******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added

Posted by: AZspike

******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/02/12 03:32 AM

*EDIT: adding story*
Things have been busy at work lately and I have not been getting out to hunt at all. Today I had planned on leaving work early and heading out into the desert to chase some coyotes. I work the night shift so early for me is 5 am. My wife had a rough day so I decided to stop by the house on the way out of town, this ended with me falling asleep instead of going out.

When I woke up around 10am I had a text message from my boss so I decided to hit the office really quick and get out in the early afternoon. Really quick turned into 5 hours and I didnít get my tires back on the road until about 4pm. Years ago I had some gold claims up north and with my new Jeep I could actually get back to it. I had seen and heard coyotes there in the past but it was about an hour away which would leave me with about 30 minutes before sunset to hunt. I really needed some time out in the desert and figured 30 minutes and an Arizona sunset would be worth the 2 hour round trip.

When I got out there, I found a good place to hide the Jeep, hiked a few hundred yards down a hill, and found a great spot on top of a 20 foot cliff that gave me about a 270 degree view of the bend of a dry riverbed. There was some heavy cover out between 150 and 300 yards in front of me. I hiked down into the riverbed and setup my FoxPro Hellfire about 60 yards from where I would be sitting.

When got back into position on top of the cliff it was 5:10 pm, I had 26 minutes to hunt before sunset. I started running the call with some rabbit distress and about 8 minutes in was scanning the treeline through my scope when I thought I heard something behind me. I took a quick glance over my shoulder and didnít see anything. I figured the sound was just the strap of my rifle hitting some tall grass where I was sitting.

About that time I switched up the sound on the caller and heard a low growl behind me. I looked over my shoulder again and still didnít see anything. This time I thought the sound might have been a small airplane rolling. A lot of pilots come out this way, do barrel rolls and buzz a nearby lake, I was hoping that they keep their distance. I thought I heard the growl a few more times, but something just seemed a little off. I looked over my shoulder at least a dozen times and never saw anything.

At 5:30 I had been on the stand for 20 minutes and decided to call it a day. I took my shotgun out of my lap and set my rifle down next to it. I pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of the area I had been calling, the sky was starting to change and the reds and yellows reflecting of the rocks looked great. I stood up to stretch my legs, stretched my arms over my head and twisted to the right to stretch my spine.

That is when I saw it, the lion was about 40 yards behind me, staring right at me, crouched low, in that position cats get right before an attack.

I dropped my cellphone, cracking the screen, and bent over to grab my shotgun as fast as I had ever moved in my life.

As soon as I moved so did the cat. It covered 100 feet in about a second.

I kicked off my safety as I was swinging the barrel at the cat and aimed for the hollow in front of his shoulder. It was weird, there was a shadow there about the size of a quail, and in that instant I was thinking in my head, ďjust hit that birdĒ.

I pulled the trigger right as his front paws were hitting the ground about 20 feet from me and he just collapsed like a marionette with cut strings. As fast as it happened I think I had the next round loaded in my 870 before he fully hit the ground and I was already taking a step back.

I didnít need the step or the next round. But I held the gun pointed at the big tom for at least a minute before I moved toward it. I stared at it in shock and for a long time couldnít hear anything but my heartbeat pounding. At some point over the next few minutes I realized that my caller was still running and went to collect it.

I took the caller and my guns up to the Jeep and looked for a way to get closer to where the big cat was laying. I managed to get the Jeep a few hundred feet closer but still had a major hill to haul it up. I was pretty spent by the time I got the cat to the back of my Jeep. If anyone had been watching me I am sure they would have been laughing at that point. Any pro-hunter points I scored with that great shot on a charging animal, were totally canceled out by my inability to get the cat into my Jeep. I did everything wrong for about 10 minutes before I was flat out exhausted and realized that I just needed to either work on my deadlifts in the gym for a month and come back, or bear hug it and leap into the back of the Jeep with it.

