Had a conversation with a big cat while scouting last weekend.

oscar

Member
Feb 2, 2018
54
63
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Corona ca.
My available time to scout hasn't been very good this year. Well life happens. I got a chance to get out and scout this last Saturday same area I scouted and hunted last year d14. Yup archery opener. This area doesn't see many people and I have yet to see an archer out in this rifle area. I figure ill get a couple of cameras out and try a new unexplored approach to an area I know bucks frequent. Good time to practice, scout like i'm hunting, slow deliberate and as quiet as I can be using the wind. I pull up and see a truck parked. Mental note keep an eye out for that guy.
I make my way a mile glassing and moving slow. wind is perfect for where I'm going. I see the dry creek bed in a small valley that will take me in deeper to the good spot I want to get to. Scrub brush on the hillsides of the valley and tall 6-7ft bushes in the creekbed. I drop in and check the sand for sign. Its nice and cool down here. I think... if i like it animals like it too. no prints keep moving in another 50 feet. More sand, now I see sign. Big cat prints. About the size of my fist. I'm thinking reassuring myself ..ok I have seen cat sign out here before no biggie just keep your guard up. I take a couple more steps and I hear a strange sound, a thump almost sounded like car door shutting in the distance.... weird misplaced sound. I'm standing pondering this sound that doesn't belong, then I hear a low deep gutteral growl about 15-20 feet in front of me on the other side of this bush. I pull my pistol keep it pointed in the area of the growl and say in a medium voice "ok..all right.. i'm backing out im backing out" my eyes are scanning everything looking for any sign of movement. Nothing. I start to back up the way I came. Not too fast. focused and aiming on the cats area. don't want to trip backwards and don't want to give him my back. I keep talking out loud while backing out "fucking cat I don't want to shoot you. stay put, neither of us wants anything to go down". I get far enough away to feel safe to walk forward checking my six , out of the creek bed I make my way backtracking making sure i'm not followed trying to keep to clear areas. had to backtrack 3/4 of a mile and turn back in another way with a nice sized hill between us watching my back plenty.
It was surreal. I was very calm and deliberate. , but now when i tell the story my heart starts to race. I tend to scout and hunt solo no one around for miles. Always have my pistol and bear/cat spray, even though there are no bears where i'm at. I would rather spray at a cat then shoot it if he gave me the choice. I think I ran into a cat that was bedded, nice wind in my face and moving quiet I think I surprised him. He gave me a good warning and let me be. I think i'll leave that little valley alone. Thought I would share.
 

HATCHET1

"yes,it killed the hound..ferocious bitch she was"
Aug 2, 2013
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Remember who the boss is. Man is the ultimate predator.
 
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WaterDawg

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Nov 20, 2016
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Glad there was no altercation. Great play by play. Must’ve been hair raising.
 
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YETI

Member
May 14, 2019
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I was out hunting D14 last weekend and saw plenty of big cat sign. Too much honestly. I went out solo on Sunday morning before sunrise. Definitely had my head on a swivel and my heart was beating faster than it would have ordinarily given all the sign I had seen to that point.

On a side note, your experience and mine makes me very pissed off that we cannot carry a pistol when we archery hunt. What a ridiculous law.
 
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JakeSCH

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Oct 16, 2017
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On a side note, your experience and mine makes me very pissed off that we cannot carry a pistol when we archery hunt. What a ridiculous law.
Yeah, I am way more accurate with my bow than my pistol. It would only be for dispatching a wounded animal or self-defense...but again this state does irrational things like trying to outlaw bobcat hunting.
 

cadeerhunter

Active Member
Feb 11, 2017
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Remember who the boss is. Man is the ultimate predator.
I think they need to open full season on mountain lions. The liberal communist shut it down. That's why the deer herd is suffering. If they ever open season on them I will be first in line to pay what ever fee for the lic.
 

ilovesprig

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Aug 3, 2012
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Amazing...I still have never seen one in the wild, while hunting (or fishing)...60 years in the woods of California....Or any other state too.

ps...Talked to my buddy today in New Mexico (outfitter & houndsman)...He's killed 13 so far this year...His elk herd around his place has more than doubled...Turkeys have tripled... ;)
 

Hunter527

Member
Apr 3, 2018
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I imagine chasing lions behind a pack of hounds up in the Sierras would be an epic experience. As far as I understand its illegal to even shoot one in another state and then bring it back here to have it mounted. ridiculous
 

TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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Lot of animals will do like a stomp to the ground to warn you they think you're too close. So that was probably what you initially heard. You showed great restraint. I'd beall like Uncle Ted and Ned from South Park talkin' 'bout "Jesus Christ Ned, They're headin' right for us!!! POW POW! POW!!!"
 
