that they hunt so I am confident that we will get on something, might be a ton of windshield time but it is what it is.   Who knows we may end up back in the southern Idaho locations before it is all over. I am guessing I will get to see a ton of new country.
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 WA hunter14

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 09:32:34 AM »
Good luck man, would be nice if you could bring some snow with you !
For sure.  It's hunting, there are some things you just can't control.  Learned that all too well on my elk hunt this September.  Fingers crossed we can at least get some dustings of snow while we are there but I am just not sure that is in the cards.

It sounds like these guys have lots and lots of areas that they hunt so I am confident that we will get on something, might be a ton of windshield time but it is what it is.   Who knows we may end up back in the southern Idaho locations before it is all over. I am guessing I will get to see a ton of new country.

Yea I'm sure you will have a great time ! I hope for your sake  (an mine  :chuckle: ) that we get some snow that the weatherman isn't seeing but if not it's ok. It's definitely not nessicary to have snow to catch lions just makes it harder.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 09:58:39 AM »
Two of the guides were out scouting yesterday and found three cats, we'll be looking for those cats where they are living when you get here!  :tup:
There's not much snow but enough to get the job done. On the last hunt the dogs ran a good part of the chase on bare ground. The day before they lost a cat on bare ground. You never know in advance how each hunt will play out, it's hunting, but we are pretty confident in finding cats and eventually getting the job done. As long as it's not pouring down rain we are still in the game! We've also seen some fresh wolf tracks, I would love for one of you to get a wolf! Bear season is closed but oddly enough one guide saw bear tracks in the slush three days ago, that's one mixed up bear!  :chuckle:

I'm very much looking forward to meeting, hunting, and swapping lies with you guys!  :tup:
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Offline Woodchuck

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 10:03:07 AM »
If he starts talking about some trail that you don't see, don't follow him.  :twocents:  :chuckle:
Antlered rabbit tastes like chicken


Inuendo, wasn't he an Italian proctoligist?

Disclaimer: This my SWAG. Not even an opinion. This is not my version of a 14th hand version of a fairy tale. It is also not the opinion of the Hunt Wa. site, it's owner, or any of the moderators or admins, not even me. Scouts honor. :salute:

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 10:28:40 AM »
If he starts talking about some trail that you don't see, don't follow him.  :twocents:  :chuckle:
:chuckle: I'm pretty bad about that but Kenny is even worse.  That's where I got the "follow me I see a path", he says it almost as much as Josh says, "we're almost there" when you're hiking in the dark to some remote goat spot.

A wolf would be awesome.  I almost think I would be fine eating the cougar tag if I got a wolf instead.  Both and I might just completely freak out.

Just changed the batteries in the clock here at work.  I thought it was going slow but I guess not.

Any guesses on the odds of us getting a speeding ticket trying to get there sooner tonight?  :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 jackelope

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 10:35:12 AM »
If he starts talking about some trail that you don't see, don't follow him.  :twocents:  :chuckle:

I think Dale's the one that will be finding the non-existent trails on this one.
Can't wait to see how this all plays out. Booner or bust!!!! Right Dale!?!
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Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 10:43:43 AM »
Get a big one. :tup:
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Offline Rainier10

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Re: Rainier10's hunt for a cougar
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2017, 11:20:55 AM »
So Josh got me pretty warmed up to the whole conservation thing and taking males and mature males and all that on that darn goat hunt.  Dale and his guys are cougar guys so I am sure they will get me dialed in.  He already told me that by looking at tracks they can tell if it is a tom or not and approximate weight.  They won't chase a 110 pound cat if I am not going to shoot it so we will talk about that when they find the track and make a decision.

I swung for the fences on my archery elk hunt this year and passed what were some pretty nice bulls and I am okay with that.  I am confident that we will get on a cat worthy of tagging but it is hunting.  I might not have a clear shot in the tree and it might leave the tree before I can get there or get the shot off.

Anything can happen.  I do know it will be a great experience no matter if I fill the tag or not.
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.

 

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