After I got the cougar situated in the Jeep I realized that I hadnít taken a single picture of it, and that my phone was still on the ground back down the hill. It was nearly dark by the time I found my phone and the cat was laying on a tarp which isnít the best background for a picture. I briefly thought about unloading the cat and trying to get a few pictures but I had a long way back to town, and even longer to my buddyís place where I have a game freezer.

When I got to my friends place I didnít tell him what I had, just that I needed a hand outside. The look on his face when I popped the back door of the Jeep was absolutely priceless.

The only way I can really sum it all up, terrifying and awesome.

Posted by: Ward H.

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 04:19 AM

woah dude.
Posted by: 220_Swift

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 07:50 AM

Posted by: Merdit

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 09:10 AM

Looking forward to the whole story. Congratulations! That is an awesome cat.
Posted by: reb8600

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 09:17 AM

That is a big cat. Cant wait to read the story.
Posted by: swift one

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 09:21 AM

Holy cat paws Batman!!! That is a big cat. Looking forward to hearing the full story
Posted by: yotecatslayer34

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 09:34 AM

WoW! Bigg cat thumbup thumbup1
Posted by: the impactzone

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 09:59 AM

here kitty kitty
Posted by: the impactzone

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 10:00 AM

tell me you where mouth calling and turned around just in time
Posted by: Mr Potato Head

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 10:26 AM

Holy smokes! That cat hasn't missed any meals!
Posted by: AZspike

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: the impactzone
tell me you where mouth calling and turned around just in time

Just about the only thing that would have made it better.
Posted by: yotezapper

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 11:34 AM

Wow Great Story. I hope that I kill a cat someday.. a little further away. How bout an HOM for this one?
Posted by: AZ~Red

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 12:34 PM

Man that's scary! I call a lot of lion country but in all my years in these deserts I've never even laid eyes on one. I imagine when I do it'll resemble your story a lot but I really hope not. I hope it's more like, "Hey, look at that lion coming in". I bet it was a RUSH though. Good luck getting that feeling again. Hahaha. Big congrats man! That's a heck of a trophy.
Posted by: Unique03

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 02:10 PM

Mhmmm. Forget that! I wonder why it was growling? I usually Don't pack a shotgun here..and there's a few around..as friends trail cams pick up...you have me thinking about draggin it along now! Great story...and that's what they call predator vs. Predator!...no rush like no other. Try to send your story,info, and picture into a hunting magazine!
Posted by: blopez50

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 02:17 PM

Awesome story and cat!!!

What were you shooting out of your shotgun?
Posted by: 300magman

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 02:22 PM

UNREAL man!!! Great story, awesome lion.....CONGRATS!!!

I can only hope to experience something half that cool one day!
Posted by: donamese

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 02:56 PM

So jealous! I need to back off the birds and get back to the predators again! Was that out by where we talked in PMs?
Posted by: okierut

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 03:25 PM

I almost pooped my pants a little reading the story! Awesome cat, I am sure the 2 hour drive was worth it!
Posted by: jspencer

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 04:12 PM

Congrats on the cat. Make a real nice rug or mount.
Posted by: shankbone

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: AZspike
Originally Posted By: the impactzone
tell me you where mouth calling and turned around just in time

Just about the only thing that would have made it better.

My thoughts exactly. Congratulations on the hunt of a lifetime! I am very jealous! Wow.
Posted by: Kollincoyote

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/02/12 05:29 PM

Holy cats!!! Great story!! Great shot!! What's your plans with it now???
Posted by: Jeff Mock

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 01:07 AM

Awesome story! Sometimes we forget that these boogers can get you when ya least expect it. Glad to hear all ended well!

Congratulations on a fine trophy!
Posted by: Heretic

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 01:13 AM

Indeed! Great story and glad you could share it with us. That's one for the fireplace!
Posted by: AZspike

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 01:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Jeff Mock

Congratulations on a fine trophy!

It is sure going to be! I think I picked out my taxidermist today. So sometime in the next year or so I will have a trophy to show off. Until then, my trophy is this sticker that AZGFD gave me when I checked it in this morning. If they had a T-shirt I'd buy a dozen of them.

