A California Hunters Testimony in response to our recent article regarding the proposed California Mountain Lion Hunting Bill
I am almost 30 years old, and have hunted in California since I was 8 years old. My dad at 52 years of age, has never seen a mountain lion. He has been an avid hunter since age 8 also. You tell me if the populations are increasing...
Five years ago, at the ripe age of 25, a friend and I were hunting hogs near Fort Tejon, California. We saw a large boar break in front of us, and decided to split up, to see if we could get the hog out into the open. We agreed to meet at a predetermined location up the ridge in 30 minutes. I took off to the left, toward the brushy area where the hog ran out, and my buddy went to the right where an open area provided a view. The idea was that I would push the hog his way for a shot.
30 minutes passed, and I went to find my buddy, (we never found the hog). When I reached a peak that looked down on where my buddy was supposed to be, I was dumbfounded to see him sitting on the ground some four hundred yards straight down hill. There was an animal not ten feet away from him.
Thinking it was the hog we saw earlier presumed now dead, I put up my binoculars to get a better look. I couldn't really tell because it was behind the brush. I put my binoculars down, sighed, admired the view from up top, then looking at my buddy and noticed the animal moving now!
I threw up my binoculars, and found that it was a large mountain lion, in the starting blocks, just about to pounce my buddy. Without hesitation I dropped the binoculars and grabbed my rifle and shot a steadily aimed shot right over the lion's head. He ran 50 yards before I could cycle the gun and shoot another 7 mm round. Was I aiming for it? Absolutely.
When I reached my buddy he was swearing at me, "What are you crazy, shooting at me?" I told him he was crazy and that I'd saved his life. It wasn't until we went back to the spot where I missed the lion, and where the lion's tracks peeled out, and where the lion's tracks were twenty feet apart as he was in full sprint after my shot that he believed me.
You could make out the drag marks from the lions belly in the ground where he had snuck up on my buddy from a low hanging, limbless scrub oak tree perch.
Needless to say, my hunting buddy was wide-eyed the rest of the afternoon.
We put in a call to a friend who is a trapper, and he indicated that in his 30 years of trapping, he found that once a lion had started it's assault on it's prey, they finished the job, in otherwords, they don't just play with prey as large as a human, and yes, he thought my short in stature buddy resting eating his Twinkie, may not of been so lucky.
I'm hunting a favorite spot for coyotes just before archery deer season, my goal was to shoot a coyote with my bow. I was one mile from a city of about 7000 people. Twenty minutes from the beach, in Santa Paula, California.
I'm walking slowly along a ridgeline road, and I hear a growl that sounded something like a bear stuck underneath a shutting garage door. I hustle over the hill and peered down on three mountain lions taking "pot shots" at a young boar hog.
The hog is putting up a very good battle, and finally, after multiple head down charges at the assailing felines, the hog comes out on top. The cat's get frustrated, and make their way up the ridge.
For one hour I watched those mountain lions, and what I witnessed was something only a real nature person can appreciate. No discovery footage or any footage for that matter can put into film or words for that matter, the awesome, simply stunning power of these animals. I watched them silently slither into very dense underbrush, and the only reason I could keep up with them at 600 yards in the binoculars was because every time they put a foot forward I could see the undersides of their pale paws flash. Other than that they were virtually invisible to the human eye. Very, very eerie.
On two separate occasions since then, only no where near as dramatic, I have personally witnessed mountain lions in the wild.
In less than five years 2000-2005, I have seen, (if you count them individually, not counting appearances because I saw three lions at once), 6 mountain lions in California.
In 30 years of hunting (my dad threw in the towel in 1996) my father never saw a mountain lion.
My dad probably killed 30 dear in as many years, while I have only killed about 8 deer hunting since age 16, I'm now 30. So, needless to say, the old man humped them hills and never saw lions.
I humped em' saw plenty, and trust me, now that I have a mortgage, a wife, and two young children, I look for them more carefully, usually with a loaded handgun handy.
Bye the way, Colorado has an estimated mountain lion population around 5-6000 cats, they can still hunt lions in Colorado. And their deer, elk, and other animal herd makes the state of California's look pathetic, thereby able to support large predator levels.
California, by contrast, leaves an increasing number of deer hunters wondering where the deer are. However, there are 6-8000 projected mountain lions out here.
The holdup for letting out the hunters has got to be high heeled scientists who never get dirt under their finger nails. Ask those people if they know what it feels like to choke on sage brush.
This can only exist in a state where child molesters and murderers stay out of jail because they pay for the best attorneys, (turn on the TV).
Oh, by the way, this same great state that knows so much about mountain lions believes in partial birth abortion. Whatever! Have you ever sucked a half grown baby out of a mothers womb with a vacuum. Sick people. And those are called nature lovers? BS.
Those are the same nature lovers who don't mind when a mountain lion jumps over a picket fence, picks up a four year old, jumps back over that same fence and up into a tree with the child. Ask them how they feel about lions then. If they don't think lions can do that, send 'em out to my favorite hunting spot with me, I'll let them feel the chill.
If you need help lobbying to continue with the Mountain Lion Hunting Bill, I'm in. The only problem is you'll have a hard time finding me in the mountains of Colorado.
While your fighting, make sure you make it legal for bow hunters to carry a sidearm while hunting. Ever tried drawing an arrow with a mountain lion on your back?
Santa Maria today
Hunting Colorado tomorrow