If you haven’t followed a pack of cold trailing hounds after a Mountain Lion through the Rocky Mountains then it has to be on your bucket list. To a hounds man there’s nothing more exhilarating then listening to a pack of hounds work a lion track.
Total Outdoor Adventures have been leading their clients to trophy Toms for over 20 years, Vince Cocciolo is one of the best-known hounds man in North America. He started running hounds at the age of 21, from there he trained a pack of treeing walker hounds. With years of selective breeding TOA now has one of the most well known hound packs and bloodlines in British Columbia.
The most important factor when it comes to cat hunting is most definitely the weather, snow helps our guides and dogs the most when searching for a big mature tom. Toms in our area average 140 pounds, every year several cats in the 180-pound range are harvested by our hunters. We try to harvest Toms only for management reasons however it can be extremely hard to tell the sex when the lion is in the tree.
If one has not been cat hunting before, they can expect early mornings often 3 am. A day of cat hunting begins with your guide picking you up from the accommodations early in the morning with pre made breakfasts and bagged lunches. From there you will use 4×4 trucks to search for tracks along logging roads. If a mature lion track is found then you’ll try to freshen up the track. At daylight the pack of hounds will be let go on the track and by using GPS tracking collars the guide will watch the dogs and wait for the lion to tree.
Chases can last as short as 5 minutes to as long as a few hours. Once the dogs appear to be treeing, the guide and hunter walk towards to the tree and once at the tree the guide/hounds man will assess the lion for trophy quality and maturity.
You will search for tracks until noon and if nothing suitable is found then you and your guide will return back and preparations will be made for the next day. If conditions permit then the use of snowmobiles and skimmers to locate and tree lions will be used. However this requires a much warmer set of clothes then usual so is sure to read thoroughly through our Mountain Lion Equipment List.
A Trophy Mountain Lion hunt is a good opportunity to pair with a Bobcat, Lynx (if season allows) and a wolf. The wolves on a trophy Mountain Lion hunt are spot and stalk and bait is not used.