It is so nice to finally fill a Lion tag, I thought this one was going to end up on the stack of tags from the last few years.

Thank you everyone for all the kind words and congratulations.
Posted by: Centurion

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/03/12 01:24 AM

That is one huge cat and a heck of a way to shoot it! Good job! I'm glad you turned around when you did. Another second may have been too late.
Posted by: Chad1754

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 01:41 AM

Wow is all I can say
Posted by: Sedlak

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 01:52 AM

That was an amazing story and a huge cat nice job. Newbie question now I have wondered what would happen should something like this take place I know even without a tag you can shoot to defend yourself but what happens if you don't have a tag does Fish and Game take it away ?
Posted by: borkon

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 05:13 AM

great story,great cat.

Posted by: BriggsRi

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: borkon
great story,great cat.


Posted by: AZspike

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 09:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Sedlak
Newbie question now I have wondered what would happen should something like this take place I know even without a tag you can shoot to defend yourself but what happens if you don't have a tag does Fish and Game take it away ?

I can only speak to my understanding of the regulations in Arizona. AZ tags are $14 I buy next years tag for Christmas every year, it's a no brainer. However, if you shoot in self defense without a tag don't load the animal up, don't even touch it. Get game and fish out there asap and be happy to be alive. In Arizona they will take the carcass as a part of the investigation and will hold it to at least the end of the hunting season. At the end of the season you can pick up the carcass.

Arizona state law (A.R.S. 17-302)and a corresponding Game and Fish regulation (R12-4-305(H).

I read up on all the regulations, obsessively. I keep a copy of the regulations in my truck, my backpack, on my desk, and probably most importantly on the back of my toilet.

I also wont be going out again until I have a new tag, which is going to limit my solo hunting to areas with a multiple bag limit.
Posted by: AZspike

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 09:10 AM

Thank you everyone for the HOM nomination. Everything has been such a blur since taking this lion, I never even considered HOM when I posted this.

I always love reading all your stories and its really the icing on the cake to receive this response from a great group of people.
Posted by: Brian Downs

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 09:51 AM

Congrats and great shot!
Posted by: jotrot

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 10:14 AM

story and hunt of a life time, thats awesome thanks for the great reading
Posted by: screech

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 10:41 AM

What an amazing story, gets my vote for HOM !!!
Posted by: Pack_Wolf

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 02:17 PM

What shot were you using? Bird shot at 20 feet would have stopped him.
Great shooting and story.
Posted by: Chigger

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 02:30 PM

That is awesome, congrats!! I am super jealous!
Posted by: LWILLIAMS

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 02:44 PM

Congratulations on the awesome trophy. I hunt a lot of cat country but have never called one in that I know of. Always cutting there tracks though and the guys with dogs get a lot of them.
Posted by: Rocky1

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 02:58 PM

Great cat and a great story! Definitely deserving of the HOM nomination.
Posted by: AZspike

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Pack_Wolf
What shot were you using? Bird shot at 20 feet would have stopped him.
Great shooting and story.

#4 buck 27 pellets. I get the Estate Cartridge in the green box at Cabellas. They are like $17 for 25 rounds.
Posted by: Jughead32

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 03:26 PM

thats amazing, congrats!
Posted by: MB650

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 03:40 PM

Congrats that is one heck of a story.
Posted by: flyinlizard1

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/03/12 04:30 PM

Great story congrats,, i thing the first thing I would have done after pulling the trigger would have been change my shorts..
Posted by: cowpoke

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/03/12 04:54 PM

Congratulations on a great cat, and thanks for sharing the story and pictures thumbup
Posted by: Silverfox

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/03/12 06:22 PM

AZspike--Man, OH, Man!!! You had me right on the edge of my computer chair the minute you mentioned you thought you heard something behind you. Since you were able to type up the story, I knew you hadn't been killed by a predator and I'm happy for that. My heart was really racing and it is great that you had enough self-composure to grab that shotgun and get off a killing shot!!! I'm not sure many of us would have been able to do that!!!

