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.
I was out with a bunch of my friends hunting mountain lions when we found a lion’s track. We turned out a few dogs to let them run that track. They trailed the track for about an hour, and we could hear them treeing the lion off in the distance. Back then we didn’t have tracking collars or hand-held GPS receivers to keep up with our dogs. So, we had to stay close enough to the dogs to hear them when they started barking tree. When we finally reached those dogs, they had climbed up the same tree where the lion was. The lion had one dog in his paw and had the other dog’s neck in his mouth. Many of the mountain lions that we hunt are fairly large, and they can kill a dog quickly. I picked up a couple of rocks and threw them at the cat to distract him. He released the dogs. Luckily our dogs weren’t hurt too badly. We just stitched them up, and they were running another mountain lion the next day.
One year I drew a mountain lion tag that would allow me to harvest a lion, and that year we treed about 80 lions. Some of the lions could have been the same lions that we had treed two or three different times. Sometimes we would tree a female with a couple of kittens. We took pictures of all the lions we treed that year. We found and took a very-big lion that weighed about 200 pounds – a huge, heavy cat. He stretched out 7 feet and 8 inches long, and the skull measured 2/16 of an inch over the required measurement to enter him in the Boone & Crockett record books. I’m not really into record-book animals, so I never did have him entered in the book. However, he was one of the biggest cats I ever had taken.
I’ve have often been asked, “How do you get a good lion dog?” Picking a lion dog pup is often a crap shoot. You really don’t know how well that dog will perform, until you start hunting it. Having some information on the male and female that bred the pup may give you an idea of how that pup should produce. I have bred two great dogs thinking they will produce some great lion hounds, and those pups only have been mediocre dogs. I have had my share of bad dogs over the last 30 years of lion hunting, but I have also been blessed to have some really-good dogs. I have been fortunate enough to hunt with some of the best dogs ever raised in the State of Utah over the years.
To learn more about hunting and fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ print, Kindle and audiobooks at johninthewild.com/books.