Just like a tasty recipe consists of the right ingredients, a safe and successful mountain lion hunt requires the right inputs. Much of this means being prepared with the right information, gear, layers and optics.
Bring the right information
Know your local seasons, quotas, limits and other information before going hunting. Some states might even require an outfitter. Wildlife managers keep a tight eye on the populations of mountain lions and regulate the sport tightly. It is crucial as sportsmen to respect regulation and properly manage wildlife resources and game population. Furthermore, the hunting situation around wild felines is constantly changing. Colorado recently introduced legislation to ban the practice. Brush up on your state and local regulations, nobody wants a run in with a game warden they are unprepared for!
Bring the right weapon (and the right optic)
The right rifle and optic can mean the difference between success or failure in a mountain lion hunt. Whether you are hunting with a rifle, revolver or bow, training with the weapon is crucial. A proper zero and match between optic, cartridge and firearm can mean the difference between success and failure. X-Vision scopes make this easy through a single shot zero and adaptive zeroing settings on several models.
Bring the Right Layers
Mountain lion hunting is more active than deer or other prey hunts, demanding different clothes. Dress in thin, light layers that can be easily shed to avoid overheating. It can be uncomfortable and potentially unsafe to overheat and have sweat freeze during an excursion.
Bring the Right Transportation
Mountain lion hunting looks wildly different in different jurisdictions. Some areas may utilize snowmobiles, while some areas require pack animals or foot travel.
Plan for Snow
Mountain lions are easiest to track in fresh layer of snow. This means it is of utmost importance to prepare for snowy or muddy conditions before a trip. Waterproof, properly broken in boots are crucial to warm and dry feet during a snowy hunt. Nothing ruins a day out than wet feet or blisters.
Boot hunting or Dog hunting?
One of the most important distinctions in mountain lion hunting is between boot and dog hunting. The traditional method of hunting is with a pack of game dogs. The keen senses of dogs easily track and tree mountain lions for a prospective hunter. However, some jurisdictions have outlawed dog hunting, leaving hunters to track lions via “boot.” The difference is huge, demanding keen senses and tenacious pursuit from boot hunters.