Editor’s Note: With most game seasons closed across the U.S., except for hunting predators, I was very interested to talk with Lynn Worwood of Nephi, Utah, a Mossy Oak Pro (www.mossyoak.com) who hunts mountain lions. A very avid hunter of all species, especially turkeys, Worwood and his friends have fun hunting mountain lions from October until June each year. Other hunters chase predators year-round.
Another question I am often asked is what breed of dog makes the best mountain lion dog? I run mostly Walker hounds. I like them because generally they’ll run faster than black and tans, they have really good noses, they usually have good dispositions, and they’re easy to handle. I have had Plott and blue tick hounds. The two Plotts I had did really well, but I am just partial to Walker dogs. I guess the best dog I ever had should have been the worst dog I ever had.
A fellow asked me one day if I would like to have his dog because he was moving from Utah to Mississippi, and he didn’t want to take the dog with him. He brought the dog to my house to leave the dog with me and said the dog’s name was Bullet. I asked the man if the dog had been trained, and the man said, “Yes, he was trained by a professional lion hunter. But the man was mean to the dog, so he was taken away from his owner. My wife and I adopted him, and he’s pretty much been a house dog ever since.” I said, “I don’t know about this dog, but I’ll go ahead and take him. If he doesn’t hunt, I will send him on a mission.” I never have had a better lion dog than that house dog. He could find a lion track on dry ground where we couldn’t even see the track. He was honest as the day was long, and he had a lot of cat sense.
A couple of years ago we had a mountain lion pull a trick on us. The cat went up a pine tree, walked across a log leaning on a pine tree and then went up a different pine tree. The rest of the dogs in the pack started treeing on the pine tree that the lion went up like they were supposed to do. However, Bullet was treeing on another tree about 50-yards away. I said to myself, “I wonder what this dog is doing over there treeing by himself.” I walked around and around the tree that the pack was barking under, and I never could see the lion. Finally, I went over to the tree where Bullet was barking, and the cat was about 10 feet off the ground coming down the tree and preparing to jump out of the tree and run. But Bullet was at the bottom of the tree keeping that cat up the tree. I never have seen a more-honest dog than Bullet or a dog that could find a dry ground lion track as fast as Bullet. Bullet was one of the greatest dogs I ever had.
To learn more about hunting and fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ print, Kindle and audiobooks at johninthewild.com/books.