Congratulations and thanks for sharing this exiciting hunt with us!!!! Hunter of the Month!! FOR SURE!!!
Posted by: Displayed Name

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/03/12 06:53 PM

Great hunt and story, you are a gifted writer... felt like I could see everything happening.

I just started carrying a shotgun(Cooey model 34) with me today on stands and all I had was some copper plated 3in #4 Buck. Half way through the day I was checking out the turrets on my new-to-me B&L 3200. I shot rocks down at the shore from the 200yd zero up and down from ranges out to 350yds. Worked out perfect.
As I was about to go I thought I'd better check to see if the ol relic of a single shot shotgun could handle that particular load. I knew what was coming just didn't know how nasty it would be. Violent is all I can call the recoil, kinda like when you get in an accident and do a quick mental check of your body to see if all is still intact. Lead #2's are gonna get the call from this point on.
Posted by: wmig2

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/03/12 07:05 PM

Wow That's awesome. thumbup
Posted by: Cman962

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/03/12 11:28 PM

WOW... great story! I'm glad you saw him in time! Great reaction time... I bet your heart was about pounding out of your chest.
Congrats! You got my vote for HOM.
Posted by: Pack_Wolf

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/04/12 12:03 PM

I walked into a stand once and on the way back there was a lion track on top of my track in the sand. It was a little unnerving...

You have a great story here and I am glad you had a great outcome.

Posted by: Rubenator

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 12:59 PM

Just go ahead and give AZspike the HOM award!
Posted by: JimboTN

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 01:27 PM

Great story...Great hunt... thumbup
Now, I'm off to mount a bayonet on MY shotgun...justincase smile
Posted by: shanedogg

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 01:35 PM

Posted by: diamond_c

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 04:47 PM

Congrats!! What a great hunt and story!!
Posted by: TonyTebbe

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 08:18 PM

Hunter of the Month???? Sheesh.....I say HUNTER OF THE YEAR!

Awesome story, what an experience and rush that would be.

Congrats man.

Posted by: gonzaga

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 08:47 PM

HOM, HOY for sure. That was a great read. So much detail, after almost being kitty poop. He meant business my friend and he was coming to get you. He had already sized you up, and was coming in.

That will live in your mind for a long time.

Now go change your hunt title to 186 lb Mountain Lion killed..... You will get more views.....lol. Sell some tickets man. Did you buy a lottery ticket, cuz u just cashed in buddy.....lol

Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Jeepdude1987

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/04/12 09:10 PM

I'm with Tony Tebbe on this one! Hunt of the YEAR!!!! That was the best story I can remember reading.

This is really a hunt of a lifetime, and almost the last hunt of a lifetime!!!! :-0

I've had that "something is watching me" feeling before. It happened every stand last time I went solo hunting, and I won't solo hunt anymore because it. I would have been trying to quick draw my .357mag Security Six and put some rounds in the kitty.

Glad to hear your cat wrestling match was only getting it into the Jeep!
Posted by: vicfox

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/05/12 04:36 AM

Posted by: Tka250

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/05/12 12:24 PM

Wow, that is crazy. Awesome story. Un flippin believable!
Posted by: rpc55

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/05/12 01:45 PM

friggen right!......congrats spike!
Posted by: jarheadhunter

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/05/12 01:52 PM

Wow that would be scary. Great story Spike. Nothing like going from hunting to being hunted. Glad everything worked out for you.
Posted by: rotorwag

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/05/12 04:04 PM

Whew! I noticed my heart rate rise a little just reading that! Can't imagine what it must have been like being behind that shotgun. Great story!
Posted by: spiderman

