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Pine Ridge Lion Season

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    Pine Ridge Lion Season

    I seen today where 3 male mountain lions were taken the last day or two. Along with the female lion taken earlier , the season is now closed for the south unit. A buddy and I were there a couple weeks ago. Pretty slow hunting. Just kinda wondering if anybody has heard anything about how the season is going or any comments ? Click image for larger version

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    #2
    Hunted the South unit with my son and have a pretty cool story.
    About mid day on our 4th trip up we had only seen 1 old lion track so far. So my son gets tired of looking for tracks and calling so he decides he want's to trout fish for awhile. He finds a short piece of rope, a lost hook in the truck, a stick for a pole and a chunk of salami for bait. Fishes for 10 minutes or so and catches a Brookie. He lands the fish and looks down in the snow and says well there's a Lion track! (Not a big track but it's a Lion track) and from the night before. I'm pretty excited and tell him great lets walk it down.
    He says that Lions probably 4-5 miles away
    I say, well do you have a better idea? Theres a Lion track!!
    So after a little persuasion i talk him into attempting to walk the track down. Off we go through the snow on a fairly fresh Lion track, only to lose the track due to no snow after only 2-300 yards. Circled around and never found the track again. i tell him, well lets at least go to the top of the hill and see whats over there. We get on top of the hill and its just a burned off hill side. I tell him that we should sit down and try the call. He says no, we just called 2 spots within earshot of here. (Which he was right) But I said once again. Well there was a Lion track. Do you have a better idea? So we set up and turned on the woodpecker in distress call on. 3-4 minutes later he whispers that there are some deer on the hill side. Yaya that happened at most of our stands. So I look at them and then scan the hill side some more and a couple minutes later there is something standing there looking our direction 1/2 mile away. Looked blocky and too big to be a coyote, looked like a Lion to me. Guess I must have been a little excited, I tell him theres a #%^%^&% Lion, we just called in a $^&**&% Lion. He finds it and it didn't move for maybe 10 minutes. There was a fallen log behind it and when it did decide to move it stepped over that log and following it was the big ol long tail (Now we know for sure its a Lion)!!
    We wait another 10 minutes or so and it's pretty obvious that the Lion is not going to come to the call. There was one of those nasty narrow but deep snow covered canyons between us and that Lion so I told my son to go for it and try to pull a sneak. ( He is in a little better shape than me) and the Lion seemed content with just staying in that spot and with the open country it really couldnt get away from that spot without us seeing it.
    So off my son goes, I am watching him and think I had better keep track of the Lion. I look back and the Lion is still there, look at my son headed down the canyon and that is the last I seen of either the Lion or my son for 2 1/2 hrs. A couple hrs into it i'm getting a little concerned about my son since the north slopes of those canyons were snow covered and slicker than heck. Did he slip and is laying in the bottom of the canyon busted up or worse? Should I go look for him? All kinds of things were going through my head at this point, and where the heck did the Lion go? Did I mess up and was watching the wrong spot?
    So after 2 1/2 hrs he comes walking up the hill. (Thank God). There is nothing there dad. Did you go to the right spot? I don't think that Lion could have got out of there without me seeing it. You must have went to the wrong spot!! Dad do you see that crooked tree right there? I walked to that tree and that is 30 yards from where that Lion was at! Uggg I have no idea how it could have gotten out of there without me seeing it but there was a couple small spots where it was possible. Dangett, busted hunt I guess. Ya win some and lose some. Pretty cool though that we even saw a Lion in Nebraska with tags in our pockets.
    We cuss and discuss a little bit and start our way out back to the truck and I tell him I want to look 1 more time from the top of the hill I had been sitting on. (I was 40 yards or so off of the top of the hill the whole time) I still didnt think that Lion could have gotten out of that spot without me seeing it. So we walk up to the top and start glassing again. I seen just a shadow of something move, I saw it again a minute or so later, I thought there was 1 soap weed in the dip and then there was 2, but I never saw anything definitive. (were my eyes playing tricks on me?) what did I see? Well I tell my son what I thought I saw but wasn't sure of. He says I will go over there again because I trust you but i dont think anything is there because I just walked within 30 yards of it. I told him that I hated to send him on a wild goose chase again, especially since I knew it was a big hike over there and he had to cross that nasty snow covered canyon again. So off he goes again!! He crosses the canyon and I do see him make it across this time,
    He has crossed the canyon and is about to disappear into some timber when I look up to where the Lion was and i'll be danged if that Lion didnt walk up to the edge of that dip. This time there is no doubt it's a Lion!! Holy cow!! We are going to kill a Nebraska Lion!!!! Give my son 15 minutes and he will be within easy shooting range. This is really happening!! I am glued to my binocs and 20 minutes or so goes by. I know he should be there by now to close the deal. The Lion stays on top of the dip and turns broadside this way and broadside that way and does everything to present a great shot opportunity. For maybe an hr this goes on. I am glued to those binocs and my eyes kept squinting because I was just anticipating the shot. No shot, no shot, no shot. I had to quit looking through the binocs because I was shaking so bad and I dont have a real good heart anyway. This went on for what seemed like forever!! What the heck is going on? Well my son is very good at stalking an animal and getting a great shot, he doesnt goof up often so I just assume he knows whats going on and doing everything right but i am still waiting for that boom I should be hearing. No boom, no boom. What the heck is going on? Why isnt he shooting? I am about to go crazy. Did he go to the wrong spot?
    I am watching this Lion seemingly being a model and giving you every angle you could possibly imagine and I hear something below me. My son has crossed the nasty canyon and is heading back up the hill to me. You can imagine what was going through my mind!! You went to the wrong spot!!!!! The Lion is still there!!!! We are 75-100 yards apart but I am pointing and doing my best impression of a silent yell of get your $%^^ back over there!! The Lion is still there!! You went to the wrong spot!! Go, Go. You screwed up!!
    He was motioning for me to come to him and I was motioning for him to go back repeatedly, all while still looking at the Lion. I finally relented and went down the hill to him.
    The dang Lion is still on that lip of the dip. I'm looking at it and he is walking back up the hill to me.
    I tell him that he went to the wrong spot and the Lion is still there!!
    He tells me that he got to the spot and saw the Lion, got to 160 yards, Lion is sat down facing his direction. He was on his shooting sticks with his cross hairs on it and just waiting for it to turn to give him a better shot and in his scope popped up a little set of ears and then another little set of ears!! Dangett a female with kittens!!
    It was a great hunt none the less and one that we will never forget as a father and son. He did the right thing by not pulling the trigger but dang he could have without seeing those kittens at the last second. The track we began following was a single track and the kittens were never visible for about 4 hrs.
    It was an awesome hunt anyway and a great one to do with my son. We work very well together. Looking forward to the next one!!