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oscar

Member
Feb 2, 2018
54
63
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Corona ca.
I think they need to open full season on mountain lions. The liberal communist shut it down. That's why the deer herd is suffering. If they ever open season on them I will be first in line to pay what ever fee for the lic.
totally agree these cats need some number controll
Lot of animals will do like a stomp to the ground to warn you they think you're too close. So that was probably what you initially heard. You showed great restraint. I'd beall like Uncle Ted and Ned from South Park talkin' 'bout "Jesus Christ Ned, They're headin' right for us!!! POW POW! POW!!!"
That stomp makes sense. I think if I saw him or if he screamed at me I probably wouldn't have been so calm. Probably would have pissed myself lol
 

Hunter527

Member
Apr 3, 2018
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75
My available time to scout hasn't been very good this year. Well life happens. I got a chance to get out and scout this last Saturday same area I scouted and hunted last year d14. Yup archery opener. This area doesn't see many people and I have yet to see an archer out in this rifle area. I figure ill get a couple of cameras out and try a new unexplored approach to an area I know bucks frequent. Good time to practice, scout like i'm hunting, slow deliberate and as quiet as I can be using the wind. I pull up and see a truck parked. Mental note keep an eye out for that guy.
I make my way a mile glassing and moving slow. wind is perfect for where I'm going. I see the dry creek bed in a small valley that will take me in deeper to the good spot I want to get to. Scrub brush on the hillsides of the valley and tall 6-7ft bushes in the creekbed. I drop in and check the sand for sign. Its nice and cool down here. I think... if i like it animals like it too. no prints keep moving in another 50 feet. More sand, now I see sign. Big cat prints. About the size of my fist. I'm thinking reassuring myself ..ok I have seen cat sign out here before no biggie just keep your guard up. I take a couple more steps and I hear a strange sound, a thump almost sounded like car door shutting in the distance.... weird misplaced sound. I'm standing pondering this sound that doesn't belong, then I hear a low deep gutteral growl about 15-20 feet in front of me on the other side of this bush. I pull my pistol keep it pointed in the area of the growl and say in a medium voice "ok..all right.. i'm backing out im backing out" my eyes are scanning everything looking for any sign of movement. Nothing. I start to back up the way I came. Not too fast. focused and aiming on the cats area. don't want to trip backwards and don't want to give him my back. I keep talking out loud while backing out "fucking cat I don't want to shoot you. stay put, neither of us wants anything to go down". I get far enough away to feel safe to walk forward checking my six , out of the creek bed I make my way backtracking making sure i'm not followed trying to keep to clear areas. had to backtrack 3/4 of a mile and turn back in another way with a nice sized hill between us watching my back plenty.
It was surreal. I was very calm and deliberate. , but now when i tell the story my heart starts to race. I tend to scout and hunt solo no one around for miles. Always have my pistol and bear/cat spray, even though there are no bears where i'm at. I would rather spray at a cat then shoot it if he gave me the choice. I think I ran into a cat that was bedded, nice wind in my face and moving quiet I think I surprised him. He gave me a good warning and let me be. I think i'll leave that little valley alone. Thought I would share.
Have you thought about putting up a camera in the creekbed where you encountered it?
 

oscar

Member
Feb 2, 2018
54
63
18
Corona ca.
Have you thought about putting up a camera in the creekbed where you encountered it?
Haven't thought about that. Might be interesting to see. BUT that would involve me going back in there lol . I am going to go around and check the other end of that valley its a nice no people traffic funnel. If I see sign i'll drop a cam on that end.
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
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Escondido
Haven't thought about that. Might be interesting to see. BUT that would involve me going back in there lol . I am going to go around and check the other end of that valley its a nice no people traffic funnel. If I see sign i'll drop a cam on that end.
Big cats hunt about a 50 mile radius...Just sayin'... ;)

ps...Probably smaller in SoCal.
 

brad nsw

Active Member
Oct 24, 2015
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Don't let it spook you, they range widely and don't really want human interaction. You did good. Running or panic, I believe will trigger their attack instincts. I've encountered two up close in daylight (rifle) and once had two cats screaming at me one night while archery hunting deer. That one rattled my confidence a bit but I stuck it out for two more nights in a tent in that valley. Hope CA gets some sense and starts allowing cat hunting before more innocent people get attacked in CA. I'm just back from 14 days chasing elk in the Idaho Mts and haven't seen a cat up there in 4 years and no ones been killed in Idaho this century by cats, while CA has had 6 this century. There have only be 6 fatalities in the US in the last 25 years and 3 have been in CA. I see 2-3 mountain lion kills in D16 each year....OK, off my soapbox.
 

Chris

New Member
Jul 18, 2015
9
2
3
I came across one taking a nap last year in some thick brush. I was almost close enough to touch him by the time we noticed each other.
If he wanted to kill me he could've because of how quick he was.
He jumped up, took off a few yards in the other direction, hissed at me then left. I backed out as fast as I could.
This was in D14 near lake arrowhead.