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/05/12 04:52 PM

Well , well .....proud of yourself???? Now you will have every one of us jumping and turning to look behind us on stands from now on looking for a huge cat stalking us.......Coyotes numbers will go up for sure. I was fishing (in Iowa) a couple of weeks ago and was wondering if I turned around and saw a lion behind me in the willows , how fast I could get my single shot .22 out of the holster and make a shot. Then a couple of days later I heard of a mountain lion sighting just half a mile from where I was fishing....makes you wonder if I was feeling the eyes on my back???? Great end of your story instead of a bad outcome. Cudos to you my steel nerved friend. Jim
Posted by: snyguy

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/05/12 11:22 PM

Congrats! Awesome story that you'll never forget.
Posted by: Colorado Coyotes

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** Story Added - 11/06/12 01:11 PM

Heck of a hunt and excellent replay. Glad you were able to save YOUR hide from serious damage or worse.

I think I would have got up for a look when I heard the first growl, YIKES. I'm too old and slow to give a lion a head start.

You should get a set of "Rear View Mirrors" for your calling hat.
Posted by: az-festus

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/06/12 03:49 PM

wow great story, you had me cringing while reading it..
Posted by: Whitebeard

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 11/06/12 04:05 PM

Great story! That was truly the hunt of a lifetime. Thanks for posting. thumbup
Posted by: callcrazyaz

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/08/12 11:10 AM

Congrats Spike, you got my vote. Thats a really large cat!!!
Posted by: Plaisance

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/08/12 11:40 AM

That's an incredible story. God was definitely looking out for you.
Posted by: bonecollector777

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/08/12 06:15 PM

Hey, what part of Arizona are you in? Mesa area?
Posted by: Bowknutt

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/08/12 06:38 PM

I would still be shaking....The thought crosses my mind over here not cats but bears....
Unless someone calls in Bigfoot and shoots him with a.17 you got my vote for HOM...
Posted by: Fursniper

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/08/12 09:21 PM

Glad you killed a lion that lost its fear of people. Congratulations!
Posted by: Lonnie

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/08/12 11:46 PM

That is too COOL! Congrats on keeping hour top notch pilgrim.
Posted by: CaliforniaPipelinr

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/20/12 07:36 PM

That's an awesome story, scary as [beeep] but awesome! Congrats man, picture purfect ending lol.
Posted by: Vaughan

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/21/12 10:59 AM

Wow just read the story, defianlty a scary and amazing experience.
Posted by: adi

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/30/12 12:36 PM

nice story, nice cat, really nice cat but ......
Posted by: Merritt79

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 12/30/12 12:53 PM

Thats why I like to hunt with a someone. Nice cat great story.
Posted by: Valkyrie

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 01/02/13 11:33 AM

You have lived one of my greatest fears while calling! My father has seen cougars where I usually hunt while I'm home. He's seen the tracks near the barn, which is close to their house. A few years ago I read a post here where someone set up near a ditch and was calling. A female coyote almost ran Him over coming from behind if I remember correctly. I'd mess my pants if a dog came frome behind, but a cougar is different. You usually don't hear the silent hunter!
Great story! As someone else said, you've definitely got us looking over our shoulders now..........
Glad you prevailed, could have been bad.
Posted by: Hard_ware

Re: ******** #186 lbs ******** - 01/19/13 11:23 AM

Glad things worked out, and you are around to tell the story. Not a reporter telling the story of a body found in the desert. The adrenalin really gets flowing when something like that happens. While bow hunting whitetails south Texas, I stepped over what looked like a 10-12" mesquite log in a wet area while stalking, well I noticed some movement just to the right of the path and saw the tongue flicking at me about 3' away. Largest rattle snake I have ever seen. Body was so large the only thing that diameter in the brush are trees that have fallen over. Snake was calm no one messes with them in the refuge. I stepped back as I was straddling the snake, and backed up a few yards. I watched the snake continue on its way. Then the adrenalin hit, took a few minutes to pass. I never got a full view of the snake but was over 11' easy. I have killed 7-9 footers and this one was not even close. Had it bit me, I don't think I would have made it out. No cell phone signal, 4 miles from the truck on foot, could have been a bad day. But ended up with a medium doe after all was said and done.