    Comment


      #3
      Great story. Thanks for sharing. Tell your son great job on being very observant before pulling the trigger.

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        #4
        Awesome story, yote! Thanks for sharing!!!

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          #5
          Super hunt for you two to share. Thanks for the great write up. Felt I was right along with you. As others as said, Thanks for sharing with us!!!

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            #6
            Great story and hunt! Thank your son for doing the right thing!

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              #7
              Great story and thanks for sharing. Your son has fishing skills to catch a trout with salami. Great memories made and will be tough to top but keep trying.

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                #8
                Great story. Thanks for commenting. I was beginning to wonder if anyone ever would comment on the lion hunts out in NW Nebr. A buddy and I were out there for a few days. Had no problem finding several sets of lion tracks in the parcels of snow that was left here and there. Found a really nice large set of tracks. Just had no luck calling one in. But had fun and talked to several ranchers and rural residents. Great folks.... everyone was so polite. Had a great time. Also we drove over to south of Harrison and talked to my rancher friend who lets us hunt antelope. He told us about a road to take back towards the fort that follows along White creek. Super scenic view. Click image for larger version

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                  #9
                  Great story! I literally felt like I was next to you! Thanks for sharing!
                  "Man should fish for sport. I don't fish for meat. Fish meat is practically a vegetable" --Ron Swanson

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                    #10
                    Has anybody heard anything of what's going on in the north unit …… that is north of HWY 20. I check the G & P webb site everyday expecting to see a report of a harvested lion in that unit. But nothing.. Anybody want to comment on the weather conditions up there. Is there no snow or some snow?. Has anybody even been out looking for the big cats? I am just curious. The unit is private land only.

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                      #11
                      When they closed the south unit there hadn’t been any lions killed in the north unit. As far as hunters I know the unit didn’t even sell out. If memory serves me correctly I believe there were like 60-80 permits remaining.

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                        #12
                        TIP 1 you are correct that the north unit did not sell out. The south unit did sell out and had to have a drawing. But the south unit permit holders were allowed to hunt public land also. So even if you did not have access to private you could hunt public. Lions constantly move. I am sure many put in for permits for the south with that thought in their mind. I am just kinda intrigued with the lion season in NW Nebr. It is beautiful country and when I go there for a visit it is just something a fella hopes he can keep in the back of his mind forever ( the scenery, the experience). I am in the outdoors almost every day and live on a creek bottom here in the SE part of the state. I have never seen a lion myself but have found 2 sets of tracks here in my area in a time period spanning 50 years or maybe more. Most ranchers we talked to got a permit just to have one in their pocket if they saw on while going about their everyday chores. I would suspect the north unit did not have so many non local hunters working it. I do hope someone gets a chance to harvest such a ghost of the forest. I'll keep checking the webb site for